136 Questions to Ask In a Relationship (With Commentary)
By: Dean Tersigni
A Christian blogger wrote out a list of 136 questions she felt should be asked before getting into a serious relationship with someone. You can find the original list on her blog frighteningly called, GirlDefinied. I have answered her questions with my personal responses while also trying to explain some of the more esoteric jargon used by Christians that a non-Christian might not understand.
Your Spiritual Life
1.) What are the evidences of your salvation?
Christian "salvation" refers to a belief that people must be saved from the consequences of the bad things they've done in their life (sin) in order to have a pleasant afterlife. Every major group (or denomination) of Christianity disagrees on what is required for salvation. Examples of evidence of salvation in liberal denominations are often vague like having internal peace or a desire to help the less-fortunate, but most Christians require as evidence of salvation the belief that only faith in Jesus can save a person. Whether a Christian must actually perform good works as proof of their salvation is also hotly debated between the various denominations. Some denominations require "evidence" that outsiders would find shocking like requiring a follower to babble incoherently (some Christians call this "speaking in tongues") or hearing voices in your head (presumably from the Christian god). It could be said that I have some of the more liberal evidences, though I don't believe they come from a god.
2.) What do you understand to be the role of baptism?
To me, baptism is a variation of a Jewish ritual called Tvilah which was used to convert gentiles to Judaism. It's traced back to John the Baptist a pre-Christian Jewish rabbi who performed baptisms before he met Jesus as a means of bringing people into his own messianic cult. The practice was later adopted by Christians, some of whom view it as a necessary part of Christian salvation, while others do not. Personally, I think the ritual is merely symbolic, but otherwise pointless.
3.) What about the Lord's Supper? Who should participate in these sacraments?
The Eucharist, also known as the "Lord's Supper" or "Communion," is an Christian ritual where adherents recreate a scene from the story of Jesus where he and his disciples eat bread and drink wine which Jesus says is his body and blood. Like baptism, I view the ritual as a symbolic, but otherwise pointless. Like every Christian ritual, it is viewed differently by different denominations. For example, the Vatican's official position is that the bland wafer, once blessed, literally becomes the flesh of Jesus, and the wine literally becomes his blood. Naturally, every credible examination of the bread and wine after it has been blessed shows that they remain completely mundane.
4.) What do you understand to be God's purposes/priorities for the church?
I don't believe that gods exists, so they can't have a purpose or priority for anything. However, Christians themselves seem to have all sorts of priorities, one very popular priority seems to be money.
5.) How important is corporate worship? Other participation in church life?
"Corporate worship" doesn't mean really loving Microsoft, but rather multiple people gathering to worship a god together. This is not important to me at all, and, even when I was a Christian, I was dismayed at how many church events were more about compare clothing than anything else. However, I do enjoy good fellowship with friends.
6.) What is your view of the Sabbath and the proper use of that day?
Christians do not follow the Sabbath as it is described in the Torah. Nor can they agree on what activities should be or not be conducted on the sabbath, or even on which day the sabbath takes place. This makes Christian attempts to place Ten Commandment monuments everywhere a bit ironic since they demand the observance of the Sabbath. The original Sabbath began at sundown on Friday, but the majority of Christians now observe it on Sunday due to Christian tradition. To me, there is no reason to prefer one day over another, but I do find the idea of a weekend to be cathartic.
7.) What do you see as the man's role in the local church? Your own role?
Even if I were a Christian, I'm not sexist, so, unless you need one for impregnating a women (which you probably shouldn't be doing in church), I don't believe that a man's role need be different than a woman's. Thankfully, Christian denominations around the world are slowly catching up with secular culture and allowing the ordination (making a person an official of the church) of women. Though, there are a few stragglers like Catholics and Orthodox who still refuse.
8.) What do you see as your wife's role in local church ministry?
It's interesting how the previous question was about a "man," and how this question isn't about a woman, but rather, a man's "wife." Again, I'm not sexist--unless it involves breastfeeding, I don't see why a woman shouldn't be allowed to fill the same role as a man.
9.) How important is it to be part of a small accountability/support group?
It depends on the group. If it's about something important, like dealing with depression, substance abuse, or a similar difficulty in life, I think it's very important. If it's about some made-up problem that doesn't actually injure anyone, like being attracted to someone of the same sex, you're only causing harm. Sadly, many of the "sins" in Christianity are about made-up problems.
10.) What would our family devotions look like? Who leads out in this?
A family devotion is when a family spends time together talking about their religious beliefs. Personally, I think it's unethical to tell children what to believe. However, my family outings will include loving mentoring which will be led by both parents each according to his or her areas of expertise.
11.) Are we doing this now in an appropriate way: praying together about our lives and future, reading the Bible together?
