My husband and I host a monthly young married’s group. Not because we’re brilliant at our own marriage, but because we believe healthy marriages are critical to our culture’s survival. So we want to do our part to strengthen, encourage and instruct. If another couple can learn from our mistakes and struggles and avoid half the trouble we went through, even better.
While preparing for this next month’s meeting, I came across this great list of questions to ask any potential spouse. By potential, I don’t mean once they’ve already proposed and you’ve said yes. These are questions best asked before the ring but after the first date. Though by no means does this exclude the married or engaged! You can always keep learning about your (potential) spouse.
They’re questions for what Dr. Kevin Leman calls, “The Most Intimate Date,” taken from his book The Birth Order Connection.
In a world where everything seems to push getting physically naked, becoming emotionally naked might be one of the more intimate things we do in our relationships.
Here are 7 questions to help you dig beneath the surface and better understand your partner. Just in time for your date this weekend! You’re welcome.
1. How would you describe yourself as a small child between the ages of five and twelve?
We’re talking personality characteristics here, not physical features. We all looked pretty awkward during this period, no need to describe it. But what were you like? How did you interact with and view the world? The little boy or girl you once were is what you probably still are
2. What have you learned about women (or if you’re talking to a female, about men) while growing up?
You’ll get a clear answer of how this person views the opposite sex, and indirectly, how they view you. Do they have a healthy perspective or one that is skewed?
3. What are three or four of your early childhood memories?
I’m personally terrible at remembering anything that happened beyond a year ago. But Dr. Leman points out that the memories our brain vividly remembers are important because they tell us how we view life.
4. How would you describe either of your parents?
The first parent your date picks is likely the parent who had the greatest impact on their life. Pay attention to how they describe that parent as well.
5. What are your siblings like?
No, you’re not checking to see if one of the siblings might be better to date. But our sibling dynamics (or lack of) have a profound impact on the person we become. They may have made us more responsible, or likely to act out for attention. We may feel overlooked or be used to lots of attention and affirmation. Yes, you’re dating one person but understanding their family is key to understanding them.
6. What’s the difference between your ideal self and your real self?
A piece of paper may be helpful for this one. Each of you draw two columns and on one side, have write down how you would hope to be described by someone. On the other side, write down how you are really. For example, you want to be described as generous but you know that getting you to spend a dollar on anyone but yourself is actually a Herculean feat. In other words, you’re stingy.
7. How would you fill in the blank: I only matter in life when I ____________ ?
The answer to this question will show you the overall theme of your partner’s life. Is it about achieving? Having a good time? Making people happy?
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