JEALOUSY: Do you have similar levels of suspiciousness, thoughts about exes as friends, and ideas about what constitutes flirting?
If the two of you are jealous types in equal amounts, whether small or large, you will find it relatively easy to find an equilibrium on certain potentially hot-button topics, like talking to exes, talking about sex in the past, flirting at parties, having friends of the opposite sex if you’re straight (and vice versa if you’re gay), etc. But if one partner is a lot more jealous than the other, then all hell may break loose, I swear down.
In this situation, it tends to be easier for the less jealous person to compromise — but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should compromise. If you’re happy to sacrifice having that former booty call on your Facebook friends list, then go right ahead. But if compromises like this are going to build up over the years into a seething grenade of resentment, then get out now!
COMMUNICATION: Can you both be honest and open with each other?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this one is a deal-breaker.
In fact, if you’ve mastered the art of open, honest communication with your partner, then issues one through four should all be surmountable. But if you can’t get the hang of this one, then even the way you each load the dishwasher may be a cause for a blow-out.
Communication is something that develops over time in a relationship, and it’s not something you can know going in — you may have been a terrible communicator in your last relationship, but then have an easy time talking to your new partner. But it is something a bit easier to work on — unlike, say, turning yourself into whip-wielding dominant when you’re a shy, bookish type.
The key to good communication in a relationship is developing good habits from day one. If you’re able to openly and honestly discuss your respective sexual histories before having sex for the first time, then you’re a lot more likely to be able to discuss, further down the road, the fact that you haven’t yet climaxed during intercourse, or that you’d like to try something new in bed.
And if you’re able to discuss something new you’d like to try in bed, then you’re a lot more likely to be able to discuss, further down the road, your disappointment in your sex life rut, or your fear that your partner might be cheating on you.
Finally, all this communication isn’t worth much if it can’t be done fairly and kindly. Fights are fine — even healthy — but only if you can avoid hitting below the belt and can find a way to resolve them quickly.