5 Serious Questions You Absolutely Have to Ask Your Boyfriend About the Future
Have the talk so you can be sure that you’re on the same page—before it’s too late.
Once you’re in a relationship, your union can go one of two ways—either you stay together for the long haul or you break up. While it may be a bit jarring to think about your relationship in these stark terms, it’s true. You’re either going to be with this person, or you won’t.
At some point, you and your romantic partner will need to talk about the future and understand if you’re on the same page regarding both your relationship and your life goals. This will help you better determine if you will indeed evolve into a forever couple or if you’re destined to only be together for the short term. Here’s when to have the talk—and how to psych yourself up for it—as well as exactly what questions to ask. You’ve got this.
When to Talk About the Future With Your Partner
There’s no set time to have the talk about the future—it’s different for every couple. Typically, you’ll get a feeling that this conversation needs to happen. Your feelings for each other are deepening. Your lives are becoming more entwined. And yet, you haven’t exactly spoken concretely about where your relationship is headed and if your future goals are compatible. When you’re feeling like a talk needs to happen, you know it’s time.
As for the right time to broach the topic of the future, try to pick a moment that’s as neutral and stress-free as possible. After a long work day or following a visit to one of your parents’ houses is probably not the best time. Maybe try a lazy Sunday morning (after you’ve both eaten) to bring up the topic.
Why Talking about the Future Can Be Scary for Couples
If you’re feeling nervous about having this talk, that’s more than understandable. While you may feel like this conversation is needed, you might also have the urge to put it off as long as possible. This is because not knowing your partner’s life and relationship goals could be easier than knowing them. On the one hand, you might find that you are both completely aligned. On the other hand, you might have totally different ideas about where you want your union to go and how you want to live your lives—this discrepancy has the potential to blow up your relationship.
Remember that it’s always better to have an honest, open relationship than live in the dark or in fear of what you don’t know. If you and your partner do indeed have opposing goals or ideals about the future, it’s best to know ASAP so that you can move on before you’re in too deep emotionally (or work together to better align your goals).
Know that having the talk will always feel scary. But not knowing—and having a nagging feeling that you may not ultimately be compatible—is way worse.
5 Serious Questions to Ask Your Boyfriend
The following five questions will help you get the conversation started for talking about the future. Having the answers will allow both you and your partner to have a better idea of each other’s goals and expectations, opening the lines of communication about where you’re headed, both individually and as a couple.
What’s your idea of a happy, fulfilled life?
This question helps you get an overview of what your partner is looking for out of life in general. It’s important to know what his definition of a happy life is, especially if he mentions having a family and a long term partnership right away (since that could involve you). If his answers center more on his professional goals, know that he may prioritize his career above all else. If his focus is more on his values and being a good person, know that he will be more interested in personal development and less focused on material things.
What are your top 5 goals for the future?
Here’s where you can get into more detail about your partner’s goals. If one of his top five goals doesn’t include a relationship, you might want to dig into why that is. If his goals center around travel or living in other countries, you could consider if this is something you would like to be part of (or if it’s even feasible for you). Knowing his goals can provide a window into his ideal future. It’s an opportunity to understand if this is a life you want to be part of. It’s also a chance to discuss how flexible these goals are.
What are your relationship goals?
This question helps you get more details about what kind of relationship your boyfriend ideally wants—and whether or not he wants to get married or have a life partner. You should ask this question so you can understand if your relationship goals match your boyfriend’s.
If you both seek a long term relationship, great. If he’s looking for marriage and you’re not, this is something to address head on so that neither of you waste each other’s time. You’re better off parting ways and finding someone who has similar romantic goals.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Asking this question gives you more clarity on your boyfriend’s goals and the timeline he has for himself. Does he see himself accomplishing the goals he laid out by this time? Why or why not? It also gives you the chance to imagine your life in 10 years and see if his ideas align with yours. Do you both expect to be married with kids? Or do you see yourselves traveling the world? Or are you chasing down your career goals? The answers will help you understand if you’re really compatible for the long run.
Where do you ideally see our relationship going?
Finally, zero in on your union. Now that you’ve been together for as long as you have, what’s the plan? If your boyfriend is still in the “let’s just see what happens” stage, this would be good information for you to have if you’re expecting to be married in the next couple years. If he says he can see a solid future together, then you can feel more confident about staying in the relationship and letting it develop further. Be honest with each other about how things are going between you two—this is your chance to open up and be vulnerable about your wants and needs in your relationship.
Couples Need to Talk
Having a talk about the future can feel overly serious and overwhelming—and that’s okay. It can be a bit nerve wracking to ask someone to open up, and to reveal your own goals and dreams in return. But it’s always better to dig deep with each other than to speculate about where you two are headed. When it comes to relationships, the more information the better, especially if you’re feeling unsure about your current direction.