Dr. John Gray, MarsVenus.com
The dating process is kind of like hiring a new employee. When you're
interviewing someone to fill a key position in your company, it's essential to
know who NOT to hire.
Sometimes, though, when you're getting to know someone, it's easy to get
caught up in the excitement of the new relationship and forget to think about
important issues which may come up as the relationship progresses.
Here are some important questions to consider when interviewing someone who
might, at first, seem to be a potential soul mate:
- Do they accept responsibility? Listen (and ask for) stories about
who is responsible for their past or present problems. If they take little
responsibility for their actions and you get into a relationship with them,
guess who'll be responsible for their problems in the future? Listen for:
"It's my (boss's, mother's, or government's) fault."
- Do they show empathy and integrity? Or have they "gotten away with"
something? Listen (and ask for) stories about how they have solved problems
in the past. Do they show empathy and integrity? Or have they "gotten away
with" something? This is an indication of their trustworthiness.
- Do they have personal insight?
How easy is it for them to get below
the surface in discussions about feelings and emotions? Do they have
personal insight? Do they show a sincere interest in listening and
understanding, and in being open about themselves? CAUTION: The ability to
talk openly can change as time goes on. Ask (indirectly) how openly and
freely they could talk and express feelings with their parents when they
were kids. If raised with openness, they may be OK. If open in previous
relationships, they may be OK. You can help another open up to you by
establishing a sense of safety.
- Have they been in a committed relationship in the past? How is the
previous partner described (e.g., fairly, with anger, unreasonableness,
bias)? Get good reasons for why previous relationships didn't work.
Relationship problems are rarely one-sided.
- How do your interests and values differ? A couple that has different
interests can have an enriching relationship. You can negotiate the
differences when they become a problem. However, relationships are easier
when values are the same or when the differences in values are clearly
acceptable to both. Substantial differences in values can be a potential
- Do you want to change this new person?
"Men want a woman who won't
change; women want a man whom they can change." We can't substantially
change another person without lots of skill, patience, and motivation on
their part. And it is inappropriate to change the one you are in a
- What are the other person's feelings about having sex? If you want
to wait — do they respect for your concerns about not having sex right away,
and about safe sex when you do? This is a great indication of their ability
to care about your values and safety. It indicates respect, patience,
sensitivity and ability to be supportive.
John Gray PhD, of is considered one of the world’s leading
authority on relationships. He is the author of Men Are from Mars, Women
Are from Venus, one of the best-selling non-fiction books of the 90s. Don't wait around for romance to knock on your door.
Seize the day and find a date.