Top 20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Dating
Whether you just got out of a long-term relationship, haven’t dated in a while, or are just starting your dating journey for the first time, it’s important to know what you want out of a relationship before starting to date. Questions to ask yourself are a beneficial guidance to dive deeper and help you find out more about this topic. No matter how hard anyone tries, the dating process can never be completely controlled. But we can control how we react and respond. By having an understanding of what we want, we’re better able to recognize the people that are right for us or why someone is not right for us.
Use this list of twenty life changing questions to understand where you are in your own life and what you want from a relationship. This will make it easier to message your matches, go on first dates and make it official with a prospective partner. There’s no secret formula to finding someone that you’ll have a meaningful connection with, but asking yourself these questions you can feel more in-control of your love life. Put the power in your hands and discover your wants and needs in a relationship. Our favorite tips to keep in mind are #1, #5 and #14. These are integral to anyone dating and can help you connect with your matches. Grab your journals or phones and get ready to learn more about yourself and your ideal relationship
#1 Why Do I Want to Start Dating?
This is the question that is the core to dating. The answer could be a host of many options, such as “I want to find a life partner,” “I want to learn more about myself,” or “I want to have some fun.” If your answer is true to who you are, then that is the right answer.
#2 What Personality Traits Do I Want a Partner to Have?
Getting ready to start dating is not about the other person, it’s about you. Think about the most important personality traits you’d like to see in a partner. For instance, these could include humor, kindness, or warmth. When you’re on a date with someone, you can look out for the traits you’d like to see and decide if the person is right for you.
#3 How Much Time Do I Want to Spend on Dating?
If you’re looking for a long-term partner, this could take a longer period than finding someone to be a friend with benefits. While both are valid relationships, connecting with a partner requires messaging, dating, and investing emotions. It’s important to be realistic about your relationship goals and how much time, commitment, and emotional depth you’re willing to invest.
#4 What Am I Looking for in the Short-Term?
Asking yourself this question will figure out what you want from your dating life in the next few months to one year. This answer will help gauge who you want to talk to on dating apps and who you want to meet up with in-person. By messaging your matches and getting this conversation started, you can save yourself a lot of time.
#5 What Am I Looking for in the Long-Term?
Like the above tip, it’s important to determine what your long-term relationship goals are. Looking for a soulmate is a different journey than casual dating.
#6 Do I Have Any Non-Starters?
Non-starters are personality traits or habits of a potential partner that immediately end any desire to date them or even be friends. Some popular examples would be smoking cigarettes, drinking or political beliefs. One non-starter that has become increasingly common is only dating people who are in therapy and are invested in their mental health. Don’t think of non-starters as limiting. Instead, you can think of them as weeding out people who aren’t right for you. A lot of non-starters are going to be listed in a match’s preferences, so it’s easy to find them. If they are not, feel free to start a dialogue about one of your non-starters.
#7 Do I Have Any Dealbreakers?
Dating dealbreakers are also pertinent to any relationship. Dealbreakers go deeper than non-starters though. Dealbreakers are personality traits or values that could end a relationship BUT don’t stop you from dating or even getting into a relationship with someone. Maybe after six months of dating, you realize that your partner won’t introduce you to their family or doesn’t want kids. Make sure you evaluate if these are important to you. If so, it’s best to have a conversation with your partner and determine if the relationship can progress or if it needs to end.
#8 What Didn’t Work in Any Past Relationships?
Make some time each day or a timeline that works for you to journal out your thoughts around dating. This topic and the below one are great prompts to consider during your journaling. Think about any past relationships or friendships if you haven’t been in any relationships quite yet and see what aspects led to the relationship ending. Reflection can help you prevent repeating past mistakes and find a meaningful connection.
#9 What Did Work in Any Past Relationships?
And of course, it’s important to look at what worked well in past relationships or friendships! Be proud of yourself for what you bring to relationships.
#10 Do I Want to Find Someone or Am I Lonely?
This can be a hard realization. Dating and relationships should be invested in because you are interested in putting yourself out there, learning about yourself and connecting. Not because you feel alone. This can sometimes lead to finding someone else who also feels lonely, and you might not be able to build a stable relationship. Similarly, when you’re on eharmony, make sure you’re being intentional with your time. Endless scrolling won’t get you very far, so set an alarm for when to check your matches.
#11 What is My Love Language?
There are five different love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and touch. These determine how you like to express love and receive it. There are different online quizzes you can take to find out your primary love language(s). Having this knowledge gives you the power to communicate your preferences to your partner or date, and learn about their own.
#12 What are My Strengths/Weaknesses?
Your strengths and weaknesses are core to who you are as a person. In job interviews, we’re sometimes trained to provide weaknesses that aren’t very authentic, like, “I’m too detail oriented.” When you’re exploring who you are, make sure to be honest with yourself about who you are, where you’re currently at in life. This can help with finding a partner to complement the authentic you.
#13 What Are My Future Plans?
If you’re planning on moving across the globe in the next four months, finding a long-term relationship might not be your best bet at the moment, especially if the other person wants to stay close to family and friends for the time being. Same goes with other topics like having kids, getting married, etc. Just make sure you’re honest with yourself and the other person if you feel like a relationship is progressing.
#14 Am I Content with Myself?
To be prepared to start the right relationship, you must be ready to invite the right someone into your life. And to attract someone who’s a good match, you should be content with your own life. Being confident and content in dating begins with being confident and content in ourselves. You don’t have to be “perfect” to be deserving of love and being content with yourself is a journey.
#15 What Are My Values and Beliefs?
Being able to articulate your values and beliefs helps you narrow down your matches on eharmony and start conversations in-app or IRL. Determine what kind of person you want to be in a relationship with – should they value their community like in Black dating communities, or do you want the person to have the similar religious beliefs like e.g. Christian dating to you? All your values and beliefs are valid. Just make sure to communicate them in your profile and in-person.
#16 What Do I Like About Myself?
You are the VIP of your own life, and you want to bring your best self to any relationship. Write down the things you love about yourself and use them as affirmations before dates. Then take all the things you like about yourself and ensure that these qualities aren’t diminished by anyone you’re dating or in a relationship with. You matter.
#17 Am I Missing Anything in My Life?
There are aspects of wanting to be in a relationship that don’t include being lonely, as described in Tip 10. Some things that could be missing without a partner are intimacy, security, and safety. If you find someone that makes your life better, that could be the time to start an official relationship.
#18 How Do I Want the Other Person to Make Me Feel?
You are the only person who is going to always advocate for you and your interests. Your feelings and emotions are valid, and you want to find someone that validates you and how you feel.
#19 How do I Want to Make the Other Person Feel?
Once you’re in a relationship, the dynamic between you and your partner will determine if you’re both happy and content with each other. Before committing, think about how you want to make the other person feel in the relationship.
#20 Am I Comfortable with Rejection?
Rejection and dating unfortunately go hand in hand. Not everyone you date is going to be a fit. Make sure you’re comfortable with rejection before starting to date. Not being received in the way you had hoped can make dating anxiety-provoking, and when faced with rejection, you may question yourself. But taking the risk to let people in is the recipe for real love.
Questions to ask yourself help you set your dating and relationship intentions
Dating and relationships can both be a minefield, but by setting your intentions you can gain control of your reactions. Before you go on dates, realize what you want out of your love life. By determining what you want, you can truly have fun and live in the moment. These life changing questions to ask yourself before dating can aid in a positive and healthy dating life. eharmony’s Compatibility Quiz and Personality Profile allows you to uncover what you’re looking for in a relationship and your own non-starters and dealbreakers. Take the Quiz and register for free today.