Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How to Weed out the Bad Ones

The Five Points of Success
A few years ago I examined my dating choices, and came to some conclusions about where I was going wrong. Amazingly, after applying these simple criteria, I found (and married) someone very special. This checklist can also help evaluate potential new friends and business partners.
  1. Valid drivers' license. This state-issued, photo ID is the cornerstone of our society. Without it there is no bank account, no voting, no utility accounts, no entry to bars, and worst of all, no way for them to drive you home when you've had one too many (see below). Furthermore, the seizure or revocation of a valid drivers' license is often the result of an arrest, or worse, a criminal conviction.

  2. Registered vehicle. Unless they are European, or living in Manhattan, there is no excuse for not having a functioning, street-legal vehicle.

  3. Place to live that is not shared with a parent, sibling or ex. This one is very important, because, much like the vehicle, you do not want to get stuck carrying out the relationship exclusively on your own turf.

  4. Full-time, or otherwise gainful, employment. If they can't hold down a job, how can they possibly commit to a partner? Then there's the whole money thing...

  5. College degree. This one is optional, as there are many hardworking and intelligent folks who didn't make it through the ivory towers of academia. However, I do find it a good indicator of the person's ability to obtain the other four points.
The Five Points of Failure
Unfortunately, the Five Points of Success are not always foolproof. Many times you'll meet someone who outwardly appears normal, only to learn rather quickly that they are, in fact, broken on the inside. This list is intended to help expand your evaluation of an individual's fitness to be considered for a long-term romantic partnership. Note also that the inability to take responsibility for bad decisions, and a sense of entitlement when requesting help from others (sometimes referred to as "immaturity") are other indicators that one or more of the Five Points of Failure is likely present in the individual.
  1. Substance Abuse. My criteria differs slightly from the standard definition given by orgs like AA, which I find to be far too restrictive and all-encompassing to the tune of "you drink (a lot) = you need help". I look for lying about drinking/drug use, dramatic personality changes during drinking/drug use, unwillingness to engage in activities without drinking/drug use, inability to stop when the situation calls for it...like going to work.

  2. Emotional Problems. People who need multiple prescriptions to feel happy, or classes to keep their fists to themselves. If they are still in counseling, I'd assume they are not ready for a relationship.

  3. Dishonesty. Enough said.

  4. Unresolved Romantic Entanglements. If they are still in contact with the ex, and the situation is such that the ex cannot know about, or ever meet, you, run (don't walk) before you need to take out a restraining order.

  5. Money Problems. Characterized by spending and living beyond their means, requests to borrow money which turn into guilt trips and/or resentment if they are denied, and massive piles of debt resulting from poor decisions. These types often express the desire to rush into co-habitation. Look for an eviction notice or a bounced rent check if you hear an ultimatum like "If you don't let me move in, then it's over, because you don't *really* love me."

1 comment:

d said...

Nice. You've put all the self-help books on dating out of biz.