10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Loving Someone
Questions you may not have thought of before.
Posted Nov 03, 2017
Questions are everything. Without them, we don’t find answers. They act as rudders that direct us in the life direction we want to go. So it’s important we ask ourselves the right questions before investing our time, energy, and heart in someone. But since our brains are just on a continuous replay loop, we are always asking the same fucking questions.
Not today, friend.
Okay, real quick. I lied about something. There’s only one question you really need to ask yourself. But don’t scroll down and try to find it because you’re going to miss some good stuff, something that may change your thinking and give you a fresh perspective. Listen, you’re still going to get your ten questions. I promise. It seems like everyone these days just clicks on listicles then runs through the numbered list without reading the explanation. And you won’t get the most out of the read. So today, I’m helping you break that pattern, you gotta earn that shit by actually reading the entire article. I’m making this stand for all writers, not just for me and my controlling ways. So I’ve breadcrumbed/buried the questions. Without a list or numbers. For you. Not me. Please don’t be mad.
I’ll front load a few now so you don’t leave.
How does he make me feel? Yes, that one’s obvious. But a better question to ask is how do I feel about myself when I’m around him? This question brings it back to you but more importantly, can be a measure of how you’re treated. Because someone can make you feel good if you find them attractive or hot or whatever. But if you feel shitty about yourself around that person, that may be telling of the kind of space they’re creating for you. Now, of course, the next question is, how much of you feeling shitty about yourself is your own stuff and insecurities and how much of it is something they’re doing or not doing? But how you feel about yourself when you’re around someone is a very important question. The reason is if someone is supportive and holding space/you, the relationship, instead of grabbing, controlling, and owning, you’re going to feel good about yourself because they’re creating a safe space. Safe spaces are where people grow and relationships thrive. So if someone is criticizing, judging, controlling, unaccepting and unsupportive, you’re going to feel shitty about yourself. Because that space is not safe.
Another question that goes under the radar that people don’t put much weight on but I believe is important is:
Are they thoughtful? Yes, it may not be a dealbreaker but thoughtfulness goes a long fucking way when you’re three years in and the sex isn’t the same and little shit about them are starting to really annoy you. Because thoughtfulness is them thinking about you in action. Being thoughtful is proof that they are thinking about you because you can’t be thoughtful without actually thinking about the person, right? Notes, cards, texts, love letters, a birthday gift that you actually like because they listened and remembered, all of that is a way of connecting. Thoughtfulness equals connection. So if they are not thoughtful, they’re not connecting. Yes, it doesn’t necessarily mean they love you less or aren’t thinking about you. But it kinda does. Also, it fuels the loving banter, the back and forth. If you’re super thoughtful and your partner doesn’t give you anything back, you’re playing frisbee by yourself.
One of my favorite questions, do you see home in their eyes?
Now everyone has their own definition of home. For some, it’s a list of things. For some, it’s security. For some, it’s a cute baby. For some, it’s action driven. For some, it’s a feeling. But home is home. And at the end of the day, it’s what we all want.
Under the umbrella of this question, there are many other important questions.
Are they supportive of you and your journey? Huge. If you find your partner to be jealous or competitive, or want you to do something or be someone you’re not, they are making it about them, obviously. In the relationship, they will be bringing you down, not lifting you up. Sulking you instead of sharpening you. It’s not sustainable. You will only take so much. Once you believe you have worth, you’ll peace out. Trust me. Do not waste your time on anyone who is not supportive of you and your journey.
A quick note about questions. If it’s a yes or no question, then follow up the same question with a how. For example, are they supportive of you and your journey? Yes. Okay, how are they supportive of you and your journey? Because sometimes we think they are because they say it but when we ask ourselves how, we come short with examples. How questions force us to really examine what’s going on. It demands proof.
Moving on. Are they tactile? This isn’t just me sharing a personal preference. It’s a real thing and an interesting question many don’t consider. There is something called skin hunger. And some people have high skin hunger, need to be touched and cuddled. And some don’t care for it. So if you’re someone who not only wants but needs to be touched, home isn’t going to be with someone who doesn’t like to touch or be touched. It’s like dogs and cats. If you stop petting your dog, she will probably fall into a deep depression. Stop petting your cat and she may be happier. It’s not a love thing. It’s a wiring love language thing. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but if you think about the day to day of a relationship and how much time we spend with each other, it’s as significant as chemistry and humor.
How do they fight? Because you know it’s never about how many times we fight. It’s about how we fight. If they don’t fight fair. If they steamroll, storm out of rooms, or throw chairs, that’s not home. That’s a red flag.
