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Tweaking President Obama’s engagement advice

What are the most important questions to ask before asking the big question? (Lisa Fanucchi,

In a his new book “Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump,” former Obama aid Dan Pfeiffer recalls three significant questions that  President Obama told him to consider before Pfeiffer proposed to his girlfriend.

  1. Is she interesting? Obama reminded Pfeiffer that a spouse is the person he will spend the most time with for the rest of his life, so the one-on-one conversation had better be intellectually stimulating.
  2. Does she make you laugh?
  3. If you want kids, do you think she would be a good mom?

For Greg Tomlin, filling in on the Dori Monson Show, this list of questions didn’t quite cut it.

“Now those are perfectly good questions, and they’re fine, but they wouldn’t be my top three,” stated Greg, who said that he has been with his wife for a total of 17 years.

“I truly believe that those questions Barack Obama thinks are so pivotal in choosing a spouse are peripheral to the issue of marriage at large,” Greg continued.

Here are Greg’s top questions to find out about your potential future spouse:

  1. Faith and worldview — “Do you see the world in the same way? That refers to values, that refers to how you spend your time, that also encompasses the idea of children, how you process events, how you are devoting your life’s work in what direction and what arena … That cannot be overstated for how important day-to-day interactions with your spouse is. Because if you’re not headed toward the same goal or the same direction, all you’re doing is departing on a different path.”
  2. Their friends — “Your friends say more about you than you really say about yourself. Who do you associate with? What are those people like? What kind of character do they exude? Is it just people who like to party and go out and ‘I’m just in to have for a good time,’ or are they people who are self-sacrificial, are they people who have an altruistic worldview and go out of their way to do things for others and not just have their eyes on the prize of their own life and their own way of doing things? … A general attitude of selflessness is so crucial in friendships.”
  3. Family — “Do you want to have kids together, when do you want to have kids together, and how will you raise those kids? Will it be in a faith tradition? Because you’re going to butt heads along the way the whole time.”

That said, timing is everything when posing these critical questions; Greg warns people not to scare off potential partners by asking the deep questions right off the bat.

“I’m not advising you to go on a first date and be like, ‘Hey, what do you think about faith, friends, and family?'” Greg laughed. “Wait until at least date four to go there.”

What do you think — does Obama or Greg have the best engagement advice? Do you have better questions to pose before sealing the deal? Share in the comments.


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