Dating is exciting, buuutttttttttt it can really suck. I’d even argue it gets suckier as you get older because us older folk get more set in our ways, we collect baggage and responsibilities (sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between them), and it becomes harder to find things to do together that is a first for both of people on the date. There’s also increased risk of bad ex’s, messy divorces, heavy debt, resentful kids, increased expectations for how you should be based on ex’s, and there’s usually restricted schedules with an increase in need of sleep. When my wife and I first started dating I used to pull off staying up all night talking. Now if I were to date? The question is how fast will I fall asleep? My energy isn’t what it used to be. On top of all this, a lot of people get really good at faking good behavior. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to know who is genuinely a good person or not and who is worth investing more time, but here is a way to try to filter this out quicker and with more accuracy.
Dating is basically like a job interview, but most people are afraid to be so blunt about it. Personally, if I had to date again, I wouldn’t want to waste my time dating someone for a month to a year only to find out they have something about them that is a deal breaker, but I also don’t want to appear cold. Thus, I would consider treating it less job interview style and more like I would act when meeting people for the first time as their therapist. I wouldn’t make my date fill out an actual intake form, but I would have a set list of questions I would bring up as a way to help filter what kind of person this actually is and help them know who I am. Depending how we met I might ask certain question over email or maybe say “A brilliant writer told me we should go through these questions to help know if we’re a good match for each other.” Notice how I deflected the blame for the question while giving myself a compliment? Yeah, my ego is something I’d have to confess in that first meeting. The following are questions I would want to answer and have answered within the first few dates because they give a good idea of who this person really is and not just me hoping they’re a good fit because they’re attractive.
- What’s the point of dating? (If they say ‘sex’ or ‘to get revenge’ think twice)
- What’s your favourite movie(s), TV show(s), and book (s)? (You can learn a lot about someone based on these simple questions, or at least you’ll know if you can do a simple thing together)
- Who are the most attractive male and female movie or TV characters? (This tells you who they want to be more like and what kind of person they find attractive)
- Why did you pick your job?
- What does fun look like to you?
- What does a good cheap date night look like? What does an expensive date night look like?
- What do you like to do on your own?
- What things would you like to do with your partner?
- Do you have kids (and grandkids) and/or do you want kids or more kids?
- Is there a pattern to your relationship history? (e.g. long term? People cheated on you? Type of person you went for?)
- What does a clean house mean to you? Can you compromise this at all?
- What should job sharing look like when you live with someone?
- What habits do you have that others find annoying?
- Do you have any dreams for the future?
- Any health issues or possible health issues in the future? Any medications?
- Would you rather brag about spending money or saving it?
- What does budgeting look like to you?
- Have you ever gone bankrupt and what is your debt load look like?
- Current drinking habits? Ever a time people were concerned with how much you drank?
- Do you have a criminal record?
- Any attempts of suicide?
- Do you smoke cigarettes or marijuana?
- Do you do or have you done street drugs?
- In a committed relationship, how many guy/girl nights do you want a month?
- Does exercise and sports play a role in your life?
- How do you want to be similar to your mom? Different to her?
- How do you want to be similar to your dad? Different to him?
- What are 3 words your friends would use to describe you?
- What are 3 words people who don’t really like you use to describe you?
- How many times would you ideally have sex per a week in a committed relationship?
If you need these questions, happy dating… I’m glad I’m not you… dating stinks.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people