Becoming Mrs Morrison: My 1st 2nd date and infamous 21 questions

by | Mar 16, 2020 | Cultivating Community

If you need to catch up on Part 1 of this series, click here.

My 1st 2nd date

Our next date was ten days later.
The plan was for me to host Mr Instant Messenger in Leicester for the day. Partly so he could make the 2 hour round trip this time. Partly, because I wanted to show him I wasn’t a gold digger.
I regretted not at least offering to pay for some of our expensive steak dinner 1st date which he graciously paid in total, without hesitation.
At the start of the day, I briefed him that I would have questions for him at the end of the day so he could spend time thinking of questions of his own.

This was my 1st ever 2nd date and the 1st time I had to plan one so I was nervous. In the end, I decided to focus on things we both had mentioned we liked – food, good conversations and cinema. I know, cinema is a controversial choice based on what I’d heard goes on in cinemas these days, but I genuinely just wanted to watch the film and have 90 minutes of date activity ‘down time’.

Following some time spent reminiscing on the console games we grew up on in CEX, we went to eat sushi (inadvertently stumbling across what would become a future staple date night restaurant) and watch Power Rangers (I thought 12A would be a safe bet 😏).

After the film, over dessert at a cafe, I proceeded to take out my list of 21 questions.
I was a little tense, especially because I knew how personal some of them were. This is why I hadn’t even shown them to my closest friends, because I knew my friends would call me too intense or possibly even crazy.
But I knew that if I didn’t ask them on the 2nd date, I would mentally and emotionally not be able to carry on to a 3rd date.

Disclaimers

Looking back and based on feedback from others, here are my disclaimers before I list the questions:

  • These questions were personal to me – I wrote them because I felt I needed to know the answers to them, to continue any kind of dating relationship. They might not be the questions you need. And reading them back now, all I do is cringe, whereas then, they were it for me 🤷🏾‍♀️
  • If you ask them, be willing to answer them too and don’t be mad if someone does not want to answer them, they might not trust you enough yet to expose themselves so much.
  • A lot of these questions are very personal so be gracious with how you deal with the answers, some of them should be kept in confidence
  • Asking such personal questions can make your date feel like you might want to commit too soon – not everyone will see it as a mere fact finding exercise. I did not realise this until I was told by a close friend later, what was literally just a Q & A session for me could legitimately be seen as an invitation to intimacy by someone else
  • People can lie – so don’t let the responses to the questions be your ultimate decision maker. When I told my mentor about this later, she reminded me that time and shared experiences are a much better revealer of someone’s character than answers to questions
  • Mr Instant Messenger told me that if it had not been for the fact he could already see a future with me by the start of our 2nd date, he would have never answered the questions, called me crazy and walked off – so above all, follow God’s leading regarding when to ask and what to ask, so you don’t accidentally sabotage a perfectly good dating or even marriage opportunity.

21 questions and my disclosure

With the ado out the way, here are my 21 questions:

  1. What’s your purpose?
  2. What is God currently teaching you?
  3. Do you believe in the deity and work of the Holy Spirit?
  4. When was the last time your will and God’s will were opposing and what happened
    next?
  5. What do you believe is the role of husband and wife in a home and how was that affected by your physical and spiritual upbringing? (mentioning marriage at this point was a gamble I was willing to take)
  6. How does your relationship with God practically affect your every day?
  7. Which biblical character do you feel most connected to and why?
  8. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
  9. What do you want your legacy to be?
  10. Who is/are your closest friend/friends and why?
  11. Who are you accountable to?
  12. What does holiness mean to you?
  13. What does being a Christian mean to you?
  14. What Book of the Bible are you currently reading?
  15. Scenario 1: if we were in a relationship and things were getting a little too physical what
    would you do?
  16. Scenario 2: in a fight, are you a walker or a talker? Do you need time away to process or do you want to resolve things in the moment?
  17. Do you tithe? Why?/Why not?
  18. What are your favourite characters traits in you? What are your best? What are your worst
  19. What are your love languages? What are your spiritual gifts?
  20. Have you got/ever had any addictions?
  21. Do you believe in the prophetic?

The funny thing is, I had been so focused on creating and asking the questions, I had not thought about the ‘right’ answers and I’m glad I didn’t. Because it allowed me to actively listen to what Mr Instant Messenger was saying and how he was answering. That way I got to know more about the person behind the answer (his character and ways of thinking), than just the answers themselves.
I liked his thinking and his way of responding – it made sense to me and it made me feel safe and inspired at the same time.
Once I started with the questions, it was so easy to continue as it became much more of a foundation for a great conversation for us, rather than an awkward interview.

For those wondering, this was also the point at which I told Mr Instant Messenger about my chronic illness – it was always something I knew I wanted to be honest with asap, to give him a fair chance to ‘get out’ if he wanted to. I don’t believe in deceiving people – what’s the point in keeping such a big part of your life a secret knowing it could be a major deal breaker for people and then you both catch feelings and then when you finally confess it’s messy and awkward and painful and now you’re both the victim and the bad guy when it could have just been avoided from the start? (Please learn from Carlton #LoveisblindNetflix)

Of course, rejection doesn’t feel good, especially when it’s based on something you can’t do anything about, but I’d rather someone tell me on or after a 2nd date they can’t deal with the reality my illness presents, than months/years down the line when we now have to break off an engagement, because I chose not to tell him sooner. MAKES NO SENSE TO ME WHATSOEVER!
After your disclosure, at least you know those who stay might be right for you, and those who go, clearly were not right in the first place.

 

The end of the date

Anyway, after waiting for Mr. Instant Messenger to catch his train back, I made my way home feeling unbelievably relieved. Relieved that the pressure of planning the day was over; relieved at having the courage to ask the questions I needed to; and relieved that Mr Instant Messenger and I had once again had such a lovely time together.

I felt emotionally safe, intellectually stimulated and spiritually challenged by him.
However, I didn’t yet feel physically attracted to him and I was toing and froing about whether it was normal to not be physically attracted to someone you’re dating to begin with.

I liked Mr Instant Messenger no question, but I didn’t know if I could like him like him.
I spoke to friends of mine to get their opinion on it and I remember them saying it might just take a little time and to see how it goes.
Turns out, I didn’t have to wait that long for things to change completely…

 Check out Part 3 of the story.

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