So…its not just about catching feelings. Courtship is serious. Its important to adult. And adulting means you’ve gotta have those cool, deep and sometimes tough but life changing conversations. This post is really short.
Its just a list of conversation starters. Check this out below. Its compiled from a whole bunch of pre-marital and courtship counselling sources. These are really important questions. Give them a prayerful read and ask yourself with your partner where your relationship stands on these issues. Whats going on in your mind and in your partner’s mind. Dont be afraid to answer these questions.
What does spirituality mean to each of you?
What kind of participation do you expect in each other in some form of spiritual community?
How will you share what means something to you with them?
Will your children be expected to attend any regular services or religious
How important is corporate worship? Other participation in church life?
How important is it to be part of a small accountability/support group?
What is the importance of music in life and worship?
What are your daily personal devotional practices? (Prayer, reading, meditation, memorization)
What would our family devotions look like? Who leads out in this?
Are we doing this now in an appropriate way: praying together about our lives and future, reading the Bible together?
The way I feel about God is?
I think the way God feels about me is?
On a scale of one to ten, going to church is [ ] in importance for my life and future.
I want to raise my kids in the [ ] faith.
Will God be the center of my home? Why or why not?
If yes, how will I make Him the center?
To me, the Bible is?
Other religions besides Christianity are?
Eternal life is accomplished by?
The way to have a relationship with God is?
On a scale from one to ten, obeying God and His word is a [ ] to me.
My Past: The Good and The Bad and The Ugly
The best part about my childhood was?
The worst part about my childhood was?
The scariest thing that ever happened to me was?
Something I’m afraid to tell anyone about my past is?
A past situation that could affect my future is?
I’ve had [ ] sexual partners before this relationship.
The way I feel about my past relationship history is?
Who Am I?
My biggest needs in life are?
My most frequent mood is?
The thing I hate most is?
The thing I worry about most is?
Three things I want to change about myself are?
Three things I really like about myself are?
My most common daydream is?
I get angry when?
My favorite kind of house pet is?
My overall opinion about myself is?
I think my greatest personality asset is?
My greatest personality weakness is?
I find the greatest enjoyment in?
The sin I struggle most with is?
I’m most ashamed about?
Someone I greatly admire is?
The way I feel about death is?
I feel happy when?
I have no use for people who?
When someone acts rude to me, I?
When someone is unfair, I?
I feel jealous of?
My dream vacation would include?
The things I find the most fun are?
My favorite sport(s) is?
Playing sports in my future is a [ ] on a scale from one to ten.
Watching sports on T.V. is a [ ] for me on a scale from one to ten.
I am disgusted by?
When I am afraid (substitute sad, angry, happy, lonely, tired), I?
My hobbies include?
I spend [ ] hours a week at my hobbies.
What I really want when I am sick is?
The part of my body I am most bothered by is?
The part of my body I am most happy with is?
What hurts me most is?
The best (and worst) thing about life is?
The first thing I notice about someone is?
When someone is angry with me, I?
When someone is disappointed in me, I?
The worst (and best) thing about the opposite sex is
People (including me) should say they’re sorry when?
Marriage My reasons for wanting to get married are?
I think the keys to a good marriage are?
The biggest mistakes I made in past relationships are?
The area I’ve grown the most in relationships is?
Relationships in the past have taught me?
I’ve always viewed marriage as?
My parents had a [ ] marriage.
I learned [ ] about marriage from my parents.
I think the things in marriage you should be honest about are?
The areas I’m concerned about being married are?
The areas I’m excited about being married are?
Marriage for me will be giving up?
Marriage for me will be gaining?
I think separate vacations are?
Traveling together is?
When having conflict, I like to: cool off by myself before discussing the problem; discuss and work the problem out right away; pretend there is no problem and just move on; analyze the problem as to what it is, why it happened, how to avoid it in the future, etc?
Arguing and or fighting is?
The best way to handle disagreements is to?
What I fear most about marriage is?
What I anticipate most about marriage is?
The role of in-laws in marriage is?
The thing that will make me most secure (and insecure) in marriage is?
“Till death do us part” means?
I think people should be allowed to divorce when?
For me, divorce is?
Is my own appearance important to me?
Is it important that my spouse maintains his/her current physical appearance/weight throughout our marriage?
How important is hygiene to me, i.e. brushing teeth, taking showers, deodorant, etc.?
How do I like to dress for special occasions? For church? For dates? For work?
Do I want to be able to have a say in my spouse’s choice of clothing, hairstyle, or general appearance?
Do I care if they have a say in mine?
Is cologne/perfume important to me?
What physical features are attractive to me?
Gender Role Expectations
What did your parents model for you concerning who did what in the family?
Did you feel that was fair and do you expect something different?
What is the meaning of headship and submission in the Bible and in our marriage?
Does each of you have some preferences that might be unrelated to gender?
