Dating Across the Lifespan

 

Dating Across the Lifespan

I’ve heard it said that a person has greater odds of getting hit by a cow falling out of the sky than getting married after the age of 60.  Admittedly, those are humorous and somewhat grim “statistics.” Still I’m left with many thought-provoking questions about the complexity of dating throughout the life span.  What is it (or who) that changes so much from the teen years to the senior years? 

We are all accustomed to completing applications for employment, credit, major purchases and even for insurance and medical questionnaires. These applications contain some really personal questions we are required to complete.  Many of us may at some point have been on the witness stand, giving our answers under a sworn oath.   The penalty of lying on an application or under oath can range from being fired to prosecution.

What then should be the required disclosures in a dating relationship?

My mother admonished me with this guidance “You should never date someone you wouldn’t want to marry.” Where did she arrive at that bit of wisdom?  Each person comes to the relationship with his or her own strengths, weaknesses, and baggage.  What makes someone a “good catch?” I’ve put some thought into major topics of importance.  Which issues matter and which should be disregarded?  Where does the “right to know” apply in a dating relationship?

 PRE-DATING QUESTIONNAIRE

(Pre-adolescent dating is not a consideration)

13 – 15 years of age 

  • How old are you?
  • Do you have an unlimited texting plan?
  • Can you get your parents to drop you off at the mall?
  • What time do you have to be home?
  • Which music do you like?
  • Are you going to the dance?
  • Are you going to the game?
  • Do you play sports?
  • Do you get an allowance?
  • Are you on Facebook?

16 – 18 years of age

  • Do you have your driver’s license?
  • Do you have your own car?
  • Do you have a part time job?
  • Do you get an allowance?
  • Which classes are you taking?
  • Are you going to college?
  • Do you want to get high?
  • Are you on birth control?
  • What time do you have to be home?
  • Do you have a credit card?
  • Would you ever date somebody of a different race or ethnic background?
  • Would you date somebody your parents or friends disapproved of?
  • Are you on Facebook?

19 – 25 years of age

  • Are you married?  (If yes, end of consideration)
  • Are you separated?  (If yes, end of consideration)
  • Have you ever been married?
  • (If divorced):  Do you have custody of the children?
  • Can you get a babysitter?
  • Would you ever date somebody of a different race or ethnic background?
  • Would you date somebody your parents or friends disapproved of?
  • Have you ever physically struck/hit a person of the opposite sex?
  • Do you have a full time job?  If so where?
  • What are your hours of work/days off?
  • What are your career goals/ambitions?
  • Are you in college?
  • Did you finish college?  If yes, Degree earned.   If not, why?
  • Do you have outstanding student loans?
  • Are you a registered voter?
  • Did you vote in the last election?
  • What is your political party affiliation?
  • Would you consider yourself liberal?  Conservative?
  • Do you have your own apartment?
  • Do you have a home mortgage?
  • Do you have a roommate?  If so, are they same or opposite sex?
  • What was the last purchase you made on credit?
  • What was the last MAJOR purchase you made on credit?
  • How many credit cards do you have?
  • How many of your credit cards are maxed out?
  • Do you owe more than $5,000 in credit card debt?
  • Do you have a joint credit card with another person?
  • Do you want to get high?
  • Do you want to go out for drinks?
  • Are you on Facebook?

26 – 40 years of age

  • Are you married? Are you separated?  (If yes, end of consideration)
  • How many times have you been married?
  • (If divorced):  Why did you divorce or get divorced?
  • Why haven’t you been married?
  • Do you have children?  If so, how many?  If not, why?
  • Have you ever physically struck/hit a person of the opposite sex?
  • Have you had sterilization surgery?
  • How many children do you have?    How old are they?
  • Do any of your children live at home?
  • Do you pay child support?      Do you receive child support?
  • Can I trust you with my children?
  • Does anybody else live with you?    Gender?      Relationship?
  • Where do you work?     How long have you been there?
  • What are your hours of work/days off?
  • What are your dreams/aspirations/goals?
  • What was the last purchase you made on credit?
  • What was the last MAJOR purchase you made on credit?
  • How many credit cards do you have?
  • How many of your credit cards are maxed out?
  • Do you owe more than $5,000 in credit card debt?
  • Do you have a joint credit card with another person?
  • Are you a registered voter?
  • Did you vote in the last election?
  • What is your political party affiliation?
  • Would you consider yourself liberal?  Conservative?
  • Do you own you own home?    How many unrelated people live with you?       Gender?
  • Where is your home located?
  • Are you in college?
  • Did you finish college?  If yes, Degree earned.   If not, why?
  • Do you have outstanding student loans?
  • What kind of car do you have?
  • Do you have pets?  How many?  What kind?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you drink?
  • Do you use drugs?
  • Do you have a tattoo?  Where?
  • Where do you like to go on vacation?
  • Do you go to church?  If so, where?   If not, why?
  • What is your religious affiliation?
  • Do you have hobbies?    What are they?
  • Which are your favorite sports teams?
  • Do you work out?      If so, where?
  • Is your weight proportionate to your height?
  • Can you still see your feet when standing upright?
  • Are you on Facebook?

