To look for a prospective date, friend, partner, getting information about the other person ahead of time is essential. Prior to the development of the internet, one often met a prospective date through friends and through shared activities. Friends you trusted could be relied on to introduce you to a trustworthy date; yet even then the term “blind date” suggested you did not know exactly who or what you were going to meet.

Meeting a date through shared activities gave you the opportunity to observe the other person before any intention arose to date that person. You could meet the person on safe grounds, and you also had the chance to talk to others about the person of interest. You still may meet others through friends’ introductions or through shared activities, but many now use the internet.

The rise of dating websites have provided new opportunities to meet potential dates. This electronic media provides the opportunity to describe you and to read the descriptions about others. You have the opportunity to communicate electronically before meeting the person face-to-face. Remember that people advertise themselves on dating websites for a variety of reasons. . Some are looking for a sexual relationship; some are looking for friendship; others are looking for a long-term relationship. It is in your best interest to know what the other person is looking for when they advertise on a dating website.

When you begin to communicate on the website, many questions are worth asking. These questions were prepared by my colleague, Winston Young. Ghandi was quoted as saying:  “I look only to the good qualities of man. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the fault of others”

This Online dating Questionnaire appears counter to Ghandi’s wisdom and non-judgemental approach to life. However for those of us who need to be careful about whom we invite into our lives, these questions may serve to elucidate what is important to us in any relationship. Many questions are direct, even invasive, and many may choose not to respond. That’s OK … at the beginning. Just ask yourself how important is it to you if you were to have a short-term or long-term and binding relationship with someone only to find out later that there were many things you should have known!!!

Understand that you needn’t ask all the questions in one email or telephone conversation. One advantage at the beginning of an online relationship is that you could take the time to find out a lot about someone before meeting them personally. Do go through the questions and highlight the critical questions and answers you want to know about and are also prepared to answer yourself. Expect that initially many people would be reluctant to respond to some of the questions as it may be ‘too personal’ but in not answering you may want to follow up later if it is very important to you. Don’t be in a hurry to jump in the water until you find out how hot or cold it is.


What kind of work do you do?

Are you trained to do other kinds of work?

Are you currently taking a course or program? Is it full time?

On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you doing the work you do?

Do you have plans to change the work you do?

What time commitments do you have with your work?

Does your work involve shifts?

Do you own a business?

Have you ever been fired?

At the end of your work day how tired are you?

How much time do you have for other aspects of your life?


Have you ever declared bankruptcy?

Are you carrying a heavy debt load?

Do you save money regularly?

What major financial commitments do you have?

Have you ever been refused a loan?

Are you good at maintaining financial commitments?

Do you have insurance policies?

Does the work you do provide you with enough money to cover your expenses and allow you to save?

Do you have a financial and retirement plan?


Are you dealing with chronic or acute health issues?

Are you taking prescribed medications?

Is your health an issue?

Do you have a restricted diet?

Do you have physical limitations or a physical disability?

Do you have a weight problem?

Have you had surgery? Or pending surgery?

How is your overall energy level?

Are you restricted from doing any physical activity?

What do you do to maintain your health?   your fitness?

Are you involved in sport?

Do you take classes that involve physical activity?


Do you have a group of friends you spend time with? Or just one or two close friendships?

Do you tend to share intimate/private details with close friends?

Are you a very private person?

How much time do you spend with friends?

Do work and other obligations leave very little time for friends?

What kinds of activities do you do with friends?


How many brothers and sisters did you have in your family?

Were you the oldest, youngest, middle child?

Do most of your family live close by?

Is your family emotionally close?

How much time do you spend with your family?

What was it like growing up in your family?

Are there family members who do not talk with one another?

Are you close to your parents?

Do you have important family obligations?

How are disagreements handled in your family?

Previous relationships

Have you had a few or many relationships? What was your longest one?

How did your last relationship end? What did you learn from it?

About yourself?   Did you make any resolutions to yourself after it ended?

Have you experienced physical or emotional abuse from any relationship?

Have you been accused of abuse?

What did you learn from your previous relationships that were positive? Negative?

Did it clarify for you what you want or don’t want in a relationship?

Do you have issues with:  trust?  abuse?   commitment?  anger?

Physical attributes

Are you physically active?

Are you restricted from doing any physical activity?

Is it important to you to keep fit?

Is physical beauty very important to you?

Do you feel you look good?

Religious affiliations/beliefs

Are you connected to or active with a particular religious group? How important is this to you?

Is it important to be in a relationship with someone of your same faith?

Do you have particular religious beliefs that a potential partner should know about?

Do you associate primarily with people who share your faith?

What moral values guide your daily living?

What are your beliefs about:

Abortion?  Birth control?  Death penalty?  An eye for an eye?

Staying in a relationship regardless?