I certainly hope not! Prayer is an act used by many Christians as a way to commune with their god, although, most of the Christians I've spoken to about this use prayer, not as a two-way form of communication, but as a form of meditation and a way to petition their god for things they desire (healing, safety, material goods, etc.). I don't pray, but I'm fine with the idea of mindfulness and personal reflection. As for reading the bible, it is one of the most poorly written books I've ever read.
12.) How do you view age-segregation in the church (youth groups, Sunday school)?
I don't think this applies just to church. In general, children want to play with other children, and adults want to talk to each other about adult matters. However, children need guidance to learn, so integration is necessary.
13.) What is your view on the celebration of Christmas and Easter?
Although both holidays are Christian, they each have pagan roots. Easter in its name and some of its traditions, Christmas in the majority of its traditions. Also, neither holiday is celebrated on the date when the events they're meant to honor took place, but rather seem to have been chosen to coincide with existing pagan holidays. Easter is the most important holiday in Christianity because it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, and Christmas celebrates his birth. Personally, I don't believe that either event took place, so I don't celebrate those aspects, but still enjoy the days with my family and friends, and partake in secular celebrations.
14.) How would those who know you well describe your personal character?
Probably pretty well, but, why would this matter? Are you planning on marrying them or person answering these questions?
15.) What is your opinion of personal witnessing?
Proselytizing, or "personal witnessing," is when someone talks to people with the intention of converting them to their beliefs. It generally refers to religion, but the word has grown to include secular ideas as well. I'm okay with this because I think people should actively try to convince others to adopt a better world view. However, as a world view, I don't think that Christianity is very helpful.
16.) What would you say is your spiritual gift(s)?
A spiritual gift is the belief that the Christian god has made certain people better than others in some way. Common examples include making a person more charismatic to better convert people, having a sharp memory to memorize more bible verses, or the ability to play an instrument to make gospel music. I believe that all people are different because of their genetics and upbringing, not because of a supernatural "gift," and, if a god really did bestow special gifts to certain people, I would see that as being just as wrong as a parent giving a lavish gift to one child while neglecting the other.
17.) What are your spiritual strengths?
I don't believe in "spiritual strengths." I have some personal attributes that I think are above average, but that's about it.
18.) Recognizing we are all imperfect, in what one or two areas do you think God wants you to improve most?
It's very common to see Christians denigrating themselves like this. We're all aware of the fact that we're imperfect; every day we make mistakes, we don't need to wallow in it. As for personal deficiencies, I want to get better at finishing the projects I begin.
19.) Do you have a teachable spirit? Can you cite any examples?
Think about how you would use pen and paper to subtract 56 from 83. You'd probably stack 83 above 56, borrow one from the 8 to turn the 3 into 13, and so forth because that's how you were taught, and, following the instructions, you will certainly get the correct answer, but when asked "why" this formula yields the correct answer, many people can't give an answer. They have been taught, not an understanding of subtraction, but how to follow a formula.
This is essentially what having a "teachable spirit" means in Christianity. It's not so much how well you can comprehend new ideas, but rather how easily you accept Christian dogma. In this usage, I'm not very "teachable" to Christians because I ask too many hard questions and point out inconsistencies when I see them.
20.) Describe your relationship with your father? Was (is) it honoring? Was (is) it obedient?
You can tell by the way this question is worded how importance obedience is to the asker. I would first ask, "Is your father worthy of honor and obedience?" because honor can not be given, it must be earned. That being said, my father is a negligent alcoholic, bordering on abusive. He has not earned honor, so I cannot give it to him. As far as obedience, why would any sane person be obedient to such a person?
21.) Describe your relationship with your mother? Was (is) it honoring? Was (is) it obedient?
My mother is a compassionate woman who cared for my siblings and me as a single mother juggling multiple jobs and college. I couldn't honor her enough. As a child, I was generally obedient to her, probably not to the unhealthy level some Christians expect, but enough to keep out of any real trouble and live up to her expectations.
22.) How many siblings do you have? What are their names, ages, cities of residence? Can you describe your relationship with each of your siblings?
You want to know where all my sibling live? That's kind of creepy, you know that, right? I have an older brother and sister. My relationship with them is sparse. We can enjoy each other's company for awhile, but we have such different interests and world views that long outings become unenjoyable.
23.) Can you describe your relationship with your grandparents?
You're really big on family relationships. I wonder how far that goes? Are you like the Duggars who, when they found out their eldest son was sexually assaulting his sisters, covered it up and didn't even take him to a certified psychologist? To me, family doesn't get a free pass, they need to be good people in order to earn my respect. Regarding your question, I had/have a good relationship with three of my grandparents, one, not so great. Let's hope you don't start asking about my second cousins next!
24.) Can you describe your relationship with your friends? Have you ever been peer-dependent? How did you resist this?
