Questions for Dating Couples to Consider
When Christian men and women are considering transitioning a relationship with the opposite sex from friendship to exclusively dating, they should take a step back and truly consider if they should indeed move forward. It is often difficult to do this when your feelings and emotions are swept away by the very thought of being in a meaningful relationship with someone you have gotten to know.
It is easy to overlook and not address or discuss the important things that may raise concerns as you cultivate this relationship which you envision moving from dating to engagement and, hopefully, marriage. As Christians, we should be intentional and deliberate in how we date, ensuring that we protect each other's hearts and emotions. We don't endorse missionary dating as the world does‹ moving frequently from one relationship to another without purpose or commitment. However, we don't want to move forward with a mystical, fairytale or unrealistic expectation, which may cause frustration for both individuals.
I have composed two lists of questions below (one for men and one for women), based on some of the conversations I have had with both dating couples and single people. They are not listed in any specific order of importance, because I believe they are all important questions to consider. Also, they are not written in stone and should be adjusted based on the individual situation.
Please note that the questions target Christian men and women. However, the questions can also be used as a guideline for non-Christians.
- Is he a Christian, and how does he define his faith?
- Does he have a consistent prayer life, and is there consistency in his Bible study time?
- Is it evident in how he engages you in private and others in social settings?
- Does he have godly men in his life (mentors, such as a Paul in the Bible; friends, such as a Barnabas, etc.) who have a great influence on him and keep him accountable and grounded?
- Does he have gainful employment, obtainable goals and a sense of direction for his life?
- What is his current financial situation (checking/savings, loans, credit card, debts, etc.)?
- Does he acknowledge when he makes mistakes and take responsibility for his actions? Does he make excuses or blame others?
- Does he consider how his words and actions will have a direct or indirect impact on you and/or the relationship?
- Does he express his thoughts and concerns with transparency or does he withhold his feelings?
- Do you feel you are always guessing what he means?
- What are his family dynamics (relationship with dad, mom, siblings, etc.)?
- Is he sensitive to your spiritual/emotional health and development?
- Has he taken the initiative to implement proper boundaries in your relationship to ensure purity? Does he allow you both to place yourselves in compromising situations (that could lead to temptation to physical intimacy)?
- Is he a member of a church? Is he involved in ministry and connected to the leadership?
- Is she a Christian, and how does she define her faith?
- Does she have a consistent prayer life, and is there consistency in her Bible study time?
- Is it evident in how she engages you in private and others in social settings?
- Does she have godly women in her life (mentors, friends, etc.) who have a great influence on her and keep her accountable and grounded?
- Does she have a spiritual father/big brother in her life providing her with spiritual covering to ensure she is protected from possible predators in and outside the church?
- Does she consider how her words and actions will have a direct or indirect impact on you and/or the relationship? Do you feel she respects you?
- Does she have gainful employment, obtainable goals and a sense of direction for her life?
- What is her current financial situation (checking/savings, loans, credit card, debts, etc.)?
- What are her family dynamics (relationship with dad, mom, siblings, etc.)?
- Does she acknowledge her mistakes and apologize when appropriate? Does she blame you or others and refuse to take responsibility?
- Does she respect the physical boundaries you have implemented to ensure purity in the relationship?
- Is she sensitive to your spiritual/emotional health and development?
- Is she a member of a church? Is she involved in ministry and connected to the leadership?
These are just a few essential questions to consider when you are contemplating transitioning a friendship into an exclusively dating relationship‹ especially if you are seriously considering getting engaged and then marrying this individual. Marriage is still a sacred institution in the eyes of God, and you want to proceed with caution. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church. It is God's idea.
There is no perfect situation when you consider the fact that each individual brings their personal life experiences to the table‹ experiences that have influenced their development and how they filter life. A meaningful relationship requires two spiritually and emotionally mature individuals to deal with the various challenges that can and will develop when two individual personalities are being forged together to become one in Christ.
This is not something that should be done without truly considering the person to whom you are possibly planning to commit to spending the rest of your life with. I hope you will continue to pray and ask the Lord to give you grace, wisdom and discernment to proceed according to His perfect will. Marriage is intended to make you holy, not happy. Your happiness will follow, as you learn to be holy.