Evaluating Whether Someone is Right For Me

Dear Neil:  I am recently divorced and back on the market looking for a woman to give my heart to.  But after two divorces, I am wondering if there are any ways of evaluating someone before I get emotionally invested with her.  Are there ways to tell whether two people will be compatible with each other before they marry?

Looking in New York

Dear Looking:  Try exploring the following questions as thoroughly as you can:

  1. Generally speaking, what is your partner’s attitude toward the opposite sex?
  2. Other than you, whom does your partner turn to for companionship and warmth?
  3. Would you consider your partner to be a loyal person?
  4. Is your partner faithful?
  5. Which people, or what kinds of people, intimidate your partner?
  6. How does your mate relate to authority?
  7. Would you describe your partner as being more of a leader or more of follower?
  8. How does your partner respond when the environment between the two of you is emotionally charged?
  9. What does your partner do when angry?  How often is s/he angry?  About what?
  10. How important to your mate is peace and harmony?
  11. How competitive is your partner?
  12. How does your partner respond when personally confronted?
  13. Is your mate a good sport?
  14. Is s/he a whiner or a blamer?
  15. What are your partner’s insecurities?
  16. What does your sweetheart do when hurt?
  17. Does your mate feel acknowledged and appreciated by you?
  18. Does your partner apologize when wrong?
  19. How satisfied with his/her work is your partner?
  20. How does your partner feel about his/her financial position in life?
  21. Is your mate financially responsible?
  22. How does your sweetheart feel about his/her own appearance?  How do you feel about his/her appearance?
  23. What are your partner’s interests?  Or hobbies?
  24. Is there an area of your partner’s life where s/he excels?  What is it?
  25. What are your partner’s political leanings?
  26. What are your partner’s top five priorities at this point in his/her life?
  27. Is your partner more optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
  28. About what is your partner most passionate?
  29. About what in his/her life is your partner most proud?
  30. What are your mate’s greatest fears?  What does s/he do when afraid?
  31. What does your partner’s spiritual life consist of?
  32. What does your partner want in life?  What are the obstacles to him/her having what s/he wants?
  33. Why did your partner choose you?  What do you think are the major factors that attract him/her to you?
  34. What are your partner’s major faults?
  35. How intelligent is your sweetheart?  How emotionally expressive?  Insightful?  Decisive?  Logical?  Gracious?  Sensitive?  Verbally expressive? Physically affectionate? Assertive? Diplomatic?  Sensible?  Self-disciplined?  Artistic?  Funny?  Shrewd?  Extroverted?  Introverted?  Good with children?  Good in social situations?  Imaginative?  Fun?
  36. What do you admire or appreciate about your partner?
  37. What are your partner’s greatest frustrations on the job?  At home?  In your relationship?
  38. Generally speaking, how happy or unhappy is your partner?

Source:  The Relationship Rescue Workbook by Philip McGraw (Hyperion).

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