In Christianity, the term "peer-dependent" means caring too much about what your friends think of you more than what your parents or what they tell you the Christian god thinks of you. Tellingly, the questions about family are all about having a good and obedient relationship, while the question about friends frames the relationship as negative. Why doesn't the author ask if you're "family-dependent." From my experience, this one-sided thinking is very common in Christianity. In the past, I have cared too much about what other people think, friends and family alike, and, to some extent, I still do. I'm learning to resist this by reminding myself that I must first care about what I think about myself. If I can't love and respect myself, no amount of love from a family member of friend is going to help. As for my friends, I have a great relationship with them. In fact, I find friends to be more valuable than some family members because friends actually want to be around you rather than feel obligated to be around you.
25.) Are you consistently faithful in fulfilling your commitments? Give examples.
Now this is something I can get behind. I try to fulfill my commitments as much as possible because I like my word to carry respect. I pay my bills on time, I arrive to engagements on time, I pull through when I say I will, etc.
26.) Do you show a regular willingness to serve others? In what ways?
I like this one as well. I routinely engage in acts of charity. I donate money to charitable causes, pick up trash in public areas, help friends and strangers when given the ability.
27.) In what ways is self-centeredness expressed in your life?
Definitely a good question to ask a potential spouse. Personally, I require a lot of free time to enjoy my hobbies, and I don't like giving up that free time. I do not see this as harmful.
28.) How do you relate to authority in your life? If so, what adjectives would your employers use to describe you?
We're not even a quarter of the way through, and how many questions have favored subservience? Anyway, I relate well to authority when I feel it's important for that person to have authority over me. When law-enforcement is respectful and compassionate, I accept their authority over me and am glad for their protection. When they are racist and violent, I do not. I find that employers rarely have my best interests in mind, so I don't always have the best relationship with them, but, if they respect me, I respect them. That said, my employers would probably say I'm not ideal, but I'm creative and get the job done.
29.) Have you ever been a supervisor? If so, what adjectives would your employees use to describe you?
I usually don't want to be in a position where I have to tell people what to do, because I don't like working in a place where people have to constantly be told what to do. When I do have subordinates, I try to treat them equitably, and hope that they would describe me as such.
30.) Are you ever manipulative of others?
Everyone is to some degree, but I see manipulation as cruel and immoral act, so I try to recognize if I am doing it, and, when I do, I stop.
31.) What kinds of situations cause you frustration? How do you respond?
Poorly designed objects and sloppy people come readily to mind. I can usually control my frustration, but too much causes me to lash out. I may break to toaster, but I won't hit anyone.
32.) What circumstances might make you impatient or angry?
People being routinely late or dismissive of other's feelings.
33.) How do you handle anger? Have you ever been violent? Do you raise your voice when angry?
Over the years, I've grown decent at handling my anger. I take deep breaths, separate myself from what is making me angry, and think the problem through before returning. I rarely become violent, and I usually only raise my voice when something really makes me mad. I try to remain calm and speak at an acceptable volume.
34.) Have you ever had to deal with a broken relationship? If so, please provide the details of that relationship, how long ago, the situation, and how did you handle it?
I'm not sure how you would define "broken," but I've had relationships where my significant other was manipulative or unkind, but none were horrible. For each breakup, whether it was instigated by me or not, I tried to break up as magnanimously as possible, evaluate what went wrong, and learn from it.
Personal Habits Affecting Marriage
35.) What are your beliefs regarding diet? Are your eating habits disciplined? Do you have any food dislikes? Are you a vegetarian?
We're finally out of the religious and obedience questions. Most of the questions in this section are secular issues that all couples talk about. I will give short answers.
I eat relatively healthy. I don't like raw tomatoes, beets, or crustaceans. I eat meat.
36.) Do you have any physical or mental disabilities or diseases? Any allergies? Prior or current health problems?
I have been quite lucky, to not have any debilitating diseases of any kind.
37.) Do you smoke? What are your views on smoking?
I do not smoke, nor do I like to be around smokers. I don't think it's evil, just gross.
38.) Are your spending habits disciplined? Do you tithe? What is your view of debt?
I think I have disciplined spending habits. My savings account, retirement account, and various long-term investments are all slowly growing. I curb my spending on non-essentials. I do not tithe because I don't support churches, but I do give to charities that help people. I don't like being in debt, and, other than a home mortgage and car loan, have no debts.
39.) How would you describe your work ethic? Do you have a high standard of excellence? Do you tend to be either slothful or a workaholic? How many hours per week do you work?
I prefer to work on things that I find enjoyable, but, in order to keep steady income, I will work at less-than-ideal tasks. The more I enjoy the work, the more pride I take in it. I work 40 hours a week and am neither lazy or a workaholic.
40.) Do you travel with your job? If so, how often? Do you see this changing in your future?
