A Male Relationship Coach Shares 7 Questions Women Should Ask Men On The Third Date
Life really is a trip. Today, the reason why I say that is because, the backstory on this particular relationship coach is, he's actually a good friend of mine. We went to college together. He knew my late fiancé. And now, here we are—both coaches in matters of the heart. The funny thing about Jay and myself is that we have always really interesting discussions on coaching/counseling couples because we're both super-opinionated when it comes to what we think is the key to making relationships work and last. That said, if you've read even a few of my relationship articles on this platform, you know that I can't stress enough, just how important it is to hear a man's point of view if you're interested in, well, dating a man.
In walks Jay. As we were recently chatting it up about how couples should communicate in the early dating phases of their relationship, I asked him to share what he thought single marriage-minded women should be comfortable asking a man around the third date. Because, let's be honest, y'all—if you're interested in jumping a broom sooner than later, time is of the essence and no one is interested in spending precious time, effort and energy in a man who isn't in the same book, let alone on the same page. So, if you've got a guy who you're really feeling right now, you got the "first attraction date" and "second chemistry date" out of the way, it's now time to tackle what Jay says is the compatibility portion of the program. And this can—and in many ways should—transpire on date three.
"The purpose of these questions is to really see if you and he are a good fit," Jay explains. "If after you ask these seven questions, you and the guy you're seeing aren't on the same page, you really should take a step back. You need to assess if there is something actually there beyond emotions and hormones because, unfortunately, about 80 percent of couples don't have these conversations early on—and they end up paying for it later." As a marriage life coach, I can certainly vouch for that (check out "The 'Pre-Commitment Interview' Every Dating Couple Should Have").
So, are you ready to read about what your third date conversation should consist of, again, if marriage sooner than later is on your list of short-term goals? Here are seven of them, along with why Jay finds them to be absolutely essential.
1. "Where do you see yourself in five years?"
A man with laser focus is definitely going to be able to envision where he's headed in life. If he is also marriage-minded, while he's sharing his vision for the next several years, at some point, marriage and possibly children are definitely going to come up. You won't have to coax him into mentioning it. It's already on his radar.
2. "What short-term goals are you looking to achieve?"
The reason why this is so important is because it helps you to get a window into his current priorities. As he's discussing his plans and desires, listen to see if he brings up the kind of woman who he would like to share the rest of his life with. If he's interested in making that move within the next couple of years, he'll mention it. It won't just be in passing either.
3. "How do you feel about children?"
Unfortunately, a lot of couples don't discuss this enough on the front end. While it doesn't apply to all men, if the guy you're seeing says that he isn't interested in having kids and he doesn't already have some, it could send a potential red flag that he's not the most responsible person.
When we have children, they are more permanent than relationships in a lot of ways. A man who isn't interested in kids could be letting you know that he's not big on commitment.
4. "What's your relationship like with your parents?"
You need to know how he was raised. It's no secret that generations can repeat the same patterns. You need to know what you're getting yourself into. How has his father impacted his life? What is his relationship like with his mother, to this day? Now that he's an adult, does he have a healthy set of boundaries with his family? Does he see indications of lasting trauma from his childhood that have gone unaddressed? This might seem like a deep question for a third date but if he's comfortable with who he is, and you're willing to answer this question too, he should be pretty forthcoming about it all.
5. "How important is sex to you?"
On a scale of 1-10, ask him how much he values sex in a relationship. First, in a dating situation and then once he's married. While you're dating, it can let you know what his expectations are. And since sex is often seen as being recreational fun when you're single, it's a good idea to get a hold of how he sees marriage once he's a husband. Sex is a way to cultivate a special bond once you're husband and wife. What are his views on that?
6. "How do you prioritize your health?"
Health is important in every facet of your life—mind, body and spirit. You need to know how he views things like eating habits, working out and going to therapy if/when needed. You also need to know if he expects similar things out of the person he is dating on a serious level.
This might seem like a minor thing when you're dating but when you're sharing a life with someone else, it becomes pretty big.
7. "What does faith look like in your life?"
Even though I'm saving this for last, I easily could've mentioned it first. Because I'm a Christ-centered relationship coach, I believe that two people should be equally yoked. Faith is paramount because it's foundational when it comes to understanding someone's values. When values don't align and two people have totally different forms of reference, it's hard to walk together in life. Not to mention raise kids. Know what his faith/religion is. Know if he makes it a top priority. Know how he wants to implement it in his home someday when he's sharing it with other people. It's pretty important to be on the same page or at least have some common ground here.
BONUS: "How do you feel about blended families?"
I got married for the first time in my mid-40s and one of my two daughters [JH2] was living with me. My wife had no children. We had to learn how to create a blended family. The reality is the longer any of us wait to get married, the greater chance that we'll either be a parent and/or date someone who is. You need to know if he's open or not open to coming into a ready-made dynamic. You also need to see if he's being compliant about the thought of a blended family or just…tolerant. If he's embracing the idea, he'll be really direct about it in his words and his body language. He'll make direct eye contact. He won't dodge the topic. If he's merely tolerant, he might say something along the lines of, "Well, if that's a part of the package" or, "If that's what I've got to do then…"
Marriage is challenging enough. You don't want someone who isn't really willing to make a blended situation work if you've got kids.
Yeah, I know. While a part of you might wonder if these questions are "too heavy", as if you are low-key interrogating him, it really is all in the delivery, tone and if you are willing to answer the questions that you're asking. Besides, remember that this is for those of us who are dating with the desire of meeting the one we want to marry—again, sooner than later. The sooner you know if "he" has the same perspective as you, the easier it will be to either move forward with him or to cool things off so that you can keep yourself open for the one who you can go on three dates with, direct these questions towards and it ends up being all good.
I mean, it's not like a man—a married man—didn't just give the green light to take this approach. There's no time like the present to know where you stand, right? You've got Jay's cosign. Do it.
Jay Hurt is a licensed relationship coach with 10 years of experience. He's also a speaker and the author of two books: The 9 Tenets of a Successful Relationship and Before You Jump the Broom. A great way to connect with Jay is to participate in his bi-weekly open Zoom calls, Relationship Convos with a Black Man. For more information, hit him up on all socials (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) at jayhurtcoaching or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image by Shutterstock
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports