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Child Development

21 Questions to Test How Well You Really Know Your Partner

From childhood nicknames and stinging disappointments to least favorite smells.

Source: mauro_grigollo/Shutterstock

Take the quiz below, and, once you're done, read the questions and your answers to your partner to find out how well you did. Then, ask your partner to answer the same questions to gauge their knowledge of you. Any questions you answer incorrectly should be seen as opportunities for conversation and deepening your relationship.

(Note: These questions are designed for people who have been together for several years or more. If your relationship is newer, adjust your expectations accordingly.)

  1. What’s your partner’s least favorite body part?
  2. When your partner was a child, what did they want to be when they grew up?
  3. Name a country your partner would love to visit.
  4. Did your partner have a nickname as a child? What was it? Bonus point: Did they like the nickname? Why?
  5. Which of your partner's aunts or uncles are they closest to? [Skip if not applicable]
  6. What disappointment or rejection from your partner’s past still stings?
  7. Which of your partner's achievements are they most proud of?
  8. What is your partner’s least favorite housework task?
  9. Name two of your partner's grandparents. Bonus point: Can you name all their grandparents?
  10. Outside of their career, what's something your partner considers themselves naturally talented at?
  11. What is your partner's favorite smell?
  12. What is your partner’s favorite flavor of ice cream?
  13. What is a personality trait your partner dislikes about themselves, and that they share with a parent?
  14. Of all the ways there are to die, which does your partner fear the most?
  15. What type of music does your partner secretly like? What's a musical taste they have that most people wouldn't know they enjoy?
  16. What does your partner typically look forward to most about the weekend?
  17. Who is someone your partner considers to be a mentor, or who has been a strong positive influence on their professional development?
  18. How did your partner spend their summers as a child?
  19. What are your partner's favorite and least favorite aspects of their work?
  20. Does your partner consider themselves more like their mother or their father in terms of personality? In what way?
  21. What purchase is your partner currently considering? What's on their wish list?

When you review your answers together, remember that it's your partner who decides whether you earn a point for each answer. For some questions, like their favorite ice cream flavor, your partner may have more than one answer in mind—maybe depending on their mood that day. Sometimes, though, we know our partners better than they know themselves. When you're reviewing your answers, you might find that you remembered something they told you about their childhood that they have since forgotten!

Scoring is not the key to this quiz—the conversation is—but here's a possible scoring guide:

If you (or your partner) score 16+ points: You know your partner very well—and if you scored more than 16, and you've been with your partner for less than six months, you're probably a bit intense in your relationship style.

If you score 10-15 points: You know your partner pretty well. In what categories do you know them less well? Maybe the two of you haven't talked much about your childhood experiences, or you've shied away from talking about topics related to negative emotions. Aim to learn the answers now.

If you score 5-9 points: Maybe you've only been together a short time, maybe you don't talk to each other much, or maybe your conversations tend to be of a particular type (e.g., you're both in the same profession and mainly talk about work.) Ask yourself now if your personal lives or careers are so demanding that you're not getting a chance to talk and connect. Would it be worth bringing more balance to your relationship?

If you score 0-4 points: The good news is there's lots of room for improvement here.

Why These Questions?

These questions are designed to tap into a range of positive and negative emotions. The questions about negative emotions and fears are included because strong relationships involve being willing to be vulnerable with each other. Questions about childhood are included because close couples typically understand the formative experiences that made each other who they are today. And the lighter, more fun questions are included because it's important to have conversations about your positive emotions, too.

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