6 Health Questions You Must Ask Your Partner

Serious commitments demand serious conversations—secure a healthy future with the one you love with these important questions.

By Debashruti Banerjee
07 Dec 2021

Attraction, chemistry, common interests may lead to a first date, a second if things go well. Trust, respect and affection will get you a loving relationship. But when it comes to choosing a life partner, committing to something long-term—whether it's marriage or living together—some practical aspects come into play as well. Knowing each others' medical histories, health conditions (if any) and being on the same page about big life decisions will have you prepared for emergencies and give you a clearer idea about your future together. If you're planning to settle down, do your research and remember to ask your partner the following health questions for better communication and well-being. These questions may seem difficult or intrusive at times, but with mutual consent and respectful boundaries, they will only help you know each other better.


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1. Do you have health insurance?

Life is unpredictable, and often illnesses and accidents don't come with a notice. If recovery isn't enough, piling medical bills and exigencies can add on to your troubles. According to a paper presented at a 2017 National Sample Survey Office of India, "a significant percentage of people, more in rural than in urban areas, do not seek treatment due to lack of accessibility and a perception that illness is ‘not serious enough to require treatment'". Therefore, make sure to ask your partner whether they have medical/health insurance, common benefits of which cover in-hospital expenses, medical tests, ambulance fees and more.


Related story: Ten Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying Health Insurance


2. What illnesses run in your family?

From cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's to Huntington's disease, cystic fibrosis, schizophrenia—the list for genetic and hereditary diseases runs long. Knowing what diseases and conditions run in your families can not only make you more prepared, but also your future generations, if you're planning on having children.


Related story: Ten Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying Health Insurance


3. Have you ever had an STD?

When it comes to a full disclosure, you must ask the uncomfortable questions too. Though not for everyone, but sexual intimacy plays a major role in a relationship. And safe sex, for that matter, refers to more than just preventing unwanted pregnancies. If your partner has had a history with sexually transmitted diseases (STD) or sexually transmitted illnesses (STI), they need to make sure they were properly tested, treated, and/or medicated for it—to ensure both their and your safety in the long term. Take herpes, for example—it is a very common condition, but it does not have a cure. A 2011 BMC Public Health study recommends that "beyond HIV/AIDS, attention should be paid to infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis," citing inadequate know-how among the general population regarding this issue.



4. Do you struggle with an addiction?

Addictions—of drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling etc—can not only attack your physical, mental and financial well-being, but also your loved ones’ and/or caregivers’. Alcoholism, one of the most common forms of addiction, can result in neglect of duties, financial trouble, conflict, violence and more negative after effects—says the American Addiction Center. If you or anyone is struggling with addiction, do know that you are not alone and help is available.

National toll-free helpline: 1800-11-0031


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5. Do you want kids?

This one a toughie, but probably the most important one. Having children is not about whether you are expected to, it's about whether you want to. What happens after the baby comes? Are you prepared emotionally and financially to raise a person? Will your partner be able to make time for your children or will you be expected to be the hands-on parent? Both partners need to be on the exact same page on whether they want to have children, and be respectful and understanding about it. Questions about children also come in conjunction with questions on fertility, birth control etc.


Related story: Struggling With Infertility? You Are Not Alone


6. What medical decisions can I take on your behalf?

It is a situation you do not want to think about, especially when you're planning to start a new phase of your life together. However, it is not a bad idea to be in the know as much as possible when you're probably going to be your partner's emergency contact for life. In case of a medical emergency, patients aren't exactly in the position to make calls for the doctors—who turn to a family member or next of kin. Discuss their preferences, consider a power of attorney and ask what your partner's views on becoming an organ donor.


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