41 – 59 years of age

  • Are you married? Are you separated?  (If yes, end of consideration)
  • How many times have you been married?
  • (If divorced):  Why did you divorce or get divorced?
  • If never married, why?
  • Do you have children?  If so, how many?    How old are they?
  • Do you pay child support?        Do you receive child support?
  • If you don’t have children, why not?
  • Can I trust you with my children?
  • Are you Widowed?       How long?
  • Would you ever date somebody of a different race or ethnic background?
  • Would you date somebody your close friends disapproved of?
  • Have you ever physically struck/hit a person of the opposite sex?
  • Are you in college?
  • Did you finish college?  If yes, Degree earned.   If not, why?
  • Do you have outstanding student loans?
  • What was the last purchase you made on credit?
  • What was the last MAJOR purchase you made on credit?
  • How many credit cards do you have?
  • How many of your credit cards are maxed out?
  • Do you owe more than $5,000 in credit card debt?
  • Do you have a joint credit card with another person?
  • Do you have a home mortgage?      If so, who lives with you?   Relationship? Gender?
  • Where do you work?
  • What are your hours of work/days off?
  • How long have you worked at your current job?
  • Are you a registered voter?
  • Did you vote in the last election?
  • What is your political party affiliation?
  • Would you consider yourself liberal?  Conservative?
  • Do you have health insurance?
  • Do you have any major health issues?
  • Do you have a 401K plan?
  • Do you own your own home?    How many unrelated people live with you?   Gender?
  • Where is your home located?
  • Do you live with your parents?        Why?              
  • Where else have you lived?
  • Where have you traveled?
  • What do you want to do when you retire?
  • Have you served in the military?   If so, where and when?   Were you honorably discharged?
  • Do you have credit card debt?
  • What is your credit score?
  • Do you have children still living at home?
  • How many children over the age of 18 are still living at home?
  • How many children do you currently support?
  • Do you use birth control?  Have you had sterilization surgery?
  • Where do you go to church?
  • Do you smoke?        Drink?          Use drugs?
  • Do you have any current health problems?
  • Have you ever been incarcerated?   If so, why?     Where?     Charges?    Currently on parole?   Did you do it?   Are you lying?
  • Have you ever been in rehab?     What for?  If yes, have you ever relapsed?
  • Is your weight proportionate to your height?
  • Can you still see your feet when standing upright?
  • Are you on Facebook?

60 – 85 years of age

PERSONAL

  • Date of birth:  (Would you lie about a fact that is this concrete?)
  • Birthplace:
  • Have you been married before?  If so, list # of times.
  • How old were you when you were 1st married?
  • If you are divorced, who initiated divorce proceedings and why?
  • Do you still have a relationship with your ex?          How would you describe it?
  • How long did your marriage(s) last?
  • How long have you been divorced?
  • Do you pay alimony?              Do you receive alimony?
  • Have you ever had an extra-marital affair?
  • Are you Widowed?           How long?
  • Can I trust you with my children and/or grandchildren?
  • Have you ever lied to your spouse?
  • In a dating relationship, do you find yourself attracted to:
  1. A partner around my same age
  2. A partner 6 – 15 years older than myself
  3. A partner 6 – 15 years younger than myself
  4. A partner the age of my children
  5. A partner 15 – 20 years older than myself
  6. A partner 15 – 20 years younger than myself

HEALTH

Have you ever been diagnosed with or treated for a sexually transmitted disease?    If so, what disease?  Treated more than once?

Have you ever been tested for:

  • HIV/AIDES
  •  Hepatitis B
  •  Hepatitis C

Have you ever tested positive for any of the above?

