What should I know sooner than later?
So you’ve met someone new, and you’re getting to know them. You want to build a relationship with them, but you’re not sure how to get that conversation going without it becoming an interrogation.
“What do I do?”
I believe that when you are dating, you should date with the purpose of finding someone to get married to in the long run. You can’t determine if the person is a good fit unless they open up to you about certain aspects of their life, whether it is current or in the past. I have come up with a couple of key questions to ask in the first few days or weeks of getting to know this person. The timeline honestly depends on the individual person, but I know that I wouldn’t spend 6 months waiting to get my questions answered when this individual may not be the right fit for me. That would’ve been six months wasted when I could have been moving forward. When you begin talking to someone new, you tend to talk to them all day everyday, and so I’m sure you can use any of these topics during your 18 hour-long conversations.
1. Where are you from? Your parents? How is your relationship with your parents?
It’s good to get some background information about him. If you talk about him to your family or friends, I’m sure one of the first questions they ask you are, “Where is he from?”, “What ethnicity is he?”. Do your best to learn about his culture and see if that will also fit with your own culture. Also see if he has a good relationship with his parents. If he does not have a good relationship with his parents, ask him why. Most times, the issues that may come up in the relationship will stem out from the lack that is in his relationship with his parents.
2. What is your religion?
All too often, I hear people say that they don’t really care what religion their significant other partakes in. It’s something that is really important. It determines whether or not you fulfill your destiny in Christ. The bible tells us not be unequally yoked and it also tells us that it is better for us to marry someone who is saved. Now, let’s say you’re with someone that is Muslim and he knows that you are a Christian. As you guys are dating, you are practicing your religions separately. Once you become married, you become ONE. You can say that you both will continue to partake in your separate religions, but that is not the true essence of being ONE. Being one means that you are in agreement with the things that concern your household. Let me pose this question: when you guys decide to have children, what will the children believe? What will they practice? You are opening a whole new can of worms because you will be raising children after your own selves, but if you are already separated by religion, what do you expect your children to also do? I’m sure that as a Christian, you believe Christianity is the way and you want your children to partake in the truth of Jesus Christ and on the flip side, I’m sure your husband believes that the Muslim religion is the truth and would want his children to live in that truth. Clearly, you both disagree. How will you deal with that situation now? There will be no peace in the house unless you decide to give up your own religion and live a life that you do not believe in.
Before I forget, YOU CANNOT CHANGE SOMEONE! Do not think that you can convert someone to your religion. That is not a job for you to do. It is only the Holy Spirit that can change someone. Do not continue the relationship if he has not developed a relationship with Jesus. There is no guarantee that the change will happen under your own circumstances, so understand that it is better for you to let go. Be friends, and invite him to church events, but know that a relationship is just out of the question.
3. What are your dreams and aspirations? How do you plan to achieve them?
Does he want to go to school, get a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree? Does he want to start his own small business? Does he want to become an athlete? Does he want to become a cop, firefighter, or soldier? You need to know what his aspirations are and the timeline in which he plans to fulfill these aspirations. It’s important to ask so that you know where he is in his life and if you are a suitable partner to empower him and help make his dreams come true. If you know you are not selfless enough to allow him to fight for his country while you are home alone taking care of the kids, then you should make that known. He should be able to find someone who has the heart for that type of commitment.
4. Do you want children? If you do, how many?
Not all people have the desire to have children. Some people can’t stand children and think that they’re just annoying and obnoxious. Don’t make the mistake of falling in love with someone, marrying them and then realizing that having children was never a part of their plan especially if it’s part of your plan. Talk about how many children you may want. Is there a number you both can agree on? Things may change in the future, but at least be on the same page about whether or not you both want children in the future.
5. How many relationships have you been in? Why did they not work out? Do you take any blame for the relationship not working.
It’s important to know what his relationship history is. Ask him why these relationships did not work out and see if there is a pattern between each relationship and each break up. If you notice a pattern, call it out to his attention and ask him why it was that way. If he is able to acknowledge his part in the demise of his other relationships, then he is on a good track. Further the conversation by asking him if he has worked on those flaws.
6. What is your relationship with God like? Have you been baptized by immersion and by the Holy Spirit?
Many people go to church on Sunday morning. A lot of folks grew up in the church, but may have never taken the opportunity to get to know God for themselves. Your parents can’t pray you into heaven; only YOU can make that happen. It’s important to know what his relationship is like. No one is perfect, but it is key that we all have the goal of striving for perfection. You need someone who will comfort you with the word of God and defend you with prayer. Is he baptized by immersion and by the Holy Spirit? Being Baptized is the physical proclamation of our belief in Jesus Christ. You are telling folks that you are following in Jesus’ footsteps. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is evident through different ways, however, the most common way is through the speaking of tongues. The bible says that it would be great that everyone speak in tongues, but it is known that everyone may not. If he does not speak in tongues, that’s okay. Everyone gets there at different points in their lives, and there is no age limit as well, but it’s something that he should look forward to. It’s a gift to have the ability to wage war against the devil in a language he cannot understand. It gives you the upper hand.
7. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
He should identify that marriage is a part of his goals and he should be able to give a time frame as well. If you do enter into a relationship, you shouldn’t spend all of your time trying to figure out if he wants to get married or not after X amount of years. You should know ahead of time where his mind is, so that you can also prepare yourself mentally.
8. Tell me something about yourself that you feel you need to change or work on.
This question will tell you if he is practical and also if he is honest. I will mention over and over that no one is perfect. We all have issues and things that we need to work on. It’s very admirable when someone is able to identify their fault and admit that they are working on it. If someone is not able to identify a weakness in themselves, it’s almost as if they are saying that they are perfect. That’s a red flag. If you end up in the relationship, will this person ever be able to admit that they are at fault when you come across tough times? Will they be prideful? Honesty should start from the beginning of the relationship, so please take note.
God loves you.