Six Tests To Determine If He’s Mr. Right

Six Tests To Determine If He’s Mr. Right November 12, 2007

Funny Valentine's Day, series of different approaching acts
Lately I’ve heard from a considerable number of women who basically got burned in relationships by guys who turned out to be less Prince Charming than Burpy the Village Idiot.

So that got me thinking about what women might be able to do in order to discover what their potential life-mate is really made of, who the man behind the Dating Curtain really is. And voila: I arrived at these six tests any woman can use to discover whether or not the man she’s dating is Mr. Right, or Mr. Lite.

The Mr. Right Test #1: Get into real knock-down, drag-out fight with him
You can tell just about everything you need to know about a person by the way they fight. You simply do not know someone until you’ve had a fight with them. My wife and I have a saying between us: A relationship is only as good as its first fight. People go crazy when they fight; what you want to know about your man is how crazy does he go, and how fast — and how much time he spends in Crazyland once he’s gone there. If in the heat of a real argument your man does a pretty good job of sticking to the point, or tends to ratchet the hostility down, or if he actually listens to the things you’re saying, that’s a beautiful sign. But if he goes vicious, or starts attacking you personally by going after weaknesses that in love you’ve shared with him before, or (God forbid) gets in any way physical, that, too is a sign. A “Wrong Way” sign.

The Mr. Right Test #2: Go on a cross-country drive with him
People are pretty good at keeping their stuff together for predetermined lengths of time. Spending two weeks with someone in a car is like dragging Dracula outside at high noon: who they really are becomes very clear. On a long road trip there’s nowhere for a man to hide. Sooner or later his smooth and yummy outer layer will wear off, and his inner chewy nuttiness will be revealed. Plus, a lot of unexpected stuff happens on a road trip: you get lost, a tire blows, the campsite doesn’t hold your reservation, etc. Anyone does well when things are going well; a road trip is sure to show you how your man reacts when things go like they always go in life, which is contrary to plans.

The Mr. Right Test #3: Have him care for you when you’re really sick
One (emphasize: one) of the reasons men love women so much is because women are just so darn pretty. Well, get ugly around your man for a change, and see how that works for you. Get biologically ugly: sneeze a lot, wipe your nose on your sleeve—no, on his sleeve!—, cough like you’re trying to turn yourself inside out, keep your hair all matted-up and funky, and just … exude Maximum Grossness. (Well, maybe not maximum grossness. No need to get arrested or anything.) How does he behave while you’re practically croaking on your couch? Is he patient, sympathetic, loving, attentive? Or does he (eventually) act like your being sick is really a drag that he wishes you’d stop? The former, of course, is great; the latter could make for one ceremony-wrecking flashback when the officiate at your wedding gets to the “in sickness and in health” part. Chances are (sigh) that your would-be man has already shown you how ready he is to at a moment’s notice play the role of your father. That’s cool, or whatever. But what you also need to know from him is how willing he is to step up, when you need it, and assume the role of loving mother.

The Mr. Right Test #4: Watch him around other women
For many reasons we won’t here delve into (socialization, hormones, insecurity, nature, the desire to confirm that they’re as irresistible as they think they are), men flirt. (As do women, of course.) Cool enough; that’s probably how you were attracted to your man in the first place. But once you and he have committed to being together exclusively, the only message your man ever needs to be sending any other woman is “I’m Sure You’re Very Cute, But Not to Me.” Next time the two of you attend a party, separate from him, and then watch him while he’s in Solo Socializing mode. If you see him consistently not flirting with batting-eyed beauties, fantastic. If you do see him turning on his Mr. Spectacular show, don’t panic. At some point after the party, though, do talk to him—and for real. Tell him how his flirting with other girls hurts your feelings, and—worse, maybe—how it  makes you look like a fool, and embarrasses you before your friends. If he sees and understands the truth of that, and sincerely agrees to full-on stop flirting with other women, that’s great: relationships are about honing and smoothing. But if, knowing how it does and must make you feel, he continues to flirt with other women, then he’s being very clear about not only who he is, but about whom he expects you to be or become.

