1. What they want in the future vs. what they expect right now, and what they really mean when they say, “well, I’m not sure…” Sometimes people don’t want to come out and say “no, I don’t want to have kids,” because they know that’s a deal-breaker: and it should be. You have to figure out whether or not what you have is a temporary fling or a romance that could last, and if your individual desires align enough for it to work.
2. Religious beliefs and moral codes; not in the sense that they have to be the same, but that you can tolerate them without resentment, and vice versa. Look, some people are set on marrying or being in a relationship with someone of the same religious affiliation, ethnic background, or what have you, and there’s nothing wrong with this.
3. Who they used to be. You have to know someone’s story. You have to know where they were and how they were hurt and who they used to be, even if it’s sad and embarrassing and unfortunate. You need the ability to decipher why they act out in the ways that they do.
4. How they define a relationship, (particularly yours). Further, how they define “sex” or other physical relations. You have to be on the same page with these things, or else you end up completely shattered when you realize what you thought was a serious, monogamous “relationship” only meant casual dating to someone else.
5. What they want out of the relationship physically, and whether or not that aligns with what you want. There is no right and wrong when it comes to the physical aspect of a relationship, it’s just what both people are comfortable with, and those desires and expectations have to be able to jive together.
6. Core beliefs and ideologies. If you’re a feminist and can’t stand people who think female oppression is a thing of the past, you’re probably going to want to know whether or not the object of your affection agrees.
7. How they deal with conflict in the post-honeymoon phase. Yeah, okay, everything is happy and wonderful at first, but how are they going to be when you really start getting into the nitty gritty of love? You have to talk about conflict-resolution and how you’re going to implement it before-the-fact.
8. What they are afraid of. It’s telling of someone, but it’s more telling that they’re willing to share that with you. It lets you into another dimension of who they are.
9. How they want to spend their days. Essentially, do your lifestyles align?
10. How they really feel about you. What people say and how people really feel tends to come in between blurred lines. People will, more often than not, have enough heart to not want to hurt you directly, so they’ll sugar-coat how they really feel. But the thing about people is that they usually cannot coat their actions.