I’ve never been one to bring out a list of questions and run through each one on a first date. I personally prefer a more natural and ‘organic’ approach, if you like.
See, the truth is, people will tell you what you want to hear. Especially once they realise they’re on the hot seat. Actions speak louder than words so try to observe people when their guard is down a.k.a when they don’t think you’re watching. Watch them in environments familiar to them, with their friends, family, etc.
Yes, I know people can pretend for Africa, but the idea is that eventually, the real them will slip through the cracks. And even though I feel running through a long list of first date or early relationship questions is contrived, there are a number of things you should look out for when in ‘observation mode.’
How do they handle their finances?
I can’t stress the importance of this. Don’t be caught unawares by bad money habits in a partner. It’s never pretty. Even if you choose to go ahead with the relationship, let it be that you went in with your eyes wide open and a plan to manage this.
How do they treat people in general?
How do they treat their family members, friends, and non-family members and friends? Also, how do they treat people that don’t seem ‘important’. There’s nothing noble about being respectful to only those who can do something for you or are in your circle or your social class. A person who is truly kind is kind to all.
Do you both have the same values?
Having the same values isn’t the same as practising the same religion. People tend to assume, maybe not intentionally, that if we practice the same religion, we have the same values. No, dear. It is what it is, an assumption. Take the time to find out if they truly, really believe the same things you do. As well as how they walk it out in their lives. And this cuts across everything. You may not see eye to eye on every single thing but knowing the most important values to you will determine what you can’t compromise on.
Are they supportive?
One of the worst things in life is to be filled with dreams and ambitions with a partner who has no regard for these dreams and ambitions. I have seen people become a shadow of themselves in their marriage because of a partner who was not supportive and outrightly belittled their passions. Watch how your partner responds to your ideas. Do they cheer you on? Show genuine interest?
Lastly, are they committed to making things work?
This is definitely not by what they say but what they do. Both of you are flawed. But if both of you are committed to making things work then you guys will be unstoppable. Of course, these suggestions aren’t foolproof but they’re important traits to look out for before you commit to a life-long relationship. Good luck! 😉