37 Extremely Important Questions You Must Answer Before Getting Married Or You’re Doomed

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of so much marriage equality. Maybe you became so overwhelmed with joy and pride these past couple of weeks, that you enthusiastically proposed to your partner in the middle of the dyke march. But before rushing down the aisle towards marital bliss, there are a few things you should probably learn about your lover.

You’ve probably seen articles to this effect being shared on social media by your smug married friends, like Absolutely Do Not Marry Your Partner Unless You Know The Answers To These Extremely Important Questions. And some are fair, you probably should have a little chat to see whether you both want children and how far you’d be willing to move for your partner’s career. SURE. I guess. But I can’t help feeling there are so many other questions to be asked which are equally important, if not moreso, when it comes to managing marital expectations.

Questions to ask your partner before asking The Question

1. How far out of your way would you travel to bring me home a burrito?

2. What is the maximum number of cats you’re comfortable with owning at one time?

3. Do you agree that our pets should not be allowed in the bedroom while we’re sleeping and/or sexing?

4. When we’re down to the last $12 for the week, will you buy apples or cheesecake?

5. What is your stance on Halloween couple costumes?

6. How far out of your way would you travel to bring me home a burrito if I’m having a really terrible day?

7. Jenny Schecter: entertaining or irritating?

8. How many holidays per year are you prepared to spend with my grandmother in Florida?

9. Are multiple appetizers an acceptable substitute for an entree?

10. If our future child/ren refused to eat the meal we served them, how would you respond?

11. Will you expect me to text you as frequently once we’re married?

12. Who do you believe should control the music on road trips?

13. Blue and black, or white and gold?

14. How many times per week/month can I do a solo and/or friend activity without inviting you?

15. What level of communication and/or friendship is acceptable with regard to our exes?

16. What time/day is the best time/day to go grocery shopping?

17. Are there any theme parks that you would absolutely never want to vacation to?

18. Cram five days of clothes into carry-on, or pay $25 for checked luggage?

19. What is your stance on reading each others’ texts and emails over each others’ shoulders?

20. What is the maximum amount of time that in-laws can stay under our roof?

21. Will you always expect me to be the one who carries cash in our marriage?

22. Will you just finish the damn ice cream before buying and opening a new tub?

23. What are your precise expectations re: the level of gift-giving, surprising and romance on our wedding anniversary?

24. Will you expect me to stop [bad habit] once we’re married?

25. At what level does the gas tank need to be filled up?

26. How do you feel about me keeping items from past relationships, e.g. jewelry, photos?

27. What is your stance on having a conversation while one of us is using the bathroom?

28. Who is responsible for insect removal?

29. What is your stance on engagement photos?

30. Will you allow me to name our future cat after a Harry Potter reference?

31. Are there any TV shows that I absolutely must not watch until you get home?

32. What level of social media exposure are you comfortable with?

33. Does the cutlery get placed into the dishwasher handle up or handle down?

34. How many hours early should you arrive at the airport prior to a domestic flight?

35. Do you think it’s ok to buy the giant size mayonnaise container that will last forever and force you to put your entire hand inside the jar to get to the bottom of it six months from now? Or do you think it’s an all-around better plan to buy the very small container of mayonnaise that will run out in a very reasonable amount of time and won’t require you to be elbow-deep in mayonnaise?

36. If/when you wear an item of my clothing, how promptly will you launder it so that I can have it back?

37. When you need to order food for both of us, but I’m not available to tell you my preferences, what will you order?

This is by no means the comprehensive list. Add yours in the comments to help ensure that we all live happily ever after.

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Founding member. Former writer. Still loves Autostraddle with her whole heart.

Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. 38. Do you put your laundry away after it’s folded, or use your laundry basket/floor/spare chair as an additional dresser?

