Image 3: Personal.. on my way from England to California!


Naturalists are most inspired to love God out-of-doors, in natural settings

Sensates love God with their senses and appreciate beautiful worship services that involve their sight, taste, smell, and touch, not just their ears

Traditionalists draw closer to God through rituals, liturgies, symbols, and unchanging structures

Ascetics prefer to love God in solitude and simplicity 

Activists love God through confronting evil, battling injustice, and working to make the world a better place

Caregivers love God by loving others and meeting their needs

Enthusiasts love God through celebration

Contemplatives love God through adoration

Intellectuals love God by studying with their minds

If God intentionally made us all different, why should everyone be expected to love God in the same way?

-Gary Thomas



Faith and/or Value System

Compatible values are essential in developing a healthy relationship.  Discuss faith systems, both those from childhood and any current beliefs.  What does he value most in life? Does she pray? What does happiness look like to your date? What factors does she evaluate when trying to make tough decisions?

Family of Origin

Talk about your families.  Is she close to her parents?  Does he respect his brother’s life choices?  Family, both immediate and extended, play an important role in who we’ve been and who we are.  Some people aspire to having a love story like their parents, others want to avoid their parents’ mistakes.  Talking about upbringing can reveal a lot about how your date sees the world and what he/she believes a healthy relationship looks like.

Physical Expectations

If you’re ready to have sex after date ten and your date is waiting for an “I love you” first — or maybe even marriage — things will get awkward if these physical-relationship expectations aren’t outlined before one of you rejects the other.  As awkward as these conversations may be, negotiate appropriate boundaries early on.  Some relationships can’t withstand differing views on physical contact, so discuss this early and often.

Definition of Relationship

Sure, you’re having a great time together a few times a month, but do you really know where you stand, relationship-wise?  Is one of you hoping it will turn into marriage and kids while the other is commitment-phobic and enjoys seeing more than one person at a time?  After a few dates, sit down to discuss your thoughts on relationships, commitment, and how you’d define where you currently are — and where you might be headed.

Conflict-Resolving Skills

It can be hard to assess how someone deals with conflict until you’ve had your first fight, but discussing previous conflicts and their subsequent resolutions can help you both understand how each of you deals with arguments.  When you do have your first fight, debrief after it.  Was your partner aggressive?  Was he quick to apologize?  To walk out the door?  Did she respond to conflict with insecurity?  With cruelty?  As conflict is an unavoidable part of life, discovering how your date deals with it is an important part of getting to know him/her better.


What makes your date feel most alive?  What does he daydream about during board meetings?  What hobby or side project keeps her up late at night?  Can your date share these passions with you?  Can you support these passions and projects and get excited for them?  Are your own passions compatible with his/hers?

Closest Friends

Don’t just meet friends in a large group setting; intentionally get to know your date’s best pals.  Who does she go to for advice on a bad day?  Whose phone calls does he never fail to return?  Do you fit in with the group?  Can you respect the people he loves?  Do you feel included and respected when thrown into the group as the new person?  Can you see yourself becoming friends with them, too?

Social Life

If you and your significant other are not spending every night together, how do you each spend those nights apart? While introverts and extroverts can definitely make it work, being honest about your social life — how often you go out, how late you party, how many quiet nights in you crave — can help you both navigate busy, merging schedules.  Speak up about what you need.  If you need to be doing something project-based or social to feel invigorated, share that.  If your date needs a night on the couch to feel energized and rejuvenated, try to respect that, too.

Money Matters

Is your date a spender or a saver?  Is the pursuit of wealth important to her?  Does he aspire to living well below his means, giving most of his income away to charity?  How does your date make decisions regarding big-ticket items?  Money and sex are two driving forces behind divorce.  Be transparent about your own spending habits and talk about your respective relationships with money.  You don’t need to disclose financial details early on in a relationship, but be aware of how you both approach payday, splurges and saving for a rainy day.

Dreams and Goals

Are you heading in the same direction?  Can you become your partner’s greatest cheerleader and champion?  Ask about your date’s dreams for his/her future.  Does she have a five-year plan for herself?  Does he secretly dream of starting his own business?  Is parenthood, financial success, creative pursuits or travel on the wish list?  When you’re dating someone, you’re both determining whether or not you fit into one another’s presents and futures.  Sharing dreams and goals can better help you assess if you can partner with each other in a way that enables you both to thrive. 



Architectural Digest

The way we think is the way we live.
The way we live determines the quality of our life.  As they say‚Ķ start at home.
Start early!

-Mariam E.