Have focused conversations
“It can be hard to make conversation when you don’t know each other well. So, read a book about relationship and discuss it. It will help you get to know each other and start sensing if you’re right for each other.
For example, I encourage couples to read Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. It will give you a peek into how the other person works and help you frame the relationship. For example, if one person loves gifts, the other one had better be prepared to open his wallet from time to time. It can also help you avoid mistakes. If somebody loves quality time and the other one loves physical touch, you’d better set strong physical boundaries because one is going to want to sit on the couch all the time and the other one is going to want to be touched—and that’s a recipe for a baby.
After ninety days, have a conversation to see where you stand. Are you attracted to each other? Green light or red flag?
I always encourage people to pay attention to patterns, not potential. All of us have the potential to do better in our weak areas, but can we live with each other’s patterns? For instance, she may seem flirtatious to you, but she says it’s just her personality—she’s bubbly and likes talking to everybody. Can you live with that? Transformation in this area may come eventually, but even if so, there’s no timetable on it. You may want to go ahead with more dating together, hopefully leading to engagement and marriage, or you may decide to call it quits. (The next chapter will help you more in making this decision.) If you do decide to end it here, hopefully the breakup will happen without all the painful ripping apart that can happen when a dating couple is too tightly bonded. Instead of feeling like you lost, you can feel like you gained—you had some fun, you got to know somebody else, and you picked up some relationship tools that you can use next time around.
Your relationship goal of marriage is still alive and healthy.