How will you deal with household or yard/garden maintenance? How will you divvy up these responsibilities or hire someone?
Do both of you expect to work if you have children?
When the children get sick, how do you decide who stays home with them?
Marriage Commitment/Fidelity And Faithfulness
Describe what commitment means to you as you make plans to walk down the aisle?
Of all of the persons in your life that you have met and could have married, why are you choosing your partner?
What attracted you to your partner initially and what do you believe your partner will help you become?
Husband and Wife
Do you want to establish from the beginning that affairs are not an option?
Do you agree that affairs of the heart are equal to a sexual affair?
Will you talk to your partner about someone that you feel drawn to as a colleague or erotically since this can build the bond between you and your partner rather than the outside person?
Will you commit to never talking to a person of the opposite sex (except a therapist or clergy) about your relationship with your partner since this builds a bond outside of your relationship?
What are expectations about situations where one of us might be alone with someone of the opposite sex?
Sex and Eroticism
Do you agree on issues around erotic moments together?
How often do you want to enjoy an intimate evening with each other?
How do you intend to resolve differences in sexual preferences?
Can you work out an agreement about how to deal with differences in frequency of sexual desire?
Are there certain things that are clearly off limits?
Do you agree to talk about your sexual concerns at a time when you both are feeling creative and relaxed and not during sex?
What are the expectations for togetherness?
How do you understand who initiates sex and how often?
Your Mutual Expectations
What do you expect from a marital partner regarding emotional support during exciting times, sad times, periods of illness and job loss?
Will you set aside one night just to be together alone to catch up with each other and have fun?
What size house is important and in what kind of neighborhood do you hope to live in both now and in the future?
Are you both clear how much alone time the other needs?
How long does your partner need to spend with friends separately and together?
Do you agree how much time is appropriate to give to work?
Do you both expect to support the family financially and will that be different when kids arrive?
Are you both comfortable with the salary differential between you?
How will you deal with times when one or both of you has reached a midlife career point, and you need to change some aspects of your life?
How To Handle Conflict And Arguing
How will you resolve heated conflicts?
What can you learn about how your partner likes to deal with conflict based on their experience in their family of origin.
What feels comfortable to each of you, as your partner gets upset?
Can either of you ask for a time out to calm down and be creative in your problem solving?
What rituals will you develop to reach out to each other after a big fight?
Will the children go through certain rituals such as baptism, dedication, communion
Is it good to do things with friends but without spouse?
What will we do if one of us really likes to hang out with so and so and the other doesn’t?
Health and Sickness
Do you have, or have you had any, sicknesses or physical problems that could affect our relationship? (Allergies, cancer, eating disorders, venereal disease, etc.)
Do you believe in divine healing, and how would prayer relate to medical attention?
How do you think about exercise and healthy eating?
Do you have any habits that adversely affect health?
Your Living Arrangements
How do you plan to live together?
Where will you live after the arrival of children?
How do you determine if a new career path or job is reason enough to move?
Do you hope to live in the same house or area for a long time?
Will you need to be close to your parents either as you get together now or as they get older?
Will you have children and if so how many?
When do you plan to start a family?
How far apart would you want your kids to be in age?
Would abortion ever be acceptable before or after that?
What kinds of philosophies did your parents have about child raising and do you agree or disagree?
How do each of you intend to shape your children’s values
What kinds of punishment are appropriate or not appropriate?
What kinds of expectations do you each have about money spent on toys, clothes, etc.
Will you have separate or joint checking accounts or both?
If you do have different accounts, who will be responsible for which expenses?
Who will pay the bills?
Do you agree to have full financial disclosure about each of your personal financial situation at all times?
How will strong disagreements about spending money be resolved?
Is there any debt that either partner has incurred before the marriage (ex. college or graduate school loans or credit card debt).
What amount of available money does each of you need to have to feel comfortable?
Will there be a savings plan for the first house?
Do you plan to keep trading houses as you can afford it?
How much credit card debt or home equity loan debt is acceptable?
Agreement about taking care of financial needs of parents if likely?
Do you plan to send your kids to private or parochial school?
What will be the plans for children’s college education?
When do you hope to begin savings for retirement?
Will you use a financial planner?
Who will complete the taxes ?
Parents and In-laws
How much time does each of you need to spend with your parents and how much do you expect your partner to join you?
How do you plan to spend holidays?
What will be the holiday expectations of each of your parents and how will you deal with those expectations?
What kind of support do you expect from your partner when the parents are putting pressure on you?
Is it OK for either of you to talk with parents about the problems of the relationship?
What kind of relationship do you expect your kids to have with your parents?
Do you anticipate that you will ever want a parent to live with the two of you when you grow old
Your Life Long Goals
What do you hope to achieve in the near future and the distant future regarding your career?
How do you plan to care for your community alone or separately?
Do you hope to leave a legacy after you die?
Lets chat some more if you have any questions.