I occasionally travel out of state for my job, but only once a year or so. I do not see that increasing or decreasing.
41.) If a relocation were offered to you by an employer, would you consider it? What would you weigh when considering such a move?
I enjoy being close to the people I love so a new career would have to be something my family and I would really benefit from to convince me to uproot.
42.) What is your discipline in studying?
When I was young and inexperienced, I made lists like this where I wrote out dozens things that I thought were really important to me, but, when I actually started dating, I discovered that a lot of the things I thought were important were not. For example, I assumed I'd never date someone who smokes, but, after I did, I found that it was just a minor inconvenience. However, I never even considered that punctuality would matter, but now, I find it to be extremely important. Dating experience helps people discover what's actually important to them in a relationship, and it's becoming pretty clear to me that the person who wrote this list either has very little experience or they're hyper-critical. Would she really break off a relationship because the person doesn't study properly?
But, to answer the question, I have many intellectual pursuits that cause me to learn a lot all the time, but that also causes me to get distracted easily.
43.) Do you read regularly, and if so, what? Who is your favorite author? Outside the Bible, what would be your five favorite non-fiction books? Five favorite fiction books?
I love how the author just assumes a person's favorite book would be the bible. This is actually a pretty good indication that the person is not an avid reader, as the bible, when critiqued from a literary standpoint, is so poorly written that it is often incoherent. Without listing too much, my favorite books can be found here.
44.) What are your habits regarding sleeping? Are you lethargic? Are your sleep habits irregular?
Again, how many people who have dating experience are concerned about their potential mate's sleeping habits?
45.) Do you follow a regular schedule? Are you organized?
Straight-forward schedule. I like to organize data, but not necessarily things.
46.) Would you consider yourself neat or messy?
I neatly organize files on my hard drive, I don't neatly organize stuff in my office.
47.) What is your practice regarding personal prayer?
I don't pray to any thing or anyone because I don't think gods, angels, or spirits exist. I've heard there is measurable benefit from secular meditation, but I haven't tried it.
48.) What is your level of personal cleanliness and hygiene?
I shower regularly and floss every day!
49.) Do you have any personal habits that might annoy others?
One personal habit that many people find annoying is when I, frequently and unsolicited, point out flaws, like how this list is called "136 Questions to Ask In a Relationship," but there are actually 137 questions listed. You're clearly not taking this very seriously! For real though, everyone is different and one person's charm is another person's annoyance. You can only get a surface understanding of a person based on how they respond to a written questionnaire, just like we're only getting a surface understanding of you from your questions.
50.) If you already subscribe to the concept of courtship, give me your definition of it.
I do not subscribe to courtship of pretty much any kind, especially Christian courtship. It's basically a rigid set of rules put in place by an authoritarian system who feels the need to control every aspect of people's social lives, with an unhealthy focus on sex. There are aspects of it I find appealing, like teaching children how to function in a family environment, that relationships have consequences, and how to be responsible for other people, but, these are all secular values. Christian courtship takes it to the crazy level by fathers assuming ownership over their daughters (especially their hymens), requiring their children believe everything they do, disowning anyone who is gay, etc. It borders on child abuse.
51.) Do you tend to be more of a leader or follower in life? Can you cite any examples?
Neither. My life is not a military operation. I prefer to live my life how I see fit. I don't like being told what to do, and I don't want to tell others what to do.
52.) In making decisions, what role does God's Word play?
Do you mean the part about murdering women who aren't virgins when they're married (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)? Thankfully, none whatsoever!
53.) What is your attitude toward women? What is their purpose?
Their purpose? This is probably gonna make you clutch your pearls, but I think women are people. And, just like all people, women get to decide their own purpose for their life.
54.) What is your view on the role of a wife?
I believe that a couple should divvy up the responsibilities of marriage as equally as possible and try to make sure that each person gets the parts they enjoy the most. I'm fine with families where a husband provides and a wife maintains the home if that's what they both want to do, but I'm just as fine with things being in reverse.
55.) What are your views on women working outside the home?
Is this the Dark Ages? If you have to even ask that question, you won't like being with me or pretty much anyone raised in civilized society. Sadly, people who follow the bible, especially verses like Titus 2:4-5often feel otherwise.
56.) What are your views concerning divorce and remarriage?
In the bible Jesus says that men who get divorced and remarry are equivalent to adulterers, a position that has caused many Christians to believe that it is better for people to remain in an abusive relationship than get divorced. I'm not nearly so callous. If a couple believes they will ultimately be happier apart, they should get divorced and, if they so choose, remarry.
57.) Can you tell me your thoughts on how a man should provide for a wife and family?
Earlier you asked, what is a wife's role. By the question, I presumed you believed that women can assume any role in a relationship they desired. Here, I see how that was merely a rhetorical question, as this question automatically requires the husband be the provider. I'm not sexist; either or both can assume any role, including that of the provider.
