Sure we may think how a man dresses, smells, what he drives, where he works, if he has kids, and his CREDIT SCORE will tell us everything we need to know about a man. The reality is before we get to involved and all wrapped up in a man, we have much more pertinent information we know to know. Now let me be clear, there is no such thing as the perfect mate, but some behaviors or characteristics are easier to deal with than others. The more you know about your significant other upfront the better equipped you will be to know if the person comes with more than you are willing to handle or if you are prepared or willing to continue moving forward, either accepting him as he is or helping him navigate his way through his issues. Before you get too serious with a man and fall head of heels in love, be sure you know enough about his morals, values and beliefs, and prior life experiences. Knowing this information is helpful in predicting the type of person you are dealing with and also establishes the foundation for your expectations from him as a potential spouse or father if you desire kids.
Did he grow up with his mother? Father? Both Parents?
What was the extent of his relationship with each of his parents? If a biological parent was absent from for home, did he have an alternative mother or father figure? His family dynamics growing up and into adulthood are surely to have an impact on how his treats women in relationships and what his expectations for a woman are. A man from a motherless or fatherless home (this includes one or both parents) is likely to have experienced abandonment issue and may constantly fight for your attention or affection in the relationship. In addition, a man who never had a good relationship with his mother may have a tendency to lack respect for women and mistreat women in general. Furthermore, if his father was absent from the home, there is a chance he may not have been exposed to a father-figure to guide him into manhood to clear depict the expectations of a man in the family. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that just because I man comes from a parentless home he is not able to function in a relationship or automatically will be accompanied with baggage. I am also not saying that just because a man came from a two-parent household he is free from baggage. What I am saying is the more you know about is family dynamics and upbringing the better chance you have to know if he is the one for you and what you can expect from him in a relationship, or his behaviors within a family unit.
Has he ever been sexually, physically, or verbally abused by anyone?
This may be a tough question to tackle but you truly do need to know if he has been exposed to any type of abuse at any point in his life. If he has been sexually, physically, or verbally abused, he has an increased risk of being an abuser (drugs, alcohol, or sex) himself or having trust issues which he may bring into your relationship. In most cases men are not willing to easily open up about any kind of abuse, especially sexual abuse, even more so if the abuser was also a male. Specifically ask him has he ever had sex with a man at any point in his life, however, there is no guarantee he will be upfront and honest to these questions, but it is worth a shot. Also, there are some warning signs or indicators your man has been abused you can look for such as turning off emotion, loss of sexual interest, or unusual sexual impulses, night terrors or constant alertness, lack of trust of people or sporadic unexplainable mood swings.
What are his main priorities and top values? Do they align with yours?
This may seem like common sense but many women become emotionally connected to a man before considering his values and beliefs and his main priorities in life, relationships, and religious matters. You should assess whether his core beliefs and values align with yours. Do you share important beliefs? You don't have to share the same personal interests or pastimes, but you do need to be on the same page regarding spirituality, finances, and how you plan to handle family dynamics, such as spending time with your families and having children. Connecting on a spiritual and emotional level is just as critical as the physical; otherwise, you may want to call it quits early on. Does he have integrity? Does he fight fair during arguments? Most will agree one of the key indicators as to whether a couple has a lasting relationship or not is how they handle conflict; your relationship is only as strong as your weakest moments.
What is his Criminal Past?
Get a criminal history report from him. If he does not have anything to hide, he will have no problem with you obtaining this information. You should vet his past for any severe criminal activity such as felonies, violent crimes, child abuse or neglect, pedophilia, or any criminal acts of an aggressive nature or which may indicate potential for future aggressive behavior. Now just because I man has a criminal past, does not mean you should cut him loose. Don’t let a man with a criminal past alone be a deterrent from dating him. The reality is the majority of black men are going to have a criminal past of some shape or form. You should use you best judgment and moral compass you determine you are able to live with is past violations or not. Only you can determine what past violations of a man you would be comfortable with dating.
It is impossible to know everything about a man before getting too invested, but the more you know the less likely you are to get hurt or discover surprises you are not equipped to handle down the line. These questions are great tools to afford you a glimpse into the person you are choosing to spend your time with, but should not be limited to only these questions. I encourage you to foster a relationship founded on honesty and good communication which will allow you and your significant other to be comfortable with complete openness with one another.