Note: Although the article which inspired this post is centered on marriage, the discussion in this space does not have to be, as not everyone wants to get married, and not everyone is legally allowed to marry the person and/or all the people with whom they're partnered, e.g. same-sex couples in localities where same-sex marriage is still not legal or polyamorous people with multiple partners. And not all questions at the link will apply to all partnerships, e.g. asexual couples. So please feel welcome and encouraged to expand the definitions as is appropriate to your circumstances, provided you are a person who is interested in long-term partnerships in the first place.
In the New York Times, Eleanor Stanford offers her suggestions for "13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married."
I think it's a pretty solid list, with the caveat that it only works if the people having the conversation are being honest. And it's important to recognize that one's answers can change over time, as people grow and learn and change.
Which brings me to my invitation to suggest what you think are important questions for people to ask their partner(s).
Because my first addition to the list is: If we don't fundamentally disagree on any of these subjects now, how will we negotiate those differences in the future?
The other suggestion I'd make, again on the subject of change over time, is: How will you feel if my body/appearance significantly changes at any point in our relationship, due to age, pregnancy, illness, injury, disability, and/or weight gain?
Those, like the ones on the list, are fairly specific questions for discussion. But the question I would recommend most of all is much more nebulous: Do you like me as much as you love me?
Iain and I will soon mark 15 years of being together. And that question is what came to mind when I thought about the one thing we both needed to know about each other over the course of those years.
There have been moments where we don't like each other, but love has seen us through, and moments where we don't love each other, but liking each other has seen us through.
And every disagreement we've had, no matter how significant, gets resolved because we both love and like each other enough to make the effort.
Anyway! What are your suggestions?