58.) Can you tell me your thoughts on how a man should protect a wife and children? How do you feel about guns?
Sexism doesn't just hurt women, it also hurts men by forcing them into a role that they may not want for themselves. A family has a duty to protect itself, but from what? In the USA, crime is at an all time low. I've never been robbed, never had my house broken into, never had my car stolen. If we work to foster a healthy society that helps everyone, we can ensure a similar result for everyone. Of course, if you watch Fox "News," you probably have to prepare for the onslaught of the dark-skinned immigrants. I don't hate guns, but I do know that simply owning one makes you much likelier to be killed by one.
59.) How do you see your future relationship with your in-laws working out?
Unless you had already spent a lot of tome with them, how could anyone know this? Sure, they may hope for a good relationship, and work to make that happen, but you can't control how other people act.
60.) How do you relate to children? How often are you around children?
I've always related fairly well to children, I think because I try to respect them as human beings rather than blank slates that need inculcating. I should point out that you can be a good Christian and not have children. The idea that Christian families must have as many children as possible in order to use them to take over the world, (known as the quiverfull movement) has no direct biblical basis.
61.) What is your attitude toward adopting children?
I think it's wonderful that people do this, and, if I wanted children and were otherwise unable to get them, I would pursue adoption.
62.) What are your thoughts on family worship? What would be the key attributes of such a practice in your home?
I think it's a pretty terrible thing to force your beliefs on your children. If ideas can't stand up to criticism, they're not good ideas, religious beliefs included. Children should be given enough freedom to explore the various ideas the world has to offer and make their own decisions on what is right for them. If you do a good job teaching them how to think critically, they will end up having good beliefs.
63.) When you fail someone, what actions do you take to rectify the situation?
It depends on how I fail them. If I cause them monetary damages, I repay them. If I cause them intangible damages, I try to find something they might value equally, not as a replacement, but as an apology. Then, I try to change my behavior.
64.) Are you honest? Do you ever slant the truth for your own benefit?
This reminds me of an interesting thought experiment. If you were in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, hiding Jewish refugees in your house, and Hitler's soldiers came to your door and asked you directly, "are you hiding Jews in your house?" Would you lie to them knowing their intentions are clearly evil, or be honest since a lie can never be justified?
For me, I'm honest to honest people. If I know someone to be blatantly dishonest, I don't feel obligated to be entirely truthful to them.
65.) How have you prepared yourself for marriage?
My preparations for marriage included the usual reconnaissance of asking questions to married friends and family, but, ultimately, the thing that prepared me the most for marriage was dating and living with various women for prolonged periods of time. This allowed me to know that I want and don't want in a spouse, and taught me how to function as a couple rather than an individual. The experience was been invaluable.
66.) In what ways do you think you may need to grow before marriage?
Before I began dating, I didn't even know in what ways I was deficient, so I wouldn't have been able to answer your question intelligently. Knowing where growth was necessary came, not from a book, but from personal experience.
67.) What does "leave and cleave" mean to you? Are you prepared to put your wife first, before all others, including your parents? Give me an example of what this may look like to you.
"Leave and cleave," is a term based on a passage from Genesis 2:24 which reads, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." In Christianity, the term means to form a strong bond with your spouse by leaving behind your pre-married life. This is generally a good idea assuming both parties respect each other's independence and their in-laws, but, if one or both has control issues, this will make their married life just awful. Ironically, in the bible, neither Adam or Eve have parents or an independent life before they become a family, so the passage would be meaningless to them.
68.) What are your standards of propriety in dress? How do you dress?
Really? The first question in a section called "moral standards" is to ask what a person should wear? Nothing about killing, adultery, stealing? Nothing from the ten commandments? No? Okay.
I think people should dress in such a way that they feel comfortable, and doesn't cause too much discomfort for the people around them; obviously, to a point. Our culture has agreed that we have to cover our genitalia in public. I don't entirely agree that this is necessary, as many cultures function just fine without this rule, but it does help keep sitting surfaces clean. I take my shirt off when it's hot out, and, so far, nobody has raped me because of it.
69.) Describe your standards of dress for women?
Because what the world needs more of it's men telling women how to dress! I don't have standards for how women dress, you're thinking of ISIS. I have preferences, styles that I find more interesting, impressive, or enticing than others, but, ultimately, it's not my body, so I don't get to make the decisions.
70.) What are your views on public swimming?
To me, morality is a measure of human well-being. If something harms someone it's bad, if it eliminates harm, it's good. What do you think "morality" is? Because, you seem to think that swimming next to someone else is immoral. You didn't ask about skimpy bathing suits, you're just asking about swimming next to other people because you feel it has something to do with morality.
71.) Do you watch television, R-rated movies? PG-rated movies? What were the last five movies you watched?