The Mr. Right Test #5: Watch how he treats service personnel
Waiters, busboys, doormen, janitors, maids, parking attendants, delivery people, store clerks … a man’s character is revealed by how he treats such people in his life. If towards service personnel or those beneath him professionally your man is brusque, dismissive, or in even the slightest way condescending, then as sure as sharks bite he’s going to start treating you that way, too. It’s just not possible for a man who doesn’t treat everyone with respect to respect you. It’s a symptom of a problem he has that you’re not going to be able to fix. Get out right away, or go down trying.

The Mr. Right Test #6: Watch how he loses
Everyone wins well: in victory, everyone is gracious, magnanimous, humble, sweet. How a guy loses, however, tells you who he is. Be with your man sometime when he loses a game of some sort that he wanted or expected to win. (Bonus points if you’re the one who beats him.) Watch very carefully how he responds to defeat. A real winner knows it’s about remaining a winner, no matter the score. [Tweet that.]

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  • YEN

    I find your blog very entertaining. I think i'll be one of your frequent visitor from now on. it's good to read these things from a man's perception, and it is really helpful for us females to fathom our partners. thanks for all these tips. 😉

  • Dude, you're ruining this for all of us! Stop giving away our secrets!

  • You know, I actually kind of DID think that?? Too funny. But then I was like, "Screw it. I'm old. I've been married forever. Guys are on their freakin' own."

  • This is good stuff, and I am going to make sure that my wife sees it and passes it on to her single friends, many of who get habitually burned by men who flunk one or more of these criteria.

    My wife and I have been through all of these. The toughest one was learning how to fight. We have completely different communication styles. I yell because I come from a family of yellers; we yell when we are happy or angry. We are just loud people. Her family does not get loud; they are mostly even-tempered people and Type B personalities.

    Me learning to express myself without yelling and her learning that when I yell I am not necessarily yelling at her has been the biggest transition so far.

  • Don't make me get out my protest signs, John. 😉

  • Billy B

    Will we be getting the Six signs for Ms. Right or will Cat have to write that one? I pass the test above with flying colors, I'm such a great looser 🙂

  • Michele

    Sorry, that last post was from me, Second Michele.

    (Gives another shout-out to first Michele, and wonders sadly where she has gone.)

  • I like your points. I’d add one though – “How does he treat his mother/sisters?” Try to get into a situation where it won’t be “cover-up” time, but a real situation. See how he deals with them there. Is there respect? Honest but understanding discussion? Is there a humility about him that allows for a woman to teach him something?

  • Carey: You know, I was going to put that as one of my “test”–and you make a very good case for why I might have. Ultimately, though, I decided not to use it, because I’ve actually found that how a man treats his mother isn’t a great indicator for how he’ll treat his spouse. Men have such intense, specialized kinds of relationships with their mothers, and so much about that relationship is so entirely unique, that I haven’t found the dynamics of the relationship between son and mother necessarily translate at all to the relationship that a man has with his girlfriend/wife. I’ve know too many guys who treat their moms GREAT, and their girlfriends/wives terribly. But maybe you’ve had a different experience than I.

    Yen: How extremely kind of you. Thank you.

  • Michele

    Great list!

    I was really happy that a MAN said what John put up under Number 4.

    Now, for another fun mind game:

    A man (or a woman for that matter) can be thought of as flirty if they convey the message:

    “I’m Really friendly and out-going and I’d love to have you in my circle of friends”

    (Like a good friend of mine, who is also very committed to his wife)

    Or – “I am the center of the universe and I just need to hear you acknowledge this”

    Or – “I like you and think you’re cute. I’d probably go out with you if I weren’t attached”

    How do you can you tell what message a person is conveying?

    How can you tell what message YOU are conveying if you’re a really friendly person?

    (The “I wish I could date you” and “I’d love to have you in my circle of friends” can get mixed up SO easily.)