Drug/alcohol use

How tolerant are you of drug and alcohol use?

Do you use illegal drugs?

Have you ever been charged with a drug or alcohol offence?

Has anyone suggested you need treatment for a drug or alcohol problem?

Is this an issue for any family member?

If you are a user how much do you spend on it?


Are you a parent? What is the custodial arrangement?

Are you OK with parenting a partner’s child?

Do you tend to be tolerant or strict with children?

Is teaching responsibility to children very important to you?

How would you go about resolving differences with a partner involving children?

Do you tend to be very protective of children?


What level of education or training have you achieved?  Is education very important to you?

Are you currently at school or taking courses?

Are you OK being with a partner who has more or less formal education than you?

If you were to have children would you encourage and support them to achieve as much education as they want?


What inspires you?

What defines you?

What brings you joy?

To what are you attached?

What makes you feel alive?

What is meaningful to you?

What do you believe in?

Where do you put your faith?

Who do you love?

What do you love?

What do you feel you have to give up if you were to get in to a new relationship?

How do you define happiness?

What more do you want in your life?

What makes you laugh?

What do you find most peaceful?

What would you like to spend more time doing?

Your Behavior toward others

Are you more reserved, quiet, need time to think? Or do you tend to jump right

in, make decisions quickly, and not worry too much?

Do you get angry and upset easily or do you tend to hold it in?

Do you have many strong opinions or a more relaxed way of dealing with  situations?

Do you get stressed easily or hardly stressed at all?

Do you worry a lot or do you take things in stride?

Do you get impatient quickly or can you wait?

How do you handle differences? Do you like talking it through until it is  resolved?

What are some situations that are very upsetting to you?

Do you avoid getting angry?

Do you avoid angry people?

Do you avoid exuberant, ‘over the top’ people?

Do you avoid aggressive men/women?

Do you avoid fighting?

Do you avoid expressing your opinion?

Do you avoid crowds?

Do you avoid busy, active places?

Do you avoid rude people?

Do you avoid people who are different?

Do you avoid being emotional?

Do you avoid people who are very emotional?

Do you avoid hurting people?

What inspires you?  Brings you joy?

Where have you travelled? Where else would you like to go? What forms of travel do you prefer?

What is the riskiest thing you have ever done?

Final thoughts

In the preamble there was pointed advice about being safe in a relationship. The renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson in his book, ‘Take the Risk’ stated there is risk in almost everything that we do.  He expanded a well-known strategy when faced with evaluating risk by suggesting that we not only ask ourselves what is the best and worst thing that can happen if you do take a risk but also to ask what is the best or worst thing that can happen if you do nothing. The bottom line is to take responsibility for the decisions we make about any relationship whether it is getting more information or choosing not to; don’t blame another if you ignore important signals!

Know that there are many good people out there and this Questionnaire may serve to stimulate your thinking about what is important to you in a relationship and allow you to invite and create a loving bond unique to your personality and fulfilling to you.

Life is not about having a perfect relationship and we all make mistakes and face many difficult situations over time; wisdom arises from experiencing all that we have to deal with and appreciating and integrating the lessons that keep coming our way.

It is very appropriate to be discerning in your choices because it reflects what you know about yourself, what is important to you, and what you need at particular periods in your life. Judgement on the other hand is almost always a commentary about another person, often negative. So becoming more discerning and less judgemental may serve you well in any relationship and the answers you seek from another then mandates the question, “Is this who and what I want to invite into my life?” Remember that it is important to the well being of both of you to continually learn about each other. wonderful  over the longer term to learn more about your partner or friend.



If  two adults are using a dating site to find a sex partner, this could be risky. The risk lies in what one may be looking for in a partner. This is very important if one of the couple wants to hurt the other person. How could you defend against such behavior? The surest way is to know the other person. You might consider the following questionnaire constructed by Winston Young.


Are you heterosexual? Or bisexual?

Have you had many sexual partners? Would you willing to be screened for STDs?

Is it very important to feel sexually attracted to a potential partner.

Is having a sexual relationship with a partner very important to you?

Do you have any sexual fears or inhibitions?

Have you ever being sexually abused?

Is it OK to wait a while before engaging in a sexual relationship?

Is it important to you to have a monogamous relationship?

Background check

Are you willing to provide a criminal background check?

Are you currently facing a criminal or other legal charge?

Have you ever been arrested?

Do you have a criminal record?

Do you have travel restrictions as a result of a criminal conviction?

Have you ever received a pardon for a conviction?

Do you use illegal drugs?

Have you ever been involved in a domestic dispute in which police have been called?

Have you ever being accused of being mentally or physically abusive?

Have you ever been cruel to animals?


A final word of advice: engaging too soon in a sexual relationship changes the dynamics in a profound and seemingly binding way; and often caution is thrown to the wind. Be safe!