Sonja's Compatibility Questions - exercise version
This exercise is intended to be done as follows:
Each person should print out a copy of this exercise. They should then
answer the questions in writing, thoughtfully, honestly, and completely.
This will take several hours. They should not discuss the questions
until they are finished. If you think the question is stupid, you're
not thinking about it hard enough.
Once they have finished answering the questions, they should get together
again and discuss the answers. It is OK to disagree. The point of
taking a test like this is to find out where you agree and disagree with
each other, which gives you a starting point for resolving your
Please note that I am not a psychologist or counselor. These questions
were developed from my own experience, and are provided here for people
who do not want, for one reason or another, to consult a professional
counselor or minister about their relationship before marriage. I highly
recommend professional counseling.
- How much private time/space do you need? Are there any of your
belongings you don't want your partner looking in? What kind of
private time do you need?
- What do you like to do with your partner? What do you expect
your evenings and weekends to be like once you are married? Is
that OK? How often do you expect to go out? Where do you like
- Where do you want to go/what do you want to do on vacation?
How frequently do you want to go? For how long? Are you a
3-day weekend person or a 2-week vacation person?
- When you get together with other people as a couple, do you
feel that your partner treats you well in public? How do you
wish you were treated differently? Do you have a lot of
common friends? Do you think it's OK for couples to argue
in public, or should they only argue in private? Is it OK to
argue about some things, but not others? Is it OK to disagree,
but not to argue?
- How often do you like to go to parties? What kind of parties do
you like to go to? Do you like to host your own parties?
What kind? How about hosting more casual get-togethers? How
often do you expect to do these things?
- How do you get along with your partner's family? How do you feel
about the way your partner gets along with their own family?
- What do you expect to do over the next 10 years? 20 years?
Be as specific as possible. Do you expect to have kids, buy
a house, change careers?
- If your partner got transferred to another city, what would you do?
- In what parts of the country/world would you like to live?
- Do you want to live in a small town? City? Suburb? Country?
- What kind of house/condo/apartment do you see yourself living in?
New construction? 20 year old construction? 80 year old
construction? Ranch? 2-story? Big master bedroom? Lots of
- Do you expect to be married to this person for the rest of your
life? What does marriage mean to you?
- What do you think constitutes an acceptable reason for divorce?
(think about it. Is it acceptable to get a divorce if your partner
is an alcoholic for 10 years? 5 years? 6 months? If they physically
abuse you? For how long/what severity? If they convert to a
religion you disagree with? If they have an affair? If they
lose their sex drive? If they stop taking care of their body?
What does it mean, to "stop taking care of your body?" If they
won't help out with the dishes and the cooking?)
Will you commit to getting marital counselling before getting a
- What about responsibilities in marriage? Who is responsible for keeping
the house presentable? Who pays the bills? Who cooks? Just saying,
"we'll share these duties" isn't really good enough. How do you think
it will *really* work, in practice? Is that going to be OK, or are
you going to feel like you're doing more/less of the work?
- How about sexual compatibility? If you haven't already been living
together for a long time, you probably don't really know how sexually
compatible you are. Do you prefer to have sex in the morning? In
the afternoon? Early evening? Just before going to sleep? How
often do you like to have sex? Once a day? Twice a week? Once a
week? Again, you may not really know the answers to these questions
unless you've been living together for a long time. Do you need a
lot of foreplay? What is foreplay? Are you ready to have sex anytime,
or only in particular moods/times/situations?
- What about masturbation? Do you think masturbation is good or bad?
Are there times when you'd rather masturbate than have sex? Why?
Would you like to be able to masturbate with your partner there,
maybe holding you or caressing you, or is masturbation essentially
private for you? What if your partner asked you to do these things
- How about other physical compatibility? Do you like sleeping curled up
together, or with space between you? Do you think frequent snuggling/
hugs/kisses/tickles/etc. are important?
- Do you like to watch TV in bed? Read in bed? Does having someone
watching TV or reading in bed keep you from sleeping? Do you have
objections on other grounds to TV or books in bed?
- How should money be spent and saved?
If the TV broke, would you replace it right away, whether or not
you could really afford it? Would it be OK to charge it to a credit
card? How about if the car broke? If you were buying a new car,
would it be OK to buy a car that wasn't the cheapest one you could
find? Would you buy a used car? Would you buy the cheapest car that
you thought was reliable?
How much do you expect to spend on your relatives as gifts?
Is it important to you to save for your childrens college education?
To save enough to pay for all of it? Is it more important to save
for their educations than to buy them nice clothes in elementary
How about saving for retirement?
- What kind of financial arrangements do you think would work best
for you and your partner? All joint accounts? Separate accounts?
Joint and separate accounts? If you're using some variant on
separate accounts, will you each pay a proportional
share of joint expenses? An equal share? Pool everything, but
each get spending money to put into individual accounts?
How do you feel about the options that aren't your first choice?
- Do you want to have kids? How many? Will one of you stay home
with them? For how long? How do you feel about daycare? How
will you discipline them? Will they be allowed to watch TV?
Do you have ideas about what kinds of foods kids should eat?
- What religious/cultural background do you come from? Do you want
your kids to be raised in your religion/culture? Is it important
to you to celebrate holidays in your traditions?
- Do you want to visit family for holidays, or stay home? Will this
change for you if you have kids? Which holidays is it important
for you to spend with your family?
- What kind of food do you like to eat on a daily basis? Do you like
to just catch some meals for yourself, even when your partner's
home, or do you always want to eat together when possible?
Does the way your partner eats bother you?
- What about jealousy? Is it OK for your partner to talk with members of
the appropriate sex? Touch them? Flirt with them? Kiss them? Have
sex with them? Fall in love with them? Is it OK to go out alone
with them to a restaurant? To a movie? Back to their place? In
what circumstances? Do you want/expect to do any of these things?
- Do you feel that you and your partner resolve differences and
discuss relationship issues well?
Do you feel that you carry an unfair burden in resolving
differences and discussing relationship issues? What would you
like to change about the way you do this?