  • John! Be nice to those of us who have yet to get hitched… you’re ruining things! *bashes over head with a book*

    Second Michele…

    I like you and think you’re cute. I’d probably go out with you if I weren’t attached.

    ouch. I need to let my best friend read that one…

  • Determined Disciple

    John, I completely agree with your “tests,” but I now have this shockingly un-PC response: My own husband would *fail* at most of those tests, and it’s okay with me. Women readers, I am NOT advocating my own personal life course, which has involved loving and marrying men (this is my second marriage — I’m not a polygamist or anything) who did not meet John’s criteria BEFORE or even long AFTER I married them. But I will say this much, ladies: If your heart simply bleeds for the man you’re with, if your adoration for him knows no bounds and can even rise above the daily moments of heartbreak and disappointment, then you know something of my love for my husband. It’s the love I should have had for my first husband… but instead, I chose to see that one as a *failure* (especially in these areas, but also in the VERY IMPORTANT area of faith) unworthy of my “perfectness,” and I — the so-called believer in the marriage — eagerly divorced him. Now I am in another marriage where the Prince is something quite short of Charming (except to everyone else, for whom he can turn on the charm like switching on a floodlamp), and yet, I love him and wouldn’t trade him for the most caring, patient, respectful, humble, God-fearing man in the world. He is my Simon, but my heart sees him as Peter. He is my Saul, but my heart sees him as Paul. He is nowhere near “perfection,” not even in ways I probably should have waited for or searched elsewhere for, but neither am I. And in this glorious marriage, I am learning deeply of God’s love for us, particularly the “while we were still sinners” feature of His love… and the “not that I have attained [perfection]” aspect of His forgiveness.

    John — and anyone reading this epic response — I agree that these characteristics are good measuring tools for women who are not yet married. But if you are married, and your husband fails to meet the mark in one or more — or all — of these “tests,” do not suppose you married the wrong man. I do not know WHY the Lord allowed you to marry him (I include myself in that statement), but I do know that loving an *unlovable* and often *despicable* person is one of best ways to both glorify God and grow closer to to reflecting the image of Christ.

    The road of this kind of marriage is not easy to travel, nor is the journey often rewarding in ways that we humans desire (and regard as proof that we made the wise/right/godly choice), and I am not about to trumpet my successes in “being content regardless of my circumstances”… I have precious few such successes in my personal history, and they’re all God’s work, anyway… But it is a road God allows many of us, like me, to travel upon, and He doesn’t seem to want me to look backward, pining for a smoother or pleasing path that I COULD HAVE/WOULD HAVE taken, but rather to learn His brand of love — agape. He pours out His agape for us as His children, but He knew in his infinite wisdom that the hardest and yet most profound way for us humans to practice and develop our own agape for others would be in marriage. Parents tend to love their children almost naturally (even despite the children’s transgressions), and I do believe that agape is developed in a parent-child relationship, as God graces us, His children, with it. But loving a person YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO CHOOSE as your life’s mate, and loving him not “also when” but ESPECIALLY when he fails to match your hopes/dreams/expectations/criteria, is a miraculous love that can only be called agape. It is God’s love — not just his “kind” of love, but truly His love poured out into you and through you.

    I fully advocate seeking godly wisdom and discernment before and during the spouse-choosing process. But if you’ve already chosen him, and he sins and falls short of these measures, I would advocate asking God to enable you to discern how you can “love the one you’re with.” I’m sure you would hope and pray that your husband would seek out the same discernment in his relationship with you! :o)

  • I wish I’d had these before I got married. Maybe I wouldn’t have, but then, I wouldn’t have the four well adjusted sons I have now. Good indicators, though. Great post, as per usual!

  • Billy B: “I’m such a great loser.”!! TOO FUNNY!!

    Michele: “I wish I could date you,” and “I wish I had you in my cirlce of friends” seem to me to be easily distinguished messages, both in the sending and receiving. For one, the first is something you’d say pretty early into a relationship, whereas the second …isn’t.

    Determined: Yes, I certainly was meaning to speak only to women considering marriage–not to women already married. Whole other can of worms, as you point out.

    Stef: Thanks. I really appreciate your kind words. And you’re right: Four well-adjusted sons is a beautiful, beautiful thing, of course. If that’s the end, about any means was worth it, yes?

  • This is flat out brilliant!

  • Determined Disciple

    Whew… I had more on my mind and heart than I realized! Thanks for taking the time to read my response! :o)

  • Matchingsocks: THANKS! I look forward to checking out your blog, which looked great the .05 seconds I was there before I had to leave…

    DD: Yeah, yeah. Anytime!! It was good stuff.

  • Hanie

    John, great stuff. I am now one-foot out of my 17 years of marriage and your tests would have my almost-ex fail out miserably especially on Tests 1, 3,4 and 6.

