When you’re interested in dating someone new, the flutter of butterflies in your stomach may emerge and remind you of that “high school crush” feeling all over again. What to wear and where to go on the date is usually the initial focus.
But you should also be thinking about discussions that would ultimately decide if this potential relationship would be right for you. Openly talking about important topics is a necessary step if your ultimate goal is a strong foundation and a future commitment.
Reasons for Wanting to Date
This is the first question that should be answered. One person may just be looking for companionship, while the other may be looking for a committed relationship. If you both have different ideas about the purpose of dating, there is no need to continue forward in this process. However if you are both are on the same page with your responses, then you know that moving forward is worth exploring in greater detail.
If you do not have similar long term goals for the future, it may not be in your best interest to continue with the dating process. Maybe one of you wants to live abroad but the other is a homebody and doesn’t like to travel. Where does each person want to permanently reside? Do you want to stay close to your families? That’s wonderful unless your date has the same goal on the opposite side of the country. If you already know that you’re unwilling to compromise your future dreams and goals, then this person is not the right one for you.
Discuss Your Faith and Current Beliefs
Do you and your new beau agree on religious beliefs? If you originated from different backgrounds are you open to the possibility of a successful relationship not sharing the same faith? Some people are willing to compromise in this area, but if you are not, you won’t be happy with this person in the long run. The same scenario applies to current beliefs. If you’re passionate about politics and your date doesn’t belong to the same political party, is this a deal breaker for you?
Also be sure to share your general feelings of right and wrong. Do you see everything in black and white while they see only gray? This is a strong difference in personality and can cause major conflicts down the road.
Your Family Background
How important is family to you? Maybe you have Sunday dinner regularly with your parents, but your new beau only communicates with his or her family once a year via a birthday card. It may be that they are enthusiastic at the idea of your close family ties, or they may feel apprehensive and uninterested in becoming part of your family’s traditions. If family is the basis of your foundation, don’t allow others to create cracks in it. Do you want to have children? While this sounds like a very heavy topic when a relationship is only in its initial stages, this is an area that should be examined openly and honestly.
Interests and Hobbies
We each have different interests and hobbies. And, while maintaining our individuality is important, we must also have some things in common. If two people have entirely different tastes in food, travel, sports, etc., what is your time together going to be like in the future? You don’t want to become a couple who sits at the dinner table with nothing to say to one another.
What about your close friends? Will they all get along with one another? These individuals are usually a constant in your support network, so it’s important to know that they are similar types of people.
Yes, we have to bring up finances. While this is a very personal issue to talk about, you really need to venture into the financial discussion. What if your background and beliefs focus on the importance of saving money for the future, while your date spends it as quickly as he or she receives it? Disputes over finances are one of the leading causes of divorce and could be minimized if both parties share the same views.
Remember, don’t change who you are, or your beliefs and goals, in order to meet someone else’s expectations. Each person was created to be unique and that is an amazing gift from God that we should all cherish.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith. —Romans 12:6, (KJV)