I watch whatever I want to watch. I don't trust anyone to censor what I see other than myself. Not a government, not an individual, and certainly not a religion.
72.) What kind of music do you prefer? What kind of music would you find offensive?
Again, we're in a section called "moral standards," and you're asking me what kind of music I like. I think your understanding of morality is at the most juvenile level possible. Please read an introduction to ethics.
To answer, I like all sorts of music. Much like with film, I don't allow other people to censor the things I hear. The only music I find offensive is the music with ignorant lyrics. For those songs, I make the choice not to listen to it.
73.) Have you ever been exposed to homosexuality? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.
I'm sorry, I was busy laughing out loud. "Exposed" to homosexuality? What does that even mean? Like, I was walking down the street, minding my own business, and then suddenly, I became very attracted to people of the same sex! Homosexuality is not a moral issue for the same reason heterosexuality is not a moral issue, it's simply who you're attracted to.
74.) Do you currently use any type of drugs? Have you in your past? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.
I occasionally partake in caffeine. I know, right, pretty messed up! I haven't used any interesting drugs, but I'm not adverse to trying them.
75.) Do you have any financial debt? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.
Just checking, and yes, we're still in "moral standards." I guess this author thinks it's immoral to have student loans? Although, if you treat seriously Deuteronomy 23:19-20, you could certainly come to that conclusion. My current debt is a home mortgage and car loan, both of which are being paid off regularly.
76.) Have you ever been in trouble with the law? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.
Never arrested, never jailed. I've had a few traffic tickets, but nothing more.
77.) What tendencies do you have toward prejudice or racism?
I try to avoid it as much as possible. For example, I don't think that women should be forced into subservient roles and I don't think that homosexuals are immoral. Only a true bigot would think that, amiright!?
78.) Have you ever had periods of rebellion? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances. Are there any unsettled issues with your parents?
Wanting to be a free independent person is not immoral. I generally only rebel insofar as I won't go to jail or lose my job. I do have an issue with my drunken father that will remain unresolved until he decides to sober up.
Miscellaneous Discussion Starters
79.) What is your attitude toward pets? Indoor? Outdoor?
I had to check to make sure we were out of the "moral standards" section. Who knows what you think about the morality of pet ownership! I love pets, and prefer they come indoors. Why have a pet if you're just going to force it to live alone on a chain?
80.) What are your political leanings?
From pets to politics, you sure know how to start conversation! I tend to be anti-authoritarian, pro-socialism.
81.) What is (are) your favorite sources for news?
I prefer those that follow the standards of ethical journalism: BBC, Washington Post, New York Times, NPR, Al-Jazeera, etc.
82.) What are your interests, hobbies, talents?
I enjoy pretty much everything about science and philosophy. I enjoy gaming. I have no impressive talents worth mentioning.
83.) What is your attitude toward family (home) business?
I usually find them to be of lower quality than larger businesses, but I still like to support them when I can because they make me feel more "at home."
84.) What do you value most highly in life? What next?
Probably my own brain, without it, there wouldn't be much else. Next, would be the people in my life.
85.) What do you tend to do in your spare time?
Catch up on what's happening in the world, learn about science and technology, play games.
86.) What is your involvement in sports? Do you participate, attend games, watch it on TV? To what extent?
I know how to play most sports, but I don't care for highly-competitive games, there are more important things to do. I almost never watch sports.
87.) What are your thoughts on alternative medicine?
It's called "alternative" medicine because it's not medicine. Put it through some peer-reviewed placebo-controlled clinical trials, then we'll talk.
88.) What are your thoughts on immunizations?
All the literature I've seen from reputable sources shows that they work and they're safe, so I laud them. The people I've met who think they're dangerous are usually grossly undereducated in matters of biology.
89.) What is the role of psychology in the life of a Christian?
Not as good as it could be. Most of the Christians I've met don't care for the sciences, including psychology. However, I think the more we know about human behavior, the more we benefit from it.
90.) Do you prefer to live in the city, suburbs, town, or country; farm, seaside, mountains, or desert? Why?
I prefer suburbs. You're not too far from a city or country.
91.) Can you describe your life purpose, i.e., how you intend to use your interests, experiences, skills, and talents to serve and glorify God?
My life's purpose is to improve the world for all people, while at the same time leaving room to enjoy myself. I don't believe in a god, but, if I did, I think it would be entirely pointless to glorify one.
92.) What role would your wife and children play in your life purpose?
What ever role they want to play. They are human beings with their own lives.
93.) What role would your job/career play in your life purpose?
It pays the bills and makes me enough money to buy the things I enjoy.
94.) Where do you see yourself in 10 years? In 20 years?
To paraphrase Mitch Hedberg, celebrating the 10th anniversary of you asking me this question! Seriously though, I will continue to work on my various hobbies, work to help humanity, and work to be a better person.