  • I really appreciate the way you’ve laid these out so clearly. Funny how it’s easy to picture people that go with each one. Just a clueless question, though: what did you mean by the last half of this statement–“But if, knowing how flirting does and must make you feel, he continues to flirt with other women, then he’s being very clear about not only who he is, but about whom he expects you to be”?

  • noname

    I can not believe you would write that. You shouldn't be 'testing' people. Here's the real six factors that make a difference:

    -does he have a passion for Chirst?

    -does he pray constantly and for others?

    -will he respect you/ does he respect you?

    -does he lead in the relationship?

    -does he practice Christian disciplines to grow closer to God (fasting, studying scripture, etc.)?

    -does he have realistic perspectives and expectations of the relationship?

  • But aren't those … tests you're suggesting?

  • Jessica

    Well coming out of a horrible divorce, where I really had no options in it, so now I am trusting God and waiting on Him and his plans, I can say that the number one thing a girl must know about a guy is his family!!! Know them well, not just aquaintances, see how he interacts with his family, from experience I can tell you that a man will treat the family he begins with you very similiar to the way he treats his childhood family, unless he has given his life completely over to God and God makes changes in him.

  • Hanie: So he was okay on a cross-country drive, and treated waiters and maids all right–but he was a sore loser, treated you poorly when you were sick, and flirted with other women. Phhfft. Good riddence. (No, but I’m sorry to hear of your impending divorce. No matter what, that’s rough to go through. Usually necessary, of course: but still rough. Good luck with that.)

    Joyous: I’m saying that he’s letting you know that he expects you to be the kind of woman–that being your basic doormat–who is okay with her husband flirting with other women.

  • Hjordes

    Re: noname…. you said:

    "will he respect you/ does he respect you?

    does he have realistic perspectives and expectations of the relationship?"

    And how do you discover those things? Through normal life events.

    Such as fighting and driving.

    (As far as the God stuff goes, I personally leave my husband's relationship with God in his and God's hands as I don't attend God's Senior Staff Meetings where He might tell me just how "good" of a Christian my husband really is.)

  • Hjordes

    John, these were so good that I’m printing this out for our “Family Album”… stuff we keep that is Absolutely Essential to Having a Great Life. You really have to score high to get in The Album. *claps for John*

    I’m going to add on to my personal list something that really showed me the mettle of my husband… How he responds to your life crises (yep, that really is plural for Crisis – I had to look it up =P).

    Does it annoy him that you are suddenly involved in something that is not him? Or does he set his own desires aside, step up to the plate, and start hitting home runs for you?

  • thanks for these. they’re very handy. i’ll put them in my make-up kit. 🙂

  • Meigh: You crack me up.

  • MM

    You are so right about the tests and I did all of it (I don’t know if intentionally or unintentionally hahaha) except number 2. I believe I found my Mr. Right. 😉 God is sooo good to me!

  • Noname, I agree that the criteria you mentioned are outstanding…in a global sense. However I can think of any number of men I've come in contact with over the years who meet all of those and yet I'd still want to poke out my eyeballs if I married them. I think it's necessary to get more specific when you're considering such a big commitment as marriage.

    If I might add my own, and the most valuable one I've picked up from within my marriage–watch how he responds when you or anyone else sets a reasonable boundary with him. This relates to Odgie's learning how to fight…disagreements, conflict resolution, and all that. Really important stuff, and all the better if you address it before you're "stuck." Terrible word. Before you're "enshrouded in matrimonial bliss." Better.

  • The really fun thing it to try to cram at least three of these tests into one night. Why waste time?

  • Byron Lewis

    While I agree all of these circumstances will reveal the true man behind the mask and that a single woman needs to gain as much information about a prospective spouse as she can, I am a bit concerned about what seems to be staged manipulation in your first point regarding fighting.

    I don’t think it is a good idea to pick or start a fight as a “test” in a relationship. Disagreements will come on their own during the “getting to know each other” period as God made each of us differently. I do not think it wise to fabricate an argument or fight to test and see if this is the man, the Mr. Right, for her.

  • MM: How lovely! How fun. Mr. Right so … totally rocks.

    Byron: Yeah, no, I wasn’t suggesting STARTING a fight with anyone, just to test their character. I know it kind of reads like that, which is my fault. I just meant that getting into a fight with someone DOES show you who they are.

