How to Get to Know Someone Before Dating Seriously

Gabrielle Applebury
Couple drinking coffee

If you've just started dating someone, or have been dating for a while and are wondering whether your partner is a good fit for you, spend some time getting to know them on a deeper level. That way you can take a step back and evaluate whether this relationship meets your needs.

Learning About Your Partner

It can be tempting to jump into a relationship quickly. Keep in mind that most people are on their best behavior at the very beginning of the dating process. It can take several months to get to know someone well enough to determine if they are a healthy partner choice for you.

Important Discussions to Have

One of the easiest ways to get to know someone better is to discuss topics that are meaningful to both of you. These conversations don't have to be super heavy or even serious, but they are important to discuss at some point. You can consider talking about:

  • What you want your future to look like
  • Whether you'd like to have kids and if so how many
  • Where you imagine yourself living
  • What your day-to-day looks like
  • If you have certain beliefs that influence your decisions
  • What your perfect day looks like
  • Your relationship with your family
  • What your friendships are like
  • What your future goals are
  • How you handle conflict
  • What your relationship with your emotions is like

Get to Know You Games

Playing games together can help you see if your partner is a strict rule follower, or more go with the flow. It can also highlight a fun nature and competitiveness. Games can be played with just each other, or with friends and family members as a fun way to break the ice. You can play:

  • Jacks for a hint of childhood nostalgia.
  • Card games like gin, war, and go-fish.
  • Monopoly and Jenga are great to play with family and friends.
  • Team up and play Pictionary to see how well you read each other.

Activities that Expose Your Partner's True Self

Even though talking is a great way to get to know someone, a lot can be said for better understanding your partner's behavior. Someone you're dating may tell you one thing, but behave totally differently. When deciding whether to date someone more seriously, it's important to find a healthy partner whose verbal and behavioral cues are aligned. If not, it's important to note if other red flags are present as well. Great activities to do together include:

  • Going on a hike you've both never done before. This way you'll get to explore and map your path together which is a great way to bond. You'll also be able to tell which one of you tends to take charge in the relationship dynamic.
  • Training for a 5k together can help you better understand each other's physical and mental stamina and determination.
  • Volunteering together can give you a look at your potential partner's empathetic side.
couple hiking together

Bring Your Partner Into Your Inner Circle

For some getting the approval of friends and family can be the most telling sign that a potential partner is a good match. Introducing your partner to friends and family members can be nerve wracking, but it gives you valuable information about how well they fit in with the important people in your life. If you want to start off slowly, you can introduce your partner to a few friends or family members and build up to larger gatherings. First time meetings can be a bit uncomfortable, so planning an activity can make it a bit easier. You can:

  • Go bowling.
  • Cook a meal together.
  • Head to the beach and have a potluck picnic.
  • Go indoor skydiving if your group is the adventurous type.
  • See an afternoon movie and head to lunch.
  • Head to a restaurant with games and activities like darts, shuffle board, and pool.

Spend a Typical Day Together

At the end of the day, it's important that whoever you end up with is happy to spend time with you even when life is uneventful. Hang out with your partner and spend the day doing what you would normally do. Think about how you feel with them throughout the day and whether you think you'd be happy doing regular day-to-day tasks with them. If you do, it's a great sign that they have potential to be a serious partner.

Take a Day Trip Together

Planning a mini trip together can tell you a lot about your potential partner's planning abilities, decisiveness, and adventurous side. Planning and taking a trip together gives you lots of time to see if you two travel and work well together. This gives you an opportunity to reflect on how you felt planning and travelling with them. If you've been dating for a bit longer, and you feel comfortable spending the night together, you can plan a weekend getaway.

Stay In Touch

Throughout the day send your partner or potential partner texts and note how responsive they are. When determining whether the person you're seeing is a good fit, it's important that your communication styles are compatible. If not, there's a good chance that communication issues will surface later on. Think of staying in touch as a good marker for how well your partner communicates and meets your needs.

Have a Night in

A night in is a good way to see if you two can just be together without any outside distractions. You can plan a movie night together, have a fun spa evening, cook dinner and dessert together, and snuggle up and read a good book. If you feel comfortable spending quiet time together, it's a good sign that you could be a good match.

Getting to Know Your Partner

Take your time getting to know a new partner. Spending more time together will help you determine if you are a good match and if you should consider dating more seriously.

How to Get to Know Someone Before Dating Seriously