  • Do you have any MAJOR health problems or chronic diseases  (e.g. heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes)?
  • Have you ever been hospitalized?     WHY?
  • Have you ever had surgery?   If so, list surgeries and dates:
  • Have you been told you need surgery but refused to have it?
  • Do you use prescription drugs?               How many?          Which ones?              Why?
  • Do you require an assistive device to walk (e.g. walker or cane)?
  • Do you use a wheelchair?
  • Do you require a prostheses of any type (artificial leg/arm/hand, eye, penile prostheses, hearing aide)?
  • Do you have erectile dysfunction?    Is treatment successful?
  • Are you incontinent?    Bowel?   Bladder?    Both?     Flatulence?
  • Do you snore?
  • Have you been told you have sleep apnea?  If so, do you use a C-pap machine?
  • Were you ever a Boy Scout?  Girl Scout?   If so, number of merit badges earned:
  • Have you ever served in the military?   If yes, which branch & where?  # of years:
  • Honorably Discharged?
  • Do you have tattoos?  If yes, list number:
  • Do you have more tattoos that Boy/Girl Scout badges?
  • Is your TTT ratio high?     Is your TTT ratio low?    (# of teeth:# of tattoos)
  • # tattoos obtained while in military service:
  • # tattoos obtained before military service:         # After:
  • # tattoos obtained while incarcerated:
  • Do you smoke cigarettes?  # packs/day
  • Do you chew tobacco?
  • Do you dip snuff?
  • Do you use illegal drugs?
  • Do you drink alcoholic beverages?      Type?  Frequency?
  • Is your weight proportionate to your height?
  • Can you still see your feet when standing upright?
  • How many hours per week do you watch television?  (Are you a couch potato who lies in a chair with a remote in his/her hand all evening?)
  • How many hours per week do you exercise?

FINANCIAL

  • What was the last purchase you made on credit?
  • What was the last MAJOR purchase you made on credit?
  • How many credit cards do you have?
  • How many of your credit cards are maxed out?
  • Do you owe more than $5,000 in credit card debt?
  • Do you have a joint credit card with another person?
  • Do you still have a home mortgage?
  • How many children over the age of 18 live in your household?
  • Do you live with one of your children?         Why?
  • Do you live with a friend?             If yes, gender?           Are you related?
  • Do you currently pay child support?   If so, amount and # of children:
  • Do you currently pay alimony?   If so, amount:
  • How many loans have you currently co-signed for friends/family?
  • Have you ever taken a Dave Ramsey course?
  • What is your current credit score?     (All 3 credit reporting agencies)
  • Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?
  • Have you ever defaulted on a debt?
  • How much money do you have in your 401K plans?
  • When you do plan to retire?
  • What will be your Social Security income when you retire?
  • If retired, do you have a part time job?
  • If still working, do you plan to have a part time job after you retire?
  • If still working, do you plan to travel after you retire?
  • If still working, do you plan to do nothing after you retire?
  • What model car do you drive?        Is it paid for?

GENEROSITY/VOLUNTEERISM

  • What was the last random act of kindness you did?   Who for?    What did it require:   Money?      Time?         Both?              Other?
  • List occasions you volunteered your time/energy/talents to serve someone you don’t know personally?           What did you do?      Where?     When?
  • Duration?

SPIRITUAL

  • Are you a daily follower of Jesus Christ?  How long (# months/years):
  • Do you know you could do better if you were more committed to studying your Bible daily?
  • What was the date you were baptized?           Where?
  • Religious Denomination?
  • Do you serve on any committees in your church?
  • Do you serve in areas of ministry in your church?  (e.g. choir, nursery, teacher, outreach)
  • What do you believe the Bible teaches about the role of women in the church?
  • Do you currently tithe 10% of your gross income to your local church?

FAMILY/FRIENDS/RELATIONSHIPS

  • Is your mother living?    If not, # years deceased?     Cause of death?
  • Is your father living?      If not, # years decreased?    Cause of death?
  • # of friends you see on a weekly basis for one-on-one interaction:
  • # of friends you talk to on a weekly basis:
  • # of children:
  • How often do your children come to see you?

When your children visit, what is the purpose for their visits?

A)   To borrow money

B)   To drop off grandchildren

C)   To visit and spend time with you

D)   To move in

How often do you go see your children?

  • Do you have family members who are estranged from the rest of the family?  Is so, why?       Duration of time they’ve been estranged:
  • Do you spend holidays with your family?
  • How would you describe your family?   Dysfunctional?   Well-balanced?
  • Would you ever date somebody of a different race or ethnic background?
  • Would you date somebody your children or close friends disapproved of?
  • Are you on Facebook?     How often?