  • iDOworship

    I just loved this article! It was so frank and funny! I have committed the 6 items to memory and whenever “he” finally decided to make an appearance in my life, I’ll be ready. lol!

  • oh my! i've done all those tests unintentionally & i think i found my Mr. Right already but i let him go or should i say, i made him let me go… i guess he's not that right for me after all 🙁

    i still love what you blogged 🙂 & i love your other posts. keep them coming!

  • Thinzy: Wow. That was, like, a whole soap opera season in, like, thirty words. Awesome!

  • ahahahha yes, you can say that, my relationship with Mr. Right was like a whole soap opera season but i enjoyed every moment of it 🙂 heck my life is like a soap opera season with all the dramas but i'm not complaining coz it helps me become stronger 🙂

    & thanks to blogs like yours, it makes me realize a lot more things 🙂

  • Spidey

    Awesome list John….!..

    Continue to say what men are thinking..! Which leads me to thinking…Why are you the only man saying it…?..LOL

  • Spidey: Well, actually, my piece wasn't so much about the way men THINK as it is about the way the ACT. Why/how men THINK the way they/we do is … a whole other can of testosterone.

  • Sergmummy

    John, I am now 40 and still single (now courting a man who is a lot like your list mentions), I wish I could have heard from you before now. As a teenager, I hoped to be married by 25. Anyway it is not too, too late for me now. I realise a few guys are 'put' off by your realness – keep it up, and God Bless you richly. 🙂

  • From my bible study

    Three of these are great – Tests 4, 5, & 6 are really good ways to find out who this man really is. The 3rd one is OK only if you are really sick (if not you really have to be a believable actor) – I do think you each need to see each other when you are not at your primed and most perfect moment. The first two have some major flaws.

    The Mr. Right Test #1: Get into real knock-down, drag-out fight with him – If there is a valid (or even semi-valid) reason for getting into a disagreement that could escalate into a real knock-down, drag-fight OK (perhaps). If you start one just to have one, that tells him that you will fight over basically nothing. That would encourage me to seriously consider if I wanted to spend my life with a contentious woman.

    The Mr. Right Test #2: Go on a cross-country drive with him – I don’t know if it is truly practical to go on a 2 week trip with someone alone. This would certainly encourage sleeping (i.e. sex) together (why get two rooms ?). I can see where this could work if there are others present – your parents or his or both. If you are willing to have sex with him before marriage, that tells him your standards are pretty low. You also tell him you think it is OK to have sex with someone you are not married to. If you marry him, he may still think it is OK to have sex with some he is not married to (which is someone other than you).

    I would add to these tests another one – Watch how he treats his own parents – particularly his mother. How he treats his mother is a good indicator of how he will treat you in years to come.

  • Jake

    I think those six "tests" are failures in that they don't even begin to tell half the tale, which is your feelings, words and behavior (that thought-word-deed thingy). In addition they don't address some of the most commonly stated reasons for the break-up of marriages, e.g., Christian living (addressed by a couple of previous respondants) or financial responsibility (a "biggie" in the divorce world), and, of course all those nasties, e.g., drugs, drinking, smoking, cussin', etc.

    The bottom line is that not a man alive can actually pass those six tests (plus the others you failed to list). We're not (quite) perfect.

    The real solution to a good relationship answer lies in the response from Determined Disciple. Read it again and you'll come to the same conclusion she has …. tolerance, compassion and love. That doesn't mean you lie down and allow yourself to be steam-rollered. It does mean that if those tests are honestly adhered to, there will be no marriages.

    Just (some of) my thoughts.

  • Cheryl

    This was really, really good. I signed final divorce papers October 18 of this year and my ex is getting married NEXT weekend. I wish I had had this article 10 years ago before I said "I do." I've sent this to all my single girlfriends. Thank you so much!

  • Linda: Very nice. Thank you.

    Tin: Whoa. And certainly thanks for THAT.

    Praise: Right: Men don't like boundaries. We think it impinges upon the absolute rights granted us by the fact that we are (each one of, stupidly enough) He-Man Kings of the Universe.

    We SCOFF at your boundaries! For verily, must we do as we please. Come hell or high water, most times.

  • Yeah, Jake! (Kidding!)

    Thanks for writing, Cheryl (and for the kind words). AMAZING about your ex. What is THAT about? That’s … crazy. Sounds like good riddence. (Riddance? However it’s spelled?)

