4 Questions To Ask Yourself At The Start Of A Relationship (If You Want It To Last)

Be sure you know what you are getting yourself into — and why.

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We often find ourselves in one relationship after another, hoping it's the one that truly lasts. So, how do we cut through the noise and ensure our relationship lasts from the get-go?

Licensed therapist Jeff Guenther has some insights. In an Instagram post, he outlines the four questions to ask yourself if you want to start on the right foot and make your relationship last.

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4 Questions To Ask Yourself At The Beginning Of A Relationship (If You Want It To Last)

1. Can you be compassionate?

Showing compassion is key to making your relationship stronger. According to therapist Barton Goldsmith, “Developing and expressing your compassion creates a safe zone for your love and all the feelings and issues that may arise.”

This is why asking if you can be compassionate towards your partner is important. If you can't, this doesn't mean call it quits. But it does mean you have a lot of work to do.

Sit down with your partner and take turns communicating your needs. Make eye contact and use softer language.


"Knowing what each other needs is key," says Goldsmith. It helps you direct your energy better and strengthens your emotional bond, making room for compassion to grow.

2. Is there physical chemistry?

Your physical chemistry shouldn't be underestimated — it's more important than you might realize.



According to Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences Susan Krauss Whitebourne, a study involving 58 heterosexual couples showed just how beneficial sex is for your relationship.


"Sex helps form positive connections with your partner," writes Whitebourne. When one person experiences emotional benefits from sex so does the other person.

If you're struggling with intimacy try and schedule sex. As life gets busier, it's essential to have a conversation with your partner about how to navigate intimacy and sex. Use code words or simply ask your partner if they're down for intimacy.

Also, be sure to put each other first, especially as you have children. As they say, the healthiest relationships are formed when you prioritize each other.

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3. Can you ask them to change their behavior?

When you communicate with your partner about their behavior, their reaction can be telling. Some may become defensive while others are open to change. Therapist Guenther suggests that this response can be a valuable indicator of the longevity of your relationship.

If your partner struggles with changing their behavior, try sitting down with them first. Use 'I' statements to express your feelings and concerns.

Say, "I feel that I'm having a hard time getting you to change your behavior. What can we do to come up with a solution?"

This statement allows for an open discussion without placing blame on your partner.


4. Do you enjoy the different versions of them?

Your partner will inevitably show different sides of themselves, and this will vary depending on who they're with. The question is can you tolerate and grow to appreciate the different versions of your partner?

If you can't, then this is an indicator that your relationship may not last. But before you throw in the towel, try and reflect on yourself first. There are sides of yourself that you probably don't like. The clingy side, the messy side, or the hangry side (guilty).

If your partner can tolerate you at your worst, perhaps you can reciprocate by showing more grace in tolerating them as well.


Former clinical psychologist turned author Alice Boyes gives us insight on how to better accept your partner's flaws.

Boyer advises:

  • Reevaluate how serious your partner’s flaws are.
  • Acknowledge you have flaws too.
  • Ask yourself why their flaws irritate you so much.
  • Ask yourself if your partner should value what you value.

By asking these four simple questions, you can better navigate how to make your relationship last longer.

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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.