Questions to ask a potential spouse

In keeping with 'Abdu'l-Bahá's counsel to become acquainted with each other's character, we have compiled some questions as suggestions to what you could ask a potential spouse in order to get to know them better.

Some of these questions are good as ice-breakers to get a conversation going and some are of a more sensitive nature that should be asked at a later stage. Use your own discretion to decide. We welcome your suggestions for additional questions or modifications to existing questions.

  • Personality and Communication
    • What are your best qualities?
    • What are your worst qualities?
    • How do you handle disagreements?
    • How do you express your emotions?
    • Do you easily get stressed? And what makes you stressed?
    • Are you a morning person or a night person?
    • Are you more of an introvert or extravert?
    • Are you more of a talker or a listener?
    • What style of humor do you have or prefer?
    • How messy or tidy are you? And what level of mess can you tolerate?
    • Do you have mood swings? How often? How severe? And what causes them?
    • What irritates or annoys you?
    • What qualities do you admire in others?
    • Who do you admire the most and why?
    • Do you have any bad habits?
  • Family Life
    • In your opinion, should the mother work or stay home with the children while they are young?
    • What do you see as the role of the woman/man in a marriage and in the family?
    • What are the duties of a woman/man in daily family life?
    • How would you prioritize the following areas: Spending time with family, pursuing a career, participating in Bahá'í activities, pursuing personal hobbies and interests?
    • Can you cook?
    • Who should do the cooking and housework in a family?
  • Children
    • Would you like to have children? If yes, how many?
    • Why do you want to have children?
    • When do you want to have children?
    • How would you discipline a child?
    • What are the most important values to foster in children?
  • Bahá'í related
    • How active are you in Bahá'í activities?
    • How important is the Bahá'í Faith in your life?
    • How much time do you devote to Bahá'í activities per week/month?
    • Would you enjoy praying and studying the writings with your spouse?
    • Would you like to pioneer on the homefront or abroad?
    • Would you or do you enjoy hosting regular Bahá'í activities in your home?
    • Did you grow up in a Bahá'í family?
    • How and why did you become a Bahá'í?
    • Do you turn to the writings for guidance before making important decisions? If yes, can you give an example?
  • Financial
    • What level of wealth do you aspire to or what level of wealth is acceptable to you?
    • What standard of living are you accustomed to?
    • Is money a measure of success and self-worth to you?
    • Do you handle and manage money in a responsible way?
    • Do you live within your income or do you frequently go into debt?
    • Are you good at saving money?
    • Did you grow up in a poor, middleclass, or wealthy family? How has this affected you?
  • Love and Marriage
    • Why do you want to get married?
    • How do you express love? E.g. Through physical contact, through kind words, or by loving actions. Which form of love do you express more?
  • Personal History
    • Describe your relationship to your parents, sibling/s, and/or children.
    • Describe the influence of religion or lack of in your family while growing up?
    • Were you accustomed to hardship while growing up?
    • Describe the family environment that you grew up in. E.g. Was it tense, violent and volatile, loving and affectionate, aloof and distant etc.?
    • Have you had relationships in the past? What did you learn about yourself and about the type of person who you would be most suited to?
    • Have you been violent towards others in the past or have you been a victim of violence?
    • Do you suffer from any mental illnesses e.g. depression, anxiety, phobias etc? And if so, how does this affect your life?
    • Do you have any medical illnesses, disabilities or diseases? And if so, how does this affect your life?
    • Have you been convicted of any crimes in the past?
  • Questions for people who have been previously married
    • Why did your previous marriage(s) not work?
    • What did you learn from your previous marriage(s)?
    • How would you do things differently this time?
    • Who was the cause of the problems in your former marriage(s)? You, your spouse, both of you, or neither of you, and Why?
    • How do you feel about being a step-parent to my children?
  • General
    • How flexible are you on where you would live?
    • Do you look after your health?
    • Are you vegetarian, or do you have any other special food preferences?
    • Do you exercise regularly?
    • Do you like pets?
    • Do you like watching movies?
    • What kind of music do you like?
    • What kind of books do you read?
    • What are your hobbies and interests?
    • Do you play any musical instruments?
    • Do you have any life goals, or dreams about the future?
    • Do you do any volunteer work?
    • How do you like to spend your vacations? E.g. Summer Schools or conferences, travel teaching, relaxing on a beach, staying at home, camping, visiting family etc

This is by no means a definitive list and we welcome your suggestions to add new questions or delete or modify existing questions. Please email us at adam@twodoves.net

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For Reflection...

"The true marriage of Bahá'í is this, that husband and wife should be united both physically and spiritually, that they may ever improve the spiritual life of each other, and may enjoy everlasting unity throughout all the worlds of God. This is Bahá'í marriage." - 'Abdu'l-Bahá (Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 117)

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