  • Katie

    I agree to the six test to Mr. Right. I think you get an idea on how he treats his family especially his sisters, and mother. As a single lady I would LIke to know some exsamples with each test given.I would like to hear live stories of single men or women dating or in relationships on how they handle each six test. How would you get or start a fight with a guy you are seeing without looking bad or wanting to be with the single lady anymore?

  • Linda

    You know, I was thinking that some of these characteristics are good for us as females to check about ourselves as well. None of us are perfect, and I realize that the males are not always the bad guys. Sometimes we as females have contributed with our own bad qualities that through time with God and prayer, need changing and adjusting. My prayer is not only, Father, lead me to the right man, but also, Father, let Christ’s character form in me that I may be the right worman.

  • Pat

    I agree but would like to add a few comments. First of all, if you are living holy, and want to be equally yoked and your "husband to be" does not have the same desire to remain pure before marriage…that is a red light. Also, do you both pray together and seek to be in God's plan for your lives? There's nothing like falling in love and that not be the one…in fact its a disaster.

  • my friends always mention your blog now coz they learn a lot from it. and i just have to agree with them. and this is another proof of it. thanks for helping us ladies in understanding men, our relationships and even ourselves 🙂

  • Praisestohim

    This is a great article. I also agree with Skerrib’s comment about observing how a guy reacts when you set boundaries. I have dated guys who really showed their true colours (and not very pretty ones) when I set boundaries with them.

  • Pat

    And remember, we are in the world but not of the world. Just because everyone else has premarital sex doesn't mean that that is pleasing to God…it is not.

    When you date, seek God and acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path. We are a chosen people and don't do what the world does.

  • Yvonne Cherie

    This was absolutely amazing to read. I did go down trying, only once, and I will say every word of this article is true. And with that said, Kudos to the other…very amusing and great with writing skills. Love it

  • meinseattle

    loved the article John – practical and so funny I laughed out loud, just like real life. great tests, especially in the early stages of dating. one piece of sisterly advice though…not a good idea to go camping while dating lest you give ANY opportunity to the flesh. I don't think it was your intention to promote the appearance of evil but just a thought – maybe it would work best if in a group. Just asking you to think about your influence when you write…other than that, keep it coming 🙂

  • Selena

    I am a single lady of 25…26 in December :)… and I hear this all the time from friends and relatives. “One toenail out of place and that guy can forget it” In all honestly, I don’t think I’m that just have high standards and the fabulous thing is, I go by the guidelines in this article. 🙂 I mean..I just think “for the rest of my life” is an awful long time to go picking from the bottom of the tree.

    So my question is, how do you know when you are being too picky?

  • Ritz

    I am surprised that you advise unmarried people to take a trip together..camping or whatever. I would think that would lead to “fornication” but some think that is not a sin anymore….not so! Actually I think you never really know anyone until ugly happens and then you really see their true colours…

  • Yvonne: How sweet of you to say these lovely things! Thank you.

    Selena: Well, I guess one way to tell if you’re being too picky is to see (and I talked about this in my posting before this one, “Single Women: Men. Don’t. Change.) how often you’re rejecting men not because you don’t like their VALUES, but because you don’t like something about their style, or WAY of doing things. Rejecting someone because they don’t share your values: Good. Rejecting someone because you think it’s stupid that they’re interested in something you’re not? Not so good. One way you’re rejecting someone because of who they are; the other you’re rejecting someone because of who you are.

    Ritz: Yeah, ugly is the Great Eliminator, for sure.

  • me: Here was my thinking on that. I'm talking in this piece about people old enough to be seriously considering marriage–people who at the very least are out of high school. If people that age are looking for an opportunity to have sex, they'll surely find it, whether it's on a road trip or a trip to the library. My assumption (and of course the general word count restrictions on these sorts of pieces demands I make all kinds of such unreferenced assumptions) was that the couple–being already far enough along in their relationship to be considering marriage–would have determined whether or not they were going to have sex on that trip long before they left on it.

    I can't imagine that I have much if any "influence" on anyone who ever reads my blog postings, but you can certainly rest assured that I never write anything to which I haven't given just about all of the consideration that I have at my disposal.