95.) Where do you see yourself spiritually in 10 years? In 20 years?
If you could give me a coherent definition for the word "spiritual" I might be able to give you an answer.
96.) When the Lord calls you home, how would you like people to remember you?
Nobody will be "calling me home," because my home is here on Earth not a place I've never been to. If you mean to ask, "when you die," I want people to remember me as someone who was helpful and enjoyable. Really, does anyone say, "When I die, I want people to remember me as a jackass?"
97.) Do you have a personal timetable for marriage? If so, what is it?
I never really wanted to get married, but then my now-wife suckered me into it. So far, so good!
98.) What are expectations about situations where one of us might be alone with someone of the opposite sex?
Unlike Mike Pence, I can be alone with women who aren't my wife without fear of cheating. If a potential mate were so controlled by fear of sex with every other person they met, I don't think I'd want to be with them. And though you said "opposite" sex, it wouldn't be the first time a good Christian man turned about to be a closet homosexual.
99.) What type of education are you hoping that your future wife will have?
Whether they have a degree is irrelevant, I just want them to be educated enough to have well-formed opinions about important issues.
100.) List the five most important characteristics of a wife (for you personally).
101.) List any characteristics or personality traits that would bother or irritate you in a wife.
102.) How are tasks shared in the home: cleaning, cooking, washing dishes, yard work, car upkeep, repairs, shopping for food, and household stuff?
Personally, I prefer to have each person do the tasks they like more than those they don't. When both people like or dislike the same tasks, they should share the responsibility equally.
103.) What are the expectations for togetherness?
In my past dating history, I have found that I tend to desire more time for my personal projects than then women I've dated expected. Two solutions to this problem that have been effective are for the woman to work on her own projects during this time, or to join me with my projects.
104.) What is an ideal non-special evening?
A typical enjoyable day would be one where work and chores are light and out of the way, and we can each do the things we enjoy doing.
105.) Should we have children? If so, when? Why?
In my teens and early 20s, I wanted children, but in my mid-20s and early 30s, I did not. Basically, I began to prefer alone time more than I thought I would enjoy children. Now that I have children, I find them to be very enjoyable, but I still want a lot of time to my own pursuits. Hopefully, when my kids get a little older, they will enjoy the same things that I do so I can enjoy my time with them more.
106.) How many?
I've never wanted more than 2. It's already tough to handle.
107.) How far apart?
Mine are twins, which, although hectic, does have the advantage of going through the stages of childhood at once rather than in succession.
108.) Would we consider adoption?
That has always been a consideration of mine. I would love them just the same.
109.) What are the standards of behavior?
Basically, I expect them to be a decent person and treat other people with respect and dignity.
110.) What are the appropriate ways to discipline them? How many strikes before they're... whatever?
Zero. Zero strikes. The evidence in child psychology shows pretty clearly that hitting a child not only doesn't make them more obedient, but it causes an increase in violent behavior and long term psychological damage. When punishment is needed, I will use non-violent punishment like time-outs and grounding, discuss with them why their behavior is unacceptable, and promote good behavior.
111.) What are the expectations of time spent with them and when they go to bed?
I will try to spend as much time with them as they want and I can afford. Bed time will change as they age.
112.) What signs of affection will you show them?
Many and often. In their lives they will meet plenty of people who will want to tear them down, it should never be their own father.
113.) What about school? Homeschool? Christian school? Public school?
I support public schools because I want all children to get a good education, not just those with parents who can afford it. I disapprove of Christian schools because I want my children to get a competent education in the fields of science, history, and sociology. I don't support homeschooling because the primary reason people do it is because they want to indoctrinate their children rather than educate them.
114.) Own a home or not? Why?
I'm fine either way. Owning land offers nice benefits, but involves a lot more mindless busywork.
115.) What kind of neighborhood? Why?
Suburban. Quiet enough to have breathing room, near enough to the culture of the city.
116.) How many cars? New? Used?
I find used cars to be the better investment. We currently have a minivan, sedan, and coupe convertible for fun.
117.) View of money in general. How much to the church?
Absolutely none whatsoever. I'll gladly donate to worthwhile charities, but I will not pay to advertise the indoctrination of others.
118.) How do you make money decisions?
My wife and I pool money into a joint account that is used for all our shared expenses (mortgage, insurance, groceries, etc.), but we each keep our own personal accounts to buy the things we want. This helps prevent money squabbles since, even if the other buys something the other disapproves of, we know it didn't cost us a dime.
119.) Where will you buy clothes: Department store? Thrift store? In between? Why?
I usually buy clothes from a department store when they're on sale. Since I'd expect my spouse to have their own income, she can buy whatever clothes she wants.
120.) How much money should we spend on entertainment?