Do they take care of themselves? This is probably a question our parents didn’t ask themselves when they were courting each other because it was a different time then. Wellness is a lifestyle today and it matters. I’m not just saying this because I’m a therapist. It’s a human thing. And by taking care of oneself, I’m not referring to hygiene, although that may be a make or break for some. I mean are they feeding their brain, exercising their body, conscious of their diet, and working on their mental and emotional well being? Because if this will directly affect your life. Or are they just chasing success but deteriorating. Mind, body, and soul. You are investing in a whole self-sustaining person. Not just someone with an ability. It’s not just an attractive thing. It’s a health thing. Like they actually may die early. Stress kills people. We all have a responsibility to take care of ourselves or other people end up doing it and that’s not fair to the other person. Also, if they don’t take care of themselves, they probably don’t love themselves on a deeper level and if they don’t love themselves, they can’t love you. Or at least in a healthy fulfilling way.
How are you doing? Are you still mad I didn’t number and bold these? Or are you annoyed I’m calling attention to it and it reads cutesy? Well, this is the mood I’m in today. Here’s another one you may not have thought of.
Do they use a lot of “I’s” in their sentences? Basically, do they always make it about them? Some people have this thing where no matter what you talk about, they end up making it about them. It’s actually kind of impressive because they’re so good at it, you don’t notice until they leave and you’re sitting there feeling like a therapist. Who never gets paid. If they do, it means they’re going to be taking in the relationship instead of giving. And people who take very little ownership. And if they are not able to take any ownership, there is no room for growth. They will be at you instead of with you. They are not relationship-able. Sorry, had to. No, they may not be abusive. Yes, they may still love you. But the relationship will be lopsided and lopsided equals unhealthy, equals unsustainable.
As a therapist, I do encourage “I” statements. But that’s to own your feelings and validate yourself. Not to forget about the person you love.
How are they good for me? Not just are they good for me, but how. I want examples. Or you may be misleading yourself because you feel something. We are obsessed with sugar (chemistry) instead of the protein (if they’re good for us). And sugar doesn’t last. It just creates cavities. So ask yourself if he or she is good for you. Not just good for you right now. Because you can also fool yourself into liking someone because they are giving you protein right now, something you haven’t had in so long or maybe ever, but that doesn’ necessary mean you like the person. Make sure you ask yourself if they’re good for you in the long-run. Not good for you right now. If so, how? Make a list. If there’s nothing on the list or it’s very short, then ask yourself why you are with them? And if that list is also empty or super short, you don’t have enough to build something.
Which brings me to:
Okay, here it is, the one question you really need to ask. Yes, all the questions above are important. And I’m sure you have many more great questions you ask yourself. But at the end of the day, there’s only one question you really need to ask before you choose to invest or not. Because everything hangs on this. If the answer is no, the other stuff doesn’t matter. The house crumbles.
Can I build something with this person?
Because relationships are built, like houses and bodies and careers. That means tools are required. By tools I mean ability. And I think this is where we drop the ball. We rarely think about one’s tools. We get excited about charisma, chemistry, and how they make us feel. Then we invest and realize they can’t build anything. So ask yourself, are they self-aware? Or are they just a walking reaction? Do they try to understand before trying to be understood? Are they working on themselves? Have they ever? Have they been through some shit and come out the other end better, stronger, with wisdom and reflection? That says a lot. Are they aware of their energy? Their actions? Their negativity? Their choice of words?
I don’t have to say this because you know how tough relationships are. And throw into that mix, stress from the daily turbulence known as life, random events that are thrown at us, the battlefield known as our heads, and people constantly changing, and love can turn into a shit storm.
And I don’t want to end on that sentence.
But if you find someone who has the ability to build something amazing, that shit storm will have nothing on you guys and your home will be weatherproof and bulletproof and love will grow and blossom and be the most beautiful thing you ever experience. It will be bigger than the both of you. Your insecurities. Yourself-doubt. Your weaknesses. Your wandering eyes. Your success. Your failures. Your fears.
When you build something solid and healthy, the relationship will be its own living breathing thing, new legs in your life, and force both of you to learn and grown and be better versions of yourselves. And all the shit that happens in this world, including your changes, won’t matter because you have built the most powerful weapon we possess as humans, healthy love.
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The most comfortable and wisest people are those who watch their health when they are healthy; guard their country when it is untroubled; and cultivate their fields well when weeds are nonexistent or scarce. - Reverend Dosung Yoo