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EP. 110 How to Determine Non-Negotiables for Your Future Spouse

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Welcome to a new week of the Hope Rescue Podcast. This week we are continuing our short series on Christian dating. Last week we discussed what it means to be equally yoked with your partner. This week we are discussing how to handle differences in our relationships and how to figure out our non-negotiables in relationships.

Tim explains that when we start dating someone, we tend to discover traits about them in a certain order: physical attractiveness, personality, values, and character. It takes time and a level of seriousness and commitment to reach the final level of understanding someone else’s character. We may love a person's looks and personality, but do their values align with ours and does their character reflect their values? Understanding the latter may be the determining factor of whether a couple decides to move onto marriage or stop dating before they’re too invested.

What do you do when you reach an impasse with someone you’re dating? What happens when you discover someone’s true character and it isn’t what you thought it would be? What do you do when someone says they believe one way but act another way? Tim suggests that if one’s partner is not being honest, it may be time to walk away.

Tim also explains that if a person decides to be sexually intimate with someone he or she is not dating, it will be much more difficult to separate later. Many couples move in together and have sex before marriage, but later discover that the person they are with is not who they want to marry. When we have sex with another person, married or not, our souls become connected. First Corinthians 6:16 says, "Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” It will be much more painful and difficult to leave a relationship if a couple has joined their souls together.

Tim also suggests taking a break from a difficult conversation if you reach an impasse with your partner. If you are feeling frustrated or overwhelmed with a disagreement you are having with your partner, it’s okay to take a break from that moment, cool off, collect your thoughts, and eventually come back to the conversation.

Tim and Kimberly wrap up the podcast by discussing negotiables and non-negotiables in a relationship. The dating website eHarmony refers to negotiables and non-negotiables as your "must haves" and "can't stands." Possibly before you even begin dating someone, you need to know personally what your non-negotiables are. Some differences do not matter in a relationship, but some differences could cause a life-long conflict if you marry someone that doesn’t meet your non-negotiable criteria. Tim and Kimberly list some ideas that you may want to think about if you are considering seriously dating:

  • Do you want children? If so, how many children do you want?

  • How important is income to you? If your partner works a blue-collar job, will that be an issue for you?

  • Where do you want to live after you are married? Do you want to be close to family or are you willing to live anywhere?

  • What are your political views? If your partner has differing political views, will that become a controversy in the long-term?

  • What is your theology? If you are a Christian raised in a certain denomination, will it be an issue if your partner was raised in a different denomination?

  • Do you want to marry someone the same age as you or does age not matter?

  • Are you willing to date and possibly marry someone who has been divorced or already has children?

Determining your non-negotiables before you start dating will make the dating process easier and less painful. You will know what you are looking for and what you are definitely not looking for. It will prevent you from wasting your time and other people’s time. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us at or message us on social media! We love hearing from our listeners.


1 Corinthians 6:16 "Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.”

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