I don't have a special budget just for entertainment. I just take what's left after my bills, retirement contributions, and savings, and then do whatever I want with the rest.
121.) How often should we eat out? Where?
I eat out very often because I don't like to cook that much. Where? Does that really matter? Are you going to not marry someone because they prefer one restaurant over another?
122.) What kind of vacations are appropriate and helpful for us?
This is a very oddly worded question. What makes a vacation "appropriate" or "helpful," and, how is that even a vacation? To me, the point of a vacation is to cut loose for a short while and have fewer responsibilities than my normal life entails not constantly being worried about whether other people will deem my vacation inappropriate or unhelpful.
123.) How many toys? Snowmobile, boat, cabin?
I try to keep my "toys" limited since each one adds maintenance, and the enjoyment is rarely worth the effort. Instead, I prefer to rent toys as needed.
124.) Should we have a television? Where? What is fitting to watch? How much?
This questions is a bit out of date now that everyone effectively carries around a little television with them all the time. Everything is fitting to watch if I enjoy it or am curious about it, and I will watch as much as I want as long as it doesn't interfere with my responsibilities. I will not censor myself because I'm an adult, and I have no interest in having other people censor me "for my own good." Also, why do you question too much TV, but not too much newspaper or radio? Video is just as legitimate a form of media as the others. The National Enquirer isn't superior to the BBC because one is print and the other is video.
125.) What are the criteria for movies and theater? What will our guidelines be for the kids?
For adults, same as above. For children, I will naturally censor media that I think will cause trauma, but I will expose them at an early age to artistic and educational material that the average conservative would find appalling. You know, controversial stuff like how their body works.
126.) What makes you angry?
Hypocritical behavior, indoctrination, poorly-designed machines, repeating the same questions.
127.) How do you handle your frustration or anger?
I try to calm myself down with deep breaths, temporarily removing myself from the situation, and trying to put myself in the shoes of the other person.
128.) Who should bring up an issue that is bothersome?
I'm confused here. Are you implying that one or both people in a relationship should remain silent if they're being bothered? To me, everyone who is bothered, or sees that someone else is bothered, should bring it up.
129.) What if we disagree both about what should be done and whether it is serious?
If we both disagree we can either adjust to living with the disagreement, or bring in third-party arbitration and agree beforehand to follow the decision.
130.) Will we go to bed angry at each other?
Occasionally. The idea of never going to bed angry is ridiculous. Sometimes a couple will get into a fight before bed and have responsibilities early in the morning. Sometimes the resolution of conflict takes longer than one evening. Placing an arbitrary time limit on how long a couple is allowed to work on a problem is not wise.
131.) What is our view of getting help from friends or counselors?
I'm quite receptive to getting outside help from a skilled individual. No couple can fix all their problem on their own.
Past Sins and Confessions
132.) Are you a virgin? If not, please explain.
I had sex before marriage, but this is neither a past "sin" nor a "confession" since I am not ashamed of having an enjoyable consensual experience with another adult. I've also had long exciting conversations with other women, should I confess that sin as well?
133.) Did you ask forgiveness of your partner?
I would not, nor would I ever expect it from them, since there is nothing to ask forgiveness for. You seem to believe that physical activity between consenting adults is evil. I disagree. Likewise, I don't think anyone should have to ask their partner to forgive them for playing sports, hugging friends, or holding hands, or anything else deemed sexually impure by other religious people.
134.) Were you/are you involved with any of the following: 1. constant thoughts about sex 2. Masturbation 3. Homosexuality 4. Pornography. 5. X-rated videos, games, internet sites?
The only sin I see in this list is that you didn't capitalize the proper noun "Internet." I think about sex and masturbate a lot because it's enjoyable and healthy. I'm not a homosexual, but it's perfectly natural and normal. Pornography, regardless of the form, is just fine as long as the models and viewers want to do it. While you've probably been told in church that pornography is especially harmful to individuals and society at large, you have been misinformed.
135.) If you were involved in any of those activities, but are not now, why did you stop? If you are still involved, are you willing to seek outside counsel?
You probably don't realize this, but you have an obsession with sex. You're obsessed with sex the same way someone with anorexia nervosa is obsessed with food. You're constantly thinking about how wrong it is, how not to do it, how to suppress all your normal urges, and that's not healthy. I will not stop my enjoyment of sex because I have a normal sexual appetite and I will to continue enjoying sex and exploring different ways to enjoy it.
136.) How do you plan to keep you and your loved one from falling into sexual sin prior to marriage?
I'm assuming your idea of "sexual sin" means any form of sex before marriage, but the only thing that I would call a "sexual sin" would be non-consenting sex, i.e., sexual harassment, assault, or rape. I have absolutely no desire to do that to a loved one.
137.) Is there anything in your past that I would be surprised by if I found out?
Considering the questions you've been asking, pretty much everything.