100 questions to ask before marriage

Three years ago today, after an outdoor concert on the Pepperdine lawn, Clay walked me to my doorstep and we paused on the sidewalk to gaze up and admire the {rare for LA} big and bright Santa Monica stars that night.

As our eyes met each other’s once again, Clay paused with a look on his face I can’t quite put into words. And then he asked me a question I’ll never forget–second only to the day he asked me to marry him.

He asked me to be his girlfriend.

It was the start of our official beginning as boyfriend and girlfriend, of belonging to each other. It was the day I had waited months for. They were the words I had waited so long to hear.

Dating is a wonderful thing. Falling in love is a magical and mysterious wonder. When I went on my first date with Clay, I pretty much knew I wanted to marry him {crazy as it may sound!}

The feelings that surround a new relationship are truly so special and let’s face it–just plain fun. And yet, dating is so much more than feelings. It should have a certain intentionality to it as well.

Should you choose to marry this person you are dating, you are going to have to continue to choose them every day no matter what comes your way. And thus, it is so important that we, in our dating relationships, find a good balance between just hanging out with that person as we see how our personalities line up and getting to know each other’s hearts in a deeper way as time goes on.

Enter “100 Questions to Ask Before Marriage.”

Clay and I went through these questions a few months into our dating relationship. They were a great tool to help guide our conversations. We didn’t go through them all at once. We simply worked our way through them over the course of a couple of months, going through one or two of them each day we hung out together.

These 100 Questions to Ask Before Marriage helped us to ask each other–and ourselves!–questions we might not have ever thought to ask. And while I can say now on the other side of marriage that you can never know everything about the person you decide to marry or exactly how they will handle every life circumstances or situations that may arise, you can intentionally date them, ask God for wisdom and discernment, pray for Him to guide you through this season… and you can utilize this very helpful tool!

*This list of questions was originally published on a blog called “Love the Grows” that to my knowledge no longer exists.

I caution you to be careful when wording your conversations, using terms such as “your future family” instead of “our future family” when possible. Until you are engaged, speaking in such permanent terms can lay a foundation for even deeper hurt should the relationship not end in marriage. We must remember to not only protect the physical purity of ourselves and this person we love, but also our hearts in keeping “emotional purity.”

As Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart, for from it flow the springs of life.” 4.23 is our very wedding date–April 23. And I find it so fitting. Because Clay was the first man who truly guarded my physical purity as well as my heart. I encourage each of you to wait–to “be strong and take heart and wait…” {Psalm 27:14}–for a man, or for the Lord to bring you a man rather, who upholds and helps you to uphold this command in Proverbs 4:23.

And yet, the very nature of some of these questions–especially as you get into the future family conversations–is such that you do sort of have to “go there” in speaking like you will be married one day. And that’s where I advise you prayerfully enter into these conversations, asking the Spirit to guide them as well as both of your hearts and your minds.

Okay, okay. Without further ado, I present to you the list of questions that will bridge the gap between the question of “Will you be my girlfriend?” and {hopefully!} “Will you marry me?”


100 Questions to Ask Before Marriage

If we eliminated physical attraction from our relationship, what would be left?
What is the best way for me to show that I love you?
If I put on weight, will it affect our sexual relationship? How?
Is it important for you to know that I’m a virgin? Why or why not?
What do I do that causes you to question my love?
What turns you off sexually?
How would our relationship be affected if for medical reasons we could not have children?
Do you think being in love means: (1) Never having to say you’re sorry, (2) Always having to say you’re sorry, (3) Knowing when to say you’re sorry, or (4) Being the first to say I’m sorry?

The Past
Which childhood experiences influence your behavior and attitude the most?
Could any feelings of affection and romance be revived if you met a previous boyfriend/girlfriend even though you feel strongly committed to me?
Is there anything in your past I should be aware of?
What did you dislike the most about your previous partners?
If your past boyfriends/girlfriends listed your most negative characteristics, what would they be?
Do you keep letters/memorabilia/keepsakes from past relationships? Why or why not?
Are you comfortable continuing this relationship if there are things in my past that I am not willing to share with you?
Have you ever been involved in any criminal activities? What were they?
Did your mother or father abuse each other or you in any way–sexually, emotionally, or physically?
Have you ever been able to overcome a bad habit? What was it?
Have you ever been violent in past relationships?

