A Therapist’s Guide to Dating

As I have mentioned before, my internet homepage is MSN.  Recently, they posted an article, “10 Questions a Woman over 40 should ask a Guy on the First Date”.  It is a great article; so much so, I decided to repost it.  I re-named it because I believe these questions need not be just for men or women.

  1. What are your short and long-term goals in life? Basically, the question is looking into whether or not this person is a planner or “flies by the seat of their pants”.  Further, it gives insight into whether they are a spender or saver.
  1. What are your political viewpoints? What do you believe in?  Here, one is looking for similarities in your (in-part political) viewpoints.
  1. Do you have any religious or spiritual practices? The strength of this person’s convictions is as important as the nature of said beliefs.  Is this person extreme in their beliefs?  Are they accepting of your beliefs?  Are they going to insist you convert to their beliefs?
  1. What qualities do you value in a partner? What are you looking for?  This is a good questions to identify what motivates this person; are they looking for honesty, physical health, physical beauty, emotional security or comfort, etc.  Similarity in motivations is an essential in a successful relationship.
  1. What is this person’s views of family and relationships? The quality and/or lack of relationship is key here.  Does he have friends?  Does she have regular contact with family?  Does he/she spend too much time with either?
  1. What does he/she expect from a partner? Are they looking for a maid?  What are their reactions to your description of your expectations of a partner?
  1. How do they show affection? In private?  In public?  Does the style match your preferences?
  1. Do you have any health issues? As we get older, one’s health becomes a major issue.  Imagine traveling with this person; would their health preclude that?  Could they take a walk with you?  Down the road, how might their health effect retirement; will you become their primary care giver?
  1. What do you do in your free time? This points to how active they are, the variability of their interests and how their interest would fit with your interests.
  2. How have your previous relationship ended? Listen carefully for what is said and/or not said. Did they own any of the circumstances that lead to these relationships ending?  Do they avoid this question?

Dating, as an adult, post-divorce, is not easy and frequently not (as much) fun as we hope.  There is so much more to consider when considering a mate than when we were 16 or 17.

I think this is a good set of questions when considering a person as your future partner but I would not recommend you ask all of these questions on the very first date!  They would feel exhausted and interrogated by the end of the night.  But the answers to some of these questions bleed over into answers to other questions so you may not need to hit every one to get a good sense of who you are considering.

Good Luck