    39. If I have dessert, will you try to share mine, or will you know to get your own? (most important question, probs)

  2. I just went through these questions with myself because I’m single af and honestly it was just a really good way to evaluate my life priorities, which apparently include never checking luggage because I had a really strong gut reaction to that one. So, from your unintended audience, thanks for this!

  3. 19. What is your stance on reading each others’ texts and emails over each others’ shoulders? (Ugh this is a killer for me. Definitely one of the main reasons I broke up with my ex. If you can’t trust, or at least try to trust, who/what they’re texting, you probably shouldn’t get married).

    30. Will you allow me to name our future cat after a Harry Potter reference? (HAGRID PLEASE!)

    • I don’t know…the texting thing is not a big deal to me. I mean don’t go around attempting to read and see everything my significant other does, but if you happen to walk in and see something just because you have eyes and you notice the screen, then I don’t think it’s a big deal. I think the big deal is when someone is all like “privacy please!” Unless you are texting your best friend asking for relationship advice and you don’t want me to see your anxieties, there is no real reason to hide harmless conversations. I think it’s okay to be a little nervous if your SO is texting other girls all the time and then claiming “privacy!” Especially if you have been cheated on before. That’s a whole other reason not to get married…I am more on the side of the anxious person though, than the one who is all concerned about privacy.

      For the record, I don’t read over people’s shoulders on purpose, but I have occasionally glanced at perfectly harmless conversations and just as quickly looked away. You can trust someone completely and still just be a curious and nosy person. :-)

      • “You can trust someone completely and still just be a curious and nosy person.”

        Totally agree and love this, Heather! I was thinking more about the purposely reading through someone’s texts/facebook conversations…ie more than just looking over the shoulder. Definitely takes trust and care and understanding on both sides. It takes two to tango (is that even relevant here? Hmm good enough!)

        • Totally agree. :) …I’ve always found it odd when people are like, umm, my boyfriend/girlfriend shares their passwords because that’s what trust is…


          I do think it’s weird when people read texts and e-mails like some sort of corporate computer check: “Any porn on here? No? Good, let’s keep it that way.”

    “mawwage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam wivin a dweam.” mawwage also sounds like a lot of fun. i can’t wait to name our 8 cats, have late night mayonnaise feasts while binge-watching OITNB, disagree on music & pop culture but unite forces to raise out fantastically defiant kids, generally fail at figuring life out but enjoying the hell out of it because you get to do it with THIS INCREDIBLE HUMAN.

      • My sister read all of the Harry Potter books except for the 7th, which she started but never finished because she said she knew how it ended. When the last movie came out she texted me to ask if Harry was actually Snape’s son because apparently that’s what she got from watching Snape’s memories. I bought her the last book as an engagement book & told her she needed to finish the damn thing before she could even think about being grown up enough to get married. She didn’t read it. We don’t talk about Harry Potter anymore. It gets me too worked up.

        • I said engagement book when clearly I meant engagement gift. But now that I think about it, engagement books may not be a bad thing. I like to think I’d appreciate getting lots of new books just for getting engaged. Now I need to go find a fiancé!

  5. Other important questions:

    how many times a day/week are you willing to eat pizza?

    What is your stance on Ben and Jerry’s [phish food] ice cream? (Insert whatever fabulous flavor is important to you)

    How many times are you willing to rewatch Buffy?

  6. I would personally add a second part to question 9.
    9. Are multiple appetizers an acceptable substitute for an entree?
    Is one appetizer and multiple desserts an acceptable substitute for an entree?
    Or actually just multiple desserts.

  7. – Are there any foods I don’t like that will keep coming up again and again because what kind of person categorically doesn’t like cheese or guacamole?

    – Do chores need to happen daily or can we dedicate one day to cleaning?

    – Is there a closet clothes hanging system that must be adhered to so you can keep track of what’s getting donated and what is being kept? Are there any emotionally exempt items?

