So you meet a Special Someone that has “potential”, and the two of you seem to click. The future feels bright! Inside, you’re full of questions and things you’d love to know about him or her. It’s an exciting and exhilarating place to be, and a little dangerous! It’s dangerous because we likely have been there before, and as great as that relationship seemed at the time, let’s just say it didn’t end well. It might have been even a train wreck. Yuck.
So that won’t happen to you (again)…
5 unusual and important questions to ask a potential partner
(but not on the first date, or there may not be a second one! Relax…. breathe….)
Important Question #1. How was anger and affection expressed in your home growing up?
This Special Someone is calm and sweet and charming and attentive now, but what they experienced then will likely affect how they interact with you later.
Important Question #2. Who do you feel accountable to?
Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who is king or queen of the universe? By the way, if that person wants to be the king or queen, that means you would be the subject in that Kingdom. Let’s just say that humility and cooperation are quality traits.
Important Question #3. What things upset you?
The answer will reveal what they are passionate about, and without them realizing it, perhaps what they are struggling with as well. Hint: if it’s traffic and waiting in line and other mundane life experiences, take note. I think I would rather be partnered with someone who is upset by poverty, mistreatment of people or animals, lack of clean drinking water and such.
Important Question #4. How do you show respect and how do you like to be respected?
R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It’s a good thing to be able to give and receive in any relationship, and knowing your partner’s “go to”.
Important Question #5. How is our relationship different from others you have been in before?
Listen for what they learned… and if they did.
So once you have your answers- and you like what you’ve heard- a lot- what then? Woo hoo! Full steam ahead! Right? Um, no, that’s probably not your wisest move. Once you have heard their answers, now you need to “see” those answers with your own eyes. Your partner can tell you all about their family, and it’s just their perspective. Until you meet the family and see firsthand how your partner interacts with them, you have nothing else to go on but their good word. That person can tell you they don’t have a drinking problem, but how does that equate with you having to drive them home from every date?
Let me be clear. I am not encouraging you to be suspicious or cynical. I’m asking you to be cautious. Verify. Speed is not your friend in relationship building.
Bonus section: if this person shows extremely high potential, and has serious life partner possibilities in your eyes, and you don’t want to blow this opportunity… email or text me (770-310-7190) for another important idea to consider.
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.