Assuming you have completed your
self-education program on relationships, and what you want from them,
you should have a list of questions written down to ask of anyone you
will be dating in the future. However, if you havenít made such a list
and need some help coming up with one, here are some helpful
suggestions. If you donít consider them applicable, feel free to modify
them or replace them with different ones. It doesnít matter whose
questions you use. The point of compiling a list is to help you ask
some hard questions early on in the dating stage of your relationship
and avoid spending what could be years with someone who is just plain
wrong for you.
You may be asking "how early are we
talking about here?" Relax, it certainly doesnít have to be on the
first date, nor probably should it be. After all, you might be feeling
nervous or anxious enough as it is, without raising serious topics that
might be best suited for discussing at another time, when you get to
know each other a little better. That being said, you also donít want
to wait until youíre considering marriage before asking these questions
either. In an informal poll I took on a discussion board a few years
ago on how soon "deal breaker" topics should be raised in a
relationship, the general consensus was that one to three months was an
acceptable time to wait.
What is your idea of a good relationship?
- This isnít a question you have to ask a date specifically, but one
you should be keeping in mind when he or she is talking about his or
her own past. As a hypothetical scenario, he tells you of his fond
memories of a large family growing up, with about four or five siblings
and a stay-at-home mom. He goes on to say that when he gets married
eventually, thatís exactly the type of marriage and family he wants for
himself. Do you have the same visions in mind for your eventual
marriage Ė thatís assuming you want to get married at all in the future
Ė or is it something entirely different, such as just the two of you,
with no children, both in satisfying careers, with each other as
traveling companions? Or maybe you are the one who wants the large
family, but he makes it clear he doesnít want any part of parenthood in
his life. Either way, if you can see that youíre not even on the same book
on this ideal, let alone on the same page, now is the time to speak up.
Trying to compromise your ideals for his, or vice versa, is only going
to lead to trouble eventually, especially if one of you wants children
as part of the marriage while the other doesnít want them at all. In
this case, where there is no room for compromise, the best thing to do
is simply end the relationship and find a partner whose feelings and
ideas on marriage and family match yours.
What are your feelings about sex?
- Whether sex is going to be part of your relationship before marriage
or not, you need to know your partner shares these values. Letís assume
for the moment that you desire a sexual relationship prior to making
the commitment of marriage. Is it important to you that you both have
similar sex drives? If, for example, you want sex twice a week, and
your partner prefers sex only twice a month, you arenít as far apart as
Mars and Venus. The distance between Earth and Pluto would be a lot
more accurate. Sometimes, differences in sexual attitudes can be
resolved with some discussion or possibly some professional counseling.
However, there could be other factors at work which could make
resolution more difficult. If your partner was raised in a home where
sex was a forbidden topic for discussion, due to religious or other
reasons, it is very possible that he or she may have serious issues
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About the author
Susan S. Levine is author of the book
"Prevent Your Divorce Before Planning Your Wedding". Launched the relationship website in 2002, called: QuestionsBeforeMarriage.com