What you need to ask on a first date

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First dates can be so awkward—the nervous laughs, the desire to connect, and the hope of a spark juxtaposed with the lingering memories of more bad first dates than not.

But, maybe this next one can be different?

And it will be if we ask the right questions.

How often do we get wrapped up in the idea of the person before we even get to know them?

And it all starts with a first date. Here’s a huge secret…first dates are great for gathering crucial information!

Why do we hand over the keys to our hearts (along with our body) before we know the person’s intentions? We let them steal time, emotional energy and sex from us with no guarantee of our relational investment.

I promise these questions can save you months of heartache if you listen to the answers and move forward based on reality—not an idealization of a Disney/fantasy relationship.

1. What type of relationship are you looking for? This very direct question might surprise your date. Most people are used to playing games and waiting for months to discover the other person’s agenda. But really, why wait and get emotionally involved only to have your heart broken when you could gather this information on the first date? If they say, “I’m nowhere near marriage”—and you are—enjoy the date and move on. If they want a hookup, a casual date or an exclusive relationship—you can prompt them with the right questions to get to the heart of the matter. Ask this question with a big smile and in a non-threatening way: “I’m curious, are you looking for a relationship or something casual? Some people date looking for a spouse and others date to hookup, where are you on the scale?

Then LISTEN and LEARN…

2. How much time do you like to spend with a person when you first start dating them? Are you all in or do you like to take your time?After you listen to their answer, then share with them how important it is for you to go slow especially with someone you like.

Because going slow is crucial!

Taking your time and not jumping into a physical relationship will give you the very best shot at a lasting relationship. My husband Tim told me on the first date that if he had sex with me while we were dating then he wouldn’t marry me. He laid his cards on the table and I liked and respected his honesty and commitment to purity. I appreciated his integrity and I knew exactly what I was getting into from the get go.

3. Are you the last one at the party or the first to leave? (somewhere in between?) Find out if the person is a homebody or likes to go out—an extrovert or an introvert. This information is crucial in a marriage. My husband Tim and I are both extroverts. We close down every party—together. And it works! There are many personalities that complement each other in their differences, but extreme opposites in this area cause a great deal of conflict. When one person wants to stay at home and watch TV all weekend and the other wants to go out, someone is always dissapointed.

4. Tell me about your faith? How do you live it out? As a Christian, this question is crucial. A guy I once dated told me he was “convenient Christian,” meaning he attended church when it was convenient and when nothing better was going on. His faith didn’t direct his life; it was an add-on type of faith. That wasn’t going to work for someone like me who is a fully devoted follower of Jesus. I was looking for a Godly man whose life was Christ centered.

Remember, these questions aren’t meant to judge. There is no right or worng or good or bad–these questions are simply meant to clarify if this person is a good match for you. It’s information and nothing more.

So, don’t take it too seriously. Have fun and meet a new person! But if they do have the answers you are looking for, sit up and pay attention. It might be the one! I knew my first date with my husband was something special because I didn’t want it to end.

Do you have any great first date questions?

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