Getting to Know Each Other
You may have spent years looking for just the right person, or you might have discovered someone you believe you want to marry just last week. Regardless of the time involved, you really don't know the other person; at least, not as well as you think you do. "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?" (I Corinthians 2:11). The only way to find out what another person thinks is to ask.
It is amazing the things couples don't ask each other while they are engaged. Some topics are avoided because of personal embarrassment. Others are afraid of the answer they might receive. But more often than not, some topics are avoided because the person is afraid that if their fiance knew this about them, they would leave. Yet, is it fair for one person to commit his life to another without knowing what he is getting into?
Now, don't get me wrong. There are some topics that are best left buried because they were handled and the person has changed, hopefully for the better. We all sin and there is no need to review every sin we ever committed. Still, sins have consequences. While we might have repented of a past sin, the after-effects of that sin might remain an issue that can affect the marriage. For example, you might have taken drugs during your youth which left you with temptations to battle concerning returning to drugs, or worse might have impacted your ability to have children. You might have contracted a sexually transmitted disease that though controlled is still present and could be passed on to your spouse.
Does your fiance need to know that at seventeen you had sex with another person? If you have repented of your sin, changing your attitude toward sex outside of marriage, probably not. But if that foolish sin produced a child for whom you must make child support payments, your future wife has a need to know what she is getting herself into.
The following questions are by no means complete, but they are given here in the hope of giving couples a chance to discuss matters that they might not have thought about. Some are minor things, others are major. You have to decide which answers are deal-breakers and which are inconveniences which you must plan to handle.
- Are you a morning person or a night person?
- Do you like to stay up late and sleep late, or are you an "early to bed and early to rise" person?
- Do you like to fall asleep to the television or radio, or do you prefer quiet?
- Are you neat or messy? Do you pick up after yourself?
- Can you relax when there are chores to be done, or do you prefer working first and then relaxing?
- How should household chores be divided?
- How often will you want to go out socially as a couple? How often will you want to go off by yourself? How often will you want to go off with just your friends?
- How much television do you watch?
- What do you like to listen to while driving in the car?
- How will you be splitting up family gatherings? Where do you plan to spend the holidays? How often do you plan to visit relatives?
- How often do you like to exercise? Do you expect your spouse to exercise as well?
- How often do you plan to eat meals at home? Who is going to be doing the cooking? Who will be cleaning up?
- Do you drink alcoholic beverages? How often?
- Do you take drugs recreationally? How often? What drugs have you taken? If drug use was in your past, how long has it been since you last used drugs?
- Do you have the ability to make and keep friends? Do you like and respect your fiance's friends?
- Do you plan to continue living in the same town, or are you open to relocating?
- Do you want to live in the city, the suburbs, or the country?
- Do you have pets? Do you want pets? What kind?
- Do you plan to have children? If so, how many?
- How will childcare be handled?
- How will discipline be handled?
- Are you interested in foster care or adopting children?
- Do you respect your parents and your fiance's parents?
- Do you agree that the husband should be the head of the household? What do you think that headship entails?
- Do you find your fiance's family members annoying?
- How close and warm is your family?
- Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
- How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
- Do you have a physical ailment? Does that ailment have the potential to interfere with work, shorten your life span, or interfere with your ability to have children?
- Are you dealing with an incurable disease? Is there a potential for that disease to be transmitted to your spouse?
- Is there a genetic disease that runs in your family? Is there a potential for it to be passed on to your children?
- Do you have any mental health issues? How is it being managed?
- Do mental illnesses run in your family?
- What are your religious beliefs?
- What role does your religion play in your day-to-day life?
- How well do you know your fiancee's beliefs?
- How often do you attend worship services?
- Do you plan on giving financial support to your fiance's religion? How much do you think is reasonable to give?
- In what religion will your children be raised?
- What are your views on divorce?
- In what circumstances would you consider divorce?
- Would you attend marriage counseling if your spouse requested it? At what point would you consider counseling as an option?
- What are your views on socializing with people of the opposite sex?
- What steps are you willing to take to minimize the possibility of an affair?
- What are your views on sex outside of marriage? Are you currently having sex with your fiance? If so, why?
- Are you confident in your fiance's commitment to this marriage?
- Do you believe that your bond can survive whatever challenges life throws at the two of you?
- Do you currently save funds?
- Do you have a retirement plan?
- Do you have debt? What kind of debt? How much are you in debt?
- Have you borrowed from family or friends? Do you still owe them?
- Are their children from a prior relationship for whom you owe or may owe child support?
- Do you pay your bills on time?
- Who will handle bill payments after you are married?
- Will you have separate or joint accounts?
- How much do you spend on gifts for others?
- Are you an impulse shopper or a planner? Do you delay making purchases if you don't have enough funds?
- Do you have a budget? How will you budget after you are married?
- What are your financial goals?
- If either of you are offered a career opportunity in another location, would you be willing to move?
- Do you have a temper? What are some things that really irritate you?
- When you get angry, how do you show it?
- When you get angry, how do you deal with it?
- Do you tend to hold grudges, or are you quick to forgive?
- Does discussing sensitive or intimately personal subjects bother you?
- Do you have complaints about people or your job?
- Do you tend to criticize others, pointing out their flaws and shortcomings?
- Is your fiance understanding and affectionate?
- Does your fiance listen to what you have to say and consider your ideas, even if he or she may not agree with you?
- Are you comfortable talking with your fiance about your preferences, concerns, or fears?
- Does your fiance truly listen to your ideas and suggestions?
- Are there things you are not prepared to give up just because you are married?
- Given a choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?
- Do you rehearse what you are going to say before making a telephone call? Why or why not?
- What would be a perfect day for you?
- When did you last sing to yourself or sing to someone else?
- If you were able to live into your nineties and could either retain the mind or body you had as a 30-year-old, which would you want?
- Name three things you and your fiancé have in common.
- What are you most grateful for in your life?
- If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
- Give a five-minute summary of your life.
- If you could gain one quality or ability tomorrow, what would it be?
- If you could know the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or something else, what would you want to know?
- Is there something you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
- What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
- What do you value most in a friendship?
- What is your most treasured memory?
- What is your most terrible memory?
- If you knew you would die in a year, what would you change about the way you are living?
- What does friendship mean to you?
- What roles do love and affection play in your life?
- Share five positive things about your fiancé, alternating between the two of you.
- Finish this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share ...”
- What do you think is most important for your fiancé to know about you?
- What do you like most about your fiancé that is not obvious?
- What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?
- When was the last time you cried in front of another person? Why?
- What is too serious to be joked about?
- If you were to die tonight, what would you most regret not telling someone? Why haven't you told them this yet?
- Your house is on fire. After saving your loved ones and pets you have time to dash in and save one item. What would you grab?
- Of all the people in your family, whose death do you find most disturbing? Why?
- Ask your fiancé for advice on solving a personal problem.