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A recent conversation with Kelli over at Dating & Mating in America brought up the topic of how one goes about determining whether or not a relationship will have lasting value and is worth continued effort. Essentially, how can you know if the flash is trash? Here are a few questions you can ask in your journey toward finding the person who you can love when they just rolled out of bed and are grumpy at the world.
When you decide ask these questions depends on your comfort level. You may wait until you’ve been married for ten years, dating for three months, or (like me) partway through the first date. Get comfortable, phrase the questions in a non-threatening manner, and enjoy the results!
The mannerisms used in answering a question are just as important as the words that deliver the concrete meaning. You need to get information on three different factors:
- Is this a boring person I just happen to have a crush on (Flash Factor).
- How much babysitting is this person going to require (Need Factor).
- How much is this person going to make me cry (Penelope Trunk Factor).
You’ll discover the level of each factor by asking your date the following questions:
- If income were no object, what would you do for work? You’ve encountered this question in other contexts. When you’re “interviewing” your potential SigOt, remember that how they answer the question is just as important as the words they use. A common answer will be a declaration of some pent-up artistic or vagabond urges to sail the world.,Sometimes you’ll get an answer like I had just weeks ago: “Oh, I’m going to marry a man who makes a lot of money so I won’t have to work.” I voted “no.” If their answer inspires follow-up questions and you’re intrigued, good. You’re in a good spot to move toward the next of the big three.
- How do you get along with your family? (If your intended SigOt is an orphan, ask about their social life instead. If they don’t have close friends, Ding! Ding! you’re it!). Again, observe closely how the question is answered. People with great family lives will typically have an answer right off the top of their head and you can move on. If your question spawns an extended explanation or excuses, understand that to continue is to risk life and limb.If you are really passionate about the connection you have with this person and are willing to walk them through inexplicable moodiness and listen to childhood horror stories, so be it. However, the idea that two children from unstable families can come together and create a utopia…is entirely insane.
- What would I have to do to upstage the most insane date you’ve ever had? Again, watch the answer and if the zany story is about a date that happened in the crush stage of a relationship, it’s probably okay. Follow your head instinct, not your gut on this one.If, however, your intended SigOt begins telling you about “this boyfriend I once had who decided that I was a good punching bag, but I didn’t move out because he was medicated” do yourself a favor and run from the drama. I call this the Penelope Trunk Factor because Penelope has a higher appreciation and fondness for sustained drama than any intelligent woman I’ve ever known of.
Understand that you can adjust these three questions and pull solid answers out of a near-stranger without any of the awkward clinginess associated with most “heart-to-heart relationship talks.” In addition, if you find that you’re out of topics, just work one of these questions into the chit-chat and get ahead of the process!
I’ve simplified the concepts in honor of space and my commitment to asking for only three minutes of your attention. If you’d like a more detailed explanation or have a question, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer!
My pain, your gain!
Image by Porcelaingirl