Dating Advice

Weeding Weird: The Interview

61 Comments 10 December 2008

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!


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- who has written 34 posts on The Dating Papers.

S drinks a lot of tea and enjoys late-night walks on the beach. He lives with his beta, Balthasar.

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61 Comments so far

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    • Kento says:

      selected.collegenervousregardlessI just left recruiting duty about two and a half motnhs ago. The last OCS board they did before I left recruiting had about 60 people apply and only seven or eight were The biggest things they look at are your GPA (all of the people selected had around a 3.5 or higher) and their APFT score (average was over 270, with at least 90 in each event). A lot of graduates are finding themselves having to settle for lesser jobs due to the economy, so more and more look at the military, which makes it harder to get selected with more people to pick from. Enlisted recruiters can do OCS packets as well, a buddy of mine who I recruited with did two of them within a year and he was working on a warrant officer applicant when I left.My tip would be for him to find out if he is even eligible for OCS in the first place. If he can’t qualify for a security clearance, forget about it. If he can’t pass an APFT (OCS applicants are required to pass the APFT before the OCS board, enlisted applicants only have to pass the pre-basic PT test prior to shipping, which is much easier) then forget about it. If he’s during job interviews then they will eat him alive during the OCS board. He has to go before several officers and convince them why he should be recommended to lead a platoon of men and women in combat, many of whom may have joined the Army while he was still in high school. His Soldiers aren’t going to want to follow a weak leader, so he has to prove he will be strong enough to do what the Army tells him to do as an officer.I’m not going to tell him to enlist but if he isn’t selected as an officer he has to join as an E-4 or not join at all. He could try again for OCS at his unit and it might be easier (his chain of command can recommend him) but there are no guarantees. What usually happens is a person with prior enlistment time may have an easier time getting the proper recommendations to get selected and if he has at least four years enlisted time his 2LT pay will be higher.One more thing, of which way he goes if he joins marry him BEFORE he ships to basic. If you don’t he’s going to lose over a thousand dollars in BAH and separation pay every month he’s in training. If you’re saving for a big wedding you can get married in a courthouse to start the benefits and then do a big wedding to put on your album at a later date.

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