Have there been times when you were uncomfortable with the way I behaved with the opposite sex? If so, when and what did I do?
What do I do now, or what could I do in the future, that would make you mistrust me?
Would you be comfortable transferring all your money into my bank account?
Who comes first, your spouse or your children?
Is trust automatic until something occurs that takes it away, or does it evolve over time?
Do you trust me with money?
Is it permissible for us to open each other’s mail? 

The Future
How are we different? Could this be a source of future conflict? Do our differences complement each other?
Do you anticipate maintaining your single lifestyle after we are married? That is, will you spend just as much time with your friends, family and work colleagues? Why or why not?
How did your family resolve conflicts when you were growing up? Do you approve or disapprove of that method? What will you change or not change to resolve conflicts in your future family?
Is there anything about marriage that frightens you?
Would you prefer to live in the city, the country, or by the beach? Why?
If I wanted to move away from our families for work, would you support me?
How would it affect you if I travel on my own frequently to (1) visit family, (2) earn income, (3) pursue a hobby, or (4) deal with stress?
Suppose we are experiencing trouble in our marriage. In what order will you seek help from the following to resolve our conflicts: (1) divorce lawyer, (2) your parents, (3) a brother or sister, (4) a marriage counselor, (5) me, (6) a church leader? Why?
How will you support my hobbies?
How do you feel about having our parents come to live with us if the need arises?
Is there anything you would regret not being able to do or accomplish if you married me?
How will we schedule holidays with our families? 

Do you want children? If so, how many?
If we are unable to have children, should we adopt?
Do you anticipate raising our children (1) the same way you were raised, (2) completely differently from the way you were raised, or (3) a mixture of both?
How long would you like to wait before having children?
Other than formal schooling, what types of education will our children get and how will they receive them?
When we have children, who will change the diapers, heat the bottles, prepare the meals, do the housework, bathe the children, get up in the middle of the night when a child is crying, take the children to the doctor, buy clothing, and dress the children?
What types of discipline would you implement to correct a child’s or a teenager’s behavior? Were these practices you experienced, or are they new ones you have developed on your own?

If I have bad breath or body odor or wear dirty clothes, will you tell me? Should I tell you? Why or why not? How should we do it?
What is nagging? Do I nag? How does it make you feel?
Do you approve without reservation of the way I dress?
What does my family do that annoys you?
Would it bother you if I made body noises all the time, like passing gas or burping?
Is there anything you do in your line of work that I would disapprove of or that would hurt me?
Do you believe that you should stick with a marriage if you are unhappy all the time?
When do you need space away from me?

Whenever we have difficult feelings about each other, should we (1) remain silent, (2) say something as soon as the difficult feelings arise, (3) wait a certain amount of time before raising the issue, or (4) do something else? If so, what?
If you always say you are going to do something but never do it, what is the most effective way to bring this problem to your attention?
What did you admire about the way your mother and father treated each other?
What is the best way for me to communicate difficult feelings about you so that you are not offended?
Who should know about the arguments we have?
What makes you not want to talk to me?
Do you feel you could communicate with me under any circumstance and about any subject?

What justifies going into debt?
What are all your current personal debts?
Do you feel stress when facing financial problems? How do you deal with that stress?
How often do you use credit cards, and what do you buy with them?
How should we prepare for a financial emergency?
Do you feel that lack of money is a good reason not to have children?
When our child is born, will he or she go to daycare or will one of us stay home to take care of the child? Who will it be?
Will we have a budget?
Who will pay the bills?
How do you feel about helping me pay my debts?
What are your feelings about saving money?
Do you prefer separate bank accounts or assets in different names? Why?

How would you rank all the priorities in your life: work, school, family, spouse, friends, hobbies, and chuch? Does your ranking reflect the amount of time you spend on each?
Are you closer to your mother or father? Why?
Do you prefer a set daily work schedule or flexible work activities and timetables?
What do you fear?
What influence, if any, do you believe my family should have on our relationship?
Do you believe that our parents should know our financial condition, whether good or bad, just because they want to? How far should this go?
What are your views on pornography?
How would you react if our son or daughter told us they were gay?
Do you harbor any racial prejudice?
How do you feel about having guns in our home?
Is there anyone close to you who feels we should not get married? Why?
What health problems do you have?
Have you ever had any psychological problems?
When you are in a bad mood, how should I deal with it?
Do you like pets?


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