Those first few months of talking to a guy you like can be very confusing. While you’re trying to get to know one another, the emotions are running high. It’s easy to overthink and read into situations; it’s also easy to overlook red flags. We need God’s wisdom to navigate those early stages of a relationship!
While we can never have a potential boyfriend completely “vetted” before dating him (there is always a risk when we step toward love!), we should try to get to know the basics about a guy before jumping into a relationship with him. As someone who repeatedly made the mistake of getting to know men by dating them, I can attest that it is far better to ask questions as friends, before you’re emotionally attached.
Following are five questions you should attempt to have him answer before you commit to a relationship with him. I’m not recommending you sit down and go through these one by one! Think of them as conversation topics to touch on as your friendship develops.
1. What is your family like?
A man’s relationship with his family tells a lot about him. Positive, healthy family relationships are awesome, but not every man enjoys peace or a life free of tragedy with his family. Some are children of divorce. Some have lost siblings to death or estrangement. By knowing a little more about his family, you might also discover why his personality has developed the way it has. This can explain his love languages, why he might be guarded or afraid of intimacy, and how to relate to his family should you eventually date him.
2. What are your goals or aspirations?
This doesn’t have to be phrased like an interrogation to discover what your guy wants to do with his life. Questions like the following all help determine his passions and gifts: “What is your major? What would you like to do with that?” “Are you considering grad school?” “What was your favorite job you’ve ever had?” This will help you see whether your own God-given passions have anything in common with his. If they do, it can make the future much easier if you do decide to date. This conversation may also give you insight into whether or not he wants a family in the future.
3. If you could live anywhere, where you would settle?
Some people want to stay near the place they were born and raised. Others hope to move away. Still others are open to either. I met my husband when working in another state, the one in which he was raised. We lived there for years, but eventually returned to my hometown. Because we discussed opinions about where to live when we were friends, we weren’t under the impression that we absolutely had to stay in one area for the duration of our relationship.
4. When was your last relationship and how did it end?
Okay, once again, this isn’t something to ask randomly. But it IS something you need to know before jumping into a dating relationship with someone. You don’t want to be someone’s rebound or backup option. As you talk casually about your families, friend groups and aspirations, relational history should eventually come out. Both you and the guy should be honest about the past, but not overly negative. For example, discuss how past relationships ended, but don’t bash your exes. It’s a necessary discussion, but shouldn’t become gossip, either.
5. What biblical issues are most important to you?
This is important, and it opens up a discussion of a guy’s walk with the Lord. There are many aspects to this question and it certainly can’t be answered in one conversation, so look for clues as time goes on. If you’re able to attend church together and discuss the sermon, that’s an excellent start (this is easier if you attend the same church!). If you don’t hang out in the same Christian circles, find out if you’ve read any of the same books or listen to similar podcasts. You can discuss the content and learn more about one another’s theology in the process.