EDUCATION/LITERACY

  • How many years of school did you complete?
  • How many college degrees have you earned?  What majors?
  • Did your parents pay for your college education?
  • Did you work while you were going to college?
  • Are you still paying off student loans?
  • Did you pay for or are you paying for your children’s college education?
  • When was the last personal development course you took?
  • What was the subject of the last professional development course you took?
  • What subject do you wish you knew more about?    Do you have actual plans to accomplish this?
  • Do you speak a second language?   Third?
  • What was the last book you read?
  • Are you computer literate?

SPECIAL SKILLS

  • Do you have special skills?
  • Computers?  Programming?  Technological?
  • Do you have a Smart Phone?
  • Mechanical?
  • Electrical?
  • Plumbing?
  • Financial?
  • Political?
  • Handyman?
  • Carpentry?
  • Painter?
  • Builder?
  • Martial Arts?
  • Massage?
  • Self-Defense?
  • Firearms?
  • Other?

HOBBIES/INTERESTS

  • Do you have hobbies?    If so, what?
  • How many hours per week do you spend at home doing your hobby?
  • How many hours per week do you spend away from home doing your hobby?
  • How spontaneous are you on a scale of 0 – 10?  (0 being the least spontaneous; 10 being the most spontaneous)
  • Golf?
  • Horticulture?
  • Gardening?
  • Woodworking?
  • Leather crafts?
  • Hiking?
  • Hunting?
  • Other?

TRAVEL

  • List States you have visited:              Purpose:
  • List Countries you have visited:               Purpose:
  • States where you have lived:             Duration:                   Is there a reason you wouldn’t go back there?
  • Countries where you have lived:         Duration:                Military-related?
  • Where are the favorite places you have traveled:
  • Where would you like to travel that you haven’t already been?           What is stopping you from going?

CULINARY

  • Can you cook?
  • How often do you cook?
  • What are your favorite dishes to cook?
  • What are your favorite dishes to eat?
  • Dislikes:
  • Preferences:
  • Favorite restaurants?
  • Dietary requirements/restrictions/limitations?

TEMPERAMENT/SOCIAL

  • When is the last time you raised your voice at somebody?     Why?
  • Do you have a bad temper?
  • Have you ever physically struck/hit a person of the opposite sex?
  • Are you jealous?
  • Do you like to go out for drinks?
  • Do you dance?
  • Do you like crowds?

Given a choice, how would you prefer to spend an evening:

  1. Dinner
  2. Dinner and a movie
  3. Sports event
  4. Home in a chair with a remote in one hand.
  5. Home in a chair with a can of beer in one hand and a remote in the other
  6. Playing board games or cards
  7. Having friends over
  8. Fixing dinner with my partner
  9. Home:  cozied up to my partner, watching a movie we’ve picked together and sharing a bowl of popcorn
  10. Babysitting my grandchildren
  11. Curled up with a good book, in my own world.
  12. Surfing the internet
  13. Checking out Facebook

DISABILITY/DEATH

  • Do you have disability insurance?
  • Who would take care of you if you became disabled?
  • Do you have a Health Care Power of Attorney?
  • Do you have a Living Will?
  • Do you have a Will?
  • Who is the Executor of your Will?
  • Who will your Estate go to?
  • Who is your attorney?
  • Do you have your burial plot purchased?    Where?
  • If widowed, do you plan to be buried beside a former spouse?
  • If so, do you already have a double tombstone?   Where is it located?

SUMMATION

Admittedly, the questions above are HARD questions.  I daresay most of them are ones you would never dare ask and would probably walk away before a half dozen of them were asked of you.  You won’t discover these answers over a cup of coffee or in casual dinner conversation.  You do, however, need to be a great listener.  There are things a person tells you without putting those details into words. Have you ever considered paying a Private Investigator to check out a person you considered dating? I know people who have done this and were later glad they did.Have you ever dated someone who isolated you from your closest friends and/or family?Have you ever dated/married someone your closest friends disapproved of?    If yes, what have you learned from this experience?

In conclusion, people change as they grow older based on life experiences.  Couples who marry in their 20’s and stay together, grow together and have shared experiences.  Those who find themselves dating in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and later have experiences (and often baggage) they bring to a new relationship.  The ideal mate has more to do with how positively each individual has adapted to life experiences and very little to do with physical appearance or attributes.  Of major importance are flexibility, determination, preparation, character, dependability, integrity and respect.   And oh yes, listen to what your gut instincts tell you about that person! If something seems a little “off” about that person, beware!  A wise friend once told me if the person I considered dating was 80% of what I was looking for in a partner, then I should explore the relationship further to see if we had enough common ground on which to build our lives together.   What has been your experience?

Pam Baker, RN

PamBakerRN.com

 

Dating Across the Lifespan


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