  8. 40. what is your stance on me watching netflix without you present (on a show we are watching together but cant find the time right now)

    41. As Ive moved to another country to be with you where the language is not english…. how fluent do you require me to be? Can I get away with knowing how to order beer and all the swears, or do I need to be able to hold conversations with strangers?

    42. How comfortable are you with sharing underwear in emergencies?

    43. Paired socks or a drawer full of sock chaos?

    44. Tea bag in or out?

  9. I was some of like, “Harhar, these are funny,” until I arrived at #20, which I literally broke up with someone about because my answer was, “1 week” and hers was “As long as they want, with no notice when they’re coming OR leaving.”
    Oh god, the rage flashback.

  10. Handle up/handle down is a BIG DEAL, y’all. (up, btw. Being stabbed with the tines of a fork is not cool)

    Also: Do you think Harry Potter related t-shirt plus black jeans is dressy enough for date attire? (the answer is always)

    • Definitely handle up. Not only does it prevent being stabbed by forks when unloading, but it’s also easier to grab things and put them away. (Also, no getting your hands on the part of the utensil that goes into your mouth)

      I have a lot of strong feelings about loading the dishwasher.

  11. How hardcore are you about recycling? Will you wash food containers even when you’re tired and/or grumpy? Are you willing to have approximately a hundred used kombucha bottles serving various purposes around the house?

    When I have sky clad witchy rituals under the full moon replete with chanting, howling and 101 uses for menstrual blood will you be a.) backing me up on the drum b.) silently holding space or c.) eyeballing the ritual food and fantasizing about the X-Files revival?

  12. Great questions haha!

    Also one of my favorite ways to eat dinner is skip main course and get multiple appetizers + cheese plate + dessert. These are all perfect to share too <3 although if we are sharing dessert, we are sharing TWO desserts, sharing one dessert is unacceptable.

  13. Asking the important question:

    When we’re down to the last $12 for the week, will you buy apples or cheesecake?

    Are there any TV shows that I absolutely must not watch until you get home? – imPORTANT

  14. This is fantastic. Just to add a few more thoughts:

    Will you replace the toilet paper roll within a timely manner or just leave a person stranded?
    Will you try to have a discussion while I am reading a book or just leave me be? Follow up, how long is too long to marathon read a book/ series without interacting?
    Finally, and this is important, windows in the car always down or always up?

  15. When replacing the toilet paper will you have the roll start from the top or the bottom?
    Do you set one alarm in the morning or fifteen alarms in the morning?
    When you say “I’m on my way,” are you actually on your way? Or have you just gotten out of the shower?

  16. How motivated are you to buy and replace the water filter? Does it need to taste like chlorine first? If so, for how long?

    When does a sponge get to retire?

    Temperature threshold for AC?

    How many times will you let me listen to the same song over and over again in a row? Is a one-hour loop too long?

    • great additions!

      we actually get into tiffs all the time about the damn sponges.

      like, you can’t use the same sponge to wash dishes that you just used to wipe down the counters unless you’ve put it in the microwave for 2 minutes to boil any germs.

      she also never (and i’m not saying “never” just to be dramatic) puts the bottle opener back where we hang it. its just sitting on the counter…… 6 inches from where it goes!!

  17. i. How do you feel about my irrational love of fictional characters?

    ii. Will you actively encourage my flailing over the USWNT? If so – how?

    iii. How much fanfiction is too much?

    (iii. is a trick question)

  18. My list would have at least 15 more questions about taste in food and going out to eat. I love sharing food (especially when I go out because then you get to try different dishes) and I love cooking with people, feeding them delicious things and trying new cuisines. I don’t know what I’d do if I had a partner who didn’t love food or want to eat the things I make. “How many nights a week would you be willing to get Indian food?” Is also definitely on my list.

  19. Re: the burrito questions

    I think that the fact that burritos appear twice on this list points to another question that oughtn’t be left unmentioned: how do you feel about chile and spicy food in general?

