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Ten ways you get to know your partner better

Jane Murphy / 01 February 2018

Dinner dates and country walks may get you off to a good start – but which events and experiences will really help you grow to know one another properly?

Couple on a road trip
Taking a road trip together will let you know whether your partner is a back-seat driver or too stubborn to ask for directions

1. Play a board game

Dig out the Scrabble or Monopoly and you're guaranteed to uncover any hitherto-hidden competitiveness or ruthlessness in your partner. In fact, 18 per cent of people believe Monopoly brings out the ruthless side in the opposition, according to a recent survey by games company Hasbro.

'It's really interesting to see how much couples believe they can learn about their partner's personality from playing a game like Monopoly,' says psychologist Geoff Beattie. 'When people become engrossed in certain activities, including play, they monitor their own behaviour less and reveal hidden aspects of their personality.'

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2. Take an unfamiliar car journey

Getting in a car with someone for the first time is fraught with personality giveaways – particularly if neither of you is sure of the route. The most common causes for concern? Bad navigating skills, back-seat driving and refusing to ask for directions, according to a survey by car hire firm Holiday Autos.

3. Cook a meal together

Rustling up a romantic dinner can tell you a lot of things about one another – and not just an insight into his culinary skills. Is he messy, clumsy, inpatient or interfering, for example? It's worth noting that a third of Brits hate their partners giving unwanted advice in the kitchen – and 43% would prefer to cook alone, says a survey by Kenwood.

4. Do some DIY

Let's face it: it's a rare individual who doesn't get overcome with frustration while trying to assemble some flatpack furniture. And more than one in four couples have argued at least once over home improvements, according to a survey by Ask a new partner's opinion on a paint colour or home furnishings, of course, and you can also quickly assess whether you share the same tastes.

5. Go to a pub quiz

A trip to your local pub quiz can be very revealing. As with playing a board game, you'll soon see how competitive and ruthless your new partner is. You'll get a good insight into his general knowledge skills, too. And if you catch him trying to sneak a peep at his phone to look up an answer, it suggests he may not be as honest or trustworthy as you'd like.

6. Meet each other's friends

Of course, this is a huge step – and understandably, it's one you may not feel ready to take until you're certain you're in a committed relationship. Nevertheless, meeting one another's friends can be a real eye-opener as your true personalities shine through.

You may both have been on your best behaviour up until now – but you're likely to be more relaxed in front of the people who know you best. And as you get to know his friends, you could well gain more of an insight into your partner's interests, activities and past.

7. Book a romantic break

Obviously, the trip itself offers the perfect opportunity to get to know one another better. But the booking process – which of you does all the research, makes the decision about where to go and coughs up the deposit – can also provide plenty of personality pointers. Interestingly, though, half of Brits don't trust their partners to book a holiday and would prefer to do it themselves, says a survey by travel agents Sunshine

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8. Go to the supermarket

Think about it: when did you last see a couple looking loved-up while wheeling a trolley down the frozen food aisle? A trip to the supermarket can provide the ultimate test of a relationship – highlighting poor manners and short fuses in particular.

Watch him closely. Is he leaving you to do everything and swanning off to look at the DVDs? Is he putting random things into the trolley without consulting you? Can he negotiate the self-service checkout without flying into a rage?

9. Try a dance class

Yes, it's a sure-fire way to find out if your partner has twinkle-toes or two left feet. But it's also a good opportunity to get up close and personal – and test out his listening skills and sense of humour as you both try to master the steps.

10. Watch a classic film

The trick is to choose your film wisely – then discuss the motives of the characters, and whether they made the right decisions, afterwards. Take Casablanca, for example. Did Ilsa make the right choice at the end of the movie? Your partner's response can reveal whether he's a true romantic or more of a pragmatist.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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