Most people’s values are easy to identify over a long dating period, but sometimes they can be harder to recognize in just one or two dates. Ultimately, it’s going to be hard to find out your date’s feelings on an issue if you don’t talk about it. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is to go on dates that will promote talking about such sensitive and vital topics. If you’d like to learn more about your date’s values, try some of these ideas to find out her feelings about media, morality, modesty, unselfishness, worthiness, material possession, and family values.
Go to a Movie Theater and Rate Movies by Preference
If you’re already going to a movie anyway, while you’re waiting in line, or waiting to be let in the theater, get out a notepad and make two lists: one for your date, and one for you. Then, list all the movies playing in the theater in the order of which you would most likely watch. When you’re finished, talk about your lists. Which are at the top, and which are at the bottom. Discuss with your date why they put them in the order they did.
Go to a Fireside Together
This works especially well if the topic is standards, values, or integrity. After the fireside, talk about what was said.
Ask your date what he would do if he was given a million dollars, and then talk about what you would do with it. Get as detailed as possible.
Challenge your date to a kindness contest. Whatever your activity, any time one of you does something kind for someone else (it can’t be to one of the two of you), that person gets a point. It can be a smile or wave, it can be opening the door for someone, it can be a compliment or show of gratitude. You can (and should) show kindness to each other as well, but those won’t count for the contest.
“Where’s the Line?” Game
If you are good friends with your date, or you have really good communication with your date, play the game, “Where’s the Line?”
Talk about different scenarios to see where you feel that a person has crossed the line. For example,
“You’re trying to fix your car, and your two-year-old nephew comes out and wants to help. He keeps getting into dangerous situations, so you ask him to go back inside the house. He doesn’t go, but continues to play in a way that could get him hurt. You swear at him and tell him if he doesn’t go back in, he’ll be in big trouble. He continues to ignore you until you finally take him inside, give him a spanking, and put him in his room. Did you cross the line? Where? What would be the better approach?”
“You’re on a date and take a drive to see the sunset. After eating a packed dinner, you cuddle until it gets dark, and then make-out for an hour. You end up falling asleep and wake up around three in the morning. Did you cross the line? Where? What should you have done?”
This works best if you’re taking a walk, a drive, or doing something that encourages conversation (see Talking Dates)
Go Shopping Together
Sometimes shopping for clothes together (even if it’s only window shopping) can be a great way to find out your date’s attitude toward modesty. What kinds of things would she wear if they could afford it? What kinds of things does he suggest you try?
Do Baptisms for the Dead
Invite him to go with you to do baptisms for the dead, or any other temple ordinance. If your date has an active temple recommend, you already know quite a bit about him.
One week, go together to your ward. See how comfortable she acts, and how well she participates. She may be shy, but you should be able to tell from her actions if she is comfortable being at church. The next week, go together to her ward. See how the people react to her. Do they know her? Is she as much a stranger as you are?
What Would You Do Different?
We all want to do some things different than our parents, and we all have things that we like about what our parents did. Do you want to react the same way your parents would? Talk about those things. Introduce the discussion this way, and then take turns picking topics. For example:
“When you came home with a bad grade: different, or the same?”
Then talk about how each of your parents reacted, and whether you hope to react the same.
“Child discipline: different, or the same?”
Then discuss how your parents disciplined you, and whether you want to use the same methods.
“Purchasing styles: different or the same?”
“How they celebrated birthdays: different or the same?”
“Their attitudes about pets: different or the same?”
Most Valuable Possession Discussion
Ask your date, “If you and your family suddenly had to permanently leave your home and take only one thing with you, what would you bring?”
Then talk about what your response would be.