    The first girl I was into was sort of shocked at the amount I put on my food (not on hers, I’m not mean!). I’m not sure things would have worked out even if she had been flirting, like I somehow mistakenly thought. Salsa is seriously important.

  20. Addendum to 30: Also, how do you feel about naming cats after Discworld characters? Because..you know.. Greebo.

    -What is your stance on cilantro? Would it be a problem if I put a lot of it in everything?
    -Are you the type of sleeper who ends up elbowing your partner every night in your sleep? Or, do you find that you’ve edged your partner close enough to the edge of the bed that they could fall off? (My. Ex. Did. This. Every. Night.)
    -Does it put you off that I get legit emotional over characters in video games and/or books?

  21. The wonderful thing about this list is my partner and I have already figured most of those out or talked about them! Like recently, I woke up to bad news and cried and she totally offered to drive to the store and buy me my favorite pizza. But normally she won’t becauss she hates wasting gas.

  22. These are all extremely important. The answer to 12. though is obviously that the driver chooses the music and shotgun shuts their cake hole.

    I would like to add:
    – Star Wars or Star Trek?
    – Cereal for dinner, yay or nay?
    – Will you take the melody or harmony parts of our epic car duets?

  23. I’m a terrible person and tend to start conversations with people from different rooms regardless of whether they’re in the bathroom or not… this was fine when I was living at home as my whole family did it but I’m p sure my flatmate finds it alarming in our tiny flat. I’m trying to stop!

  24. More Important Questions To Add:

    – I often make non sequitur responses to conversations had hours/days/weeks ago without any warning. Is this:
    a) adorable
    b) infuriating
    c) you’re right, those kittens were cute

    – Do you taste your food before you add salt to it (TO SEE IF THE SALT IS NEEDED. SOMETIMES IT’S NOT NEEDED, OKAY? I’M A GOOD COOK)

    – Will you clean out the toothbrush holder for me/judge me for throwing it away if not?

    – Do you leave the lights on in rooms you’re not using?

    These are all general questions and not specific to me at all…

  25. Will you get mad if I don’t realize it’s time to go grocery shopping until I can’t make a grilled cheese sandwich?

    Alternatively, are you willing to do all the grocery shopping and make sure I can always make a grilled cheese sandwich?

  26. These are wonderful…the girlfriend and i have some chatting to do i also would like to know 1) how many days is it permissible to eat cereal for dinner? 2) can i name a future pet after vegetables? Cause squash and bean are looking promising

  27. For those playing in Australia:

    Do you keep your tomato sauce in the fridge of the pantry?

    If there is a huntsman the size of my face above the door, will you get rid of it, and when you do, will you try and shimmy it out with a broom or will you unload an entire can of Mortein on the bastard?

    Christmas lunch, hot meats or prawns?

    Claudia Karvan or Asher Keddie?

    • VERY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS for the Australians.

      Tomato sauce belongs in the pantry or for the right person I will avoid the debate by having two bottles.

      Huntsman elimination by newspaper and shoe or full can of anything poisonous in sight.

      Christmas lunch…I grew up with hot meats but willing to do lunch with prawns and dinner with meats.

      The last question is a complete deal breaker…Asher Keddie all the way!!

      I would also add the following questions

      Vegemite chocolate yay or nay?

      40 degree day, beach or movies?

      gelato messina or n2?

      and bonus question for the Victorians…. Torquay or Angelsea?

    • Sauce in the pantry only until the jar is opened, because IT’S HOME MADE.

      Ideally I’d like to shimmy the Huntsman out, but I am terrified of spiders and I will reach for the mortein and feel awful afterwards. You will understand this and not judge me.

      Hot Christmas lunch everytime. Who likes prawns??

      Claudia Karvan!!

  28. Okay but you couldn’t get a very good cheesecake for just $12 but you could, and I did the calculations for this, if you buy the cheapest brands of everything, you could buy a 2 lb bag of apples AND all the ingredients to make cheesecake from scratch for just under $12.

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