  • Hauwa Booth

    for step one-abt the fighting, what happens where no matter what he doesnt utter a word or refuses to express his feelings abt the whole situation and becums as quiet as a graveyard?what type is this?what to do?

    I also think that u tell alot about a man from his spending habits!

    thanks 4 the can 6 steps

  • debz

    I loved the guidelines. However, if a guy isn't great in one but is working on it, i think it's ok… once he really is working on it and changing all by himself. That's how it is with my bf… he sometimes oversteps the shady line between nice and friendly and flirting or misleading, although he does make it clear to everyone who he loves… eg. he told a female friend who has low self-esteem that she was a very pretty girl and should stop being so hard on herself… she however, took it the wrong way and even though she knew about us and knew me, she still tried to get overly "friendly"… you get the idea. When he realized that, he chose to correct that miscommunication by distancing himself from her and making sure that she saw us together more often and saw him being sweet to me. Just a thought for girls with guys who have a couple flaws.

  • LeeAnn

    You, sir, are wonderful. I LOVE reading your stuff. Thanks for being the "big bro" and cluing us into the inter brains of men.

  • Debz: Yeah, it's ALL about working on all this stuff. Forever, basically. Cool story about your bf (by which I assume you didn't mean Big Flirt. Or Boring Freak.

    LeeAnn: How kind of you! How I've always longed to be a big brother. But, alas, it would have meant my parents having sex–which, the moment I was born, I made it my point to make sure never, ever happened again.

  • Hauwa: How do your fights ever end, then? At some point he must start talking to you again, yes?

  • Ann


    I like what you write.It is real. While a strong committment to Christ is necessary its the 'other stuff' is what your going to have to deal with 'day in and day out' till death do you part. A road trip can clarify alot more than sitting in church with your church face on.

    Keep up the good work. Some people think conversion is like swallowing a Jesus pill and everything is going to be ok. They are hyperspiritual and aren't dealing with reality. Sadly singles fall into this because married people won't tell them the truth.

  • Melodie

    WOW I wish I would have read this before……….but your 6 tests are perfect, they make soooo much sense.

    I came out of a verbally, physically abusive relationship about 3 years ago…….the ‘wrong’ signs are exactly what I had experienced. I knew it was bad but……..hey I know now I cannot change a man. (Especially #5 lack of respect for me and OTHERS in public: no kidding – Get out or go down trying!! I went down trying but I had enough)

    So now I am looking for the ‘nice guy’. ahh freedom is beautiful. I have a beautiful 5 year old son, I am trying my best early on to teach him to respect people, be patient, and to help others. He is so precious. His father used to say “You women are all a bunch of *^@#%$ ‘s, you are all the same!” Hmmm by the way he also treated his mother like gold and treated me like crap!! But I don’t think he had any real respect for her.

    I see he miserably failed all 6 tests. He reacted the opposite of what to look for.

    Now I know a wonderful male friend that would actually pass all 6 of these tests (and he is christian), so I will be patient and keep reading your advice. IT’S SO NICE TO HEAR A MALE POINT OF VIEW ON THIS. HONESTY IS BEAUTIFUL. Keep praying above all. God Bless and thankyou.

  • Interesting insight into a Mr.'s prespective.

  • Ann: Thank you! THAT'S what I'm talkin' 'bout.

    Melodie: I love your testimony here. It makes me want to write a thing called, like, "Five Ways to Make a Guy You Want to Fall in Love With You and Commit to You Fall In Love With You And Commit To You." That'd rock. Except for the title.

    American Polly: Nice blog you have!!

  • Ann


    How about 'Six Tests To Determine If She's Mrs Right?'

    I think all of us ladies will step up to the plate. Can give it a try?

  • Chuck

    I second the opinions on tests 1,2, & 3. They create a compromising situation for the couple if they are a Christian couple, as I read this posted on My concern from that perspective is that Ephesians advises to "be angry but not sin". How does one join a knock-down, drag-out fight and practice obedience at the same time? Yes, they happen sometimes, but to seek that? On test 2, the same question of appropriate behavior which opens the door to temptation and disobedience, plus creating a gossip topic for many around you. And on test 3, it implies a physical closeness which might create challenges. I completely agree on the need for discovery (I have been blessed with a fantastic wife of 27 years) but the process of discovery might problems in itself. Thanks for the wonderful article though. Everything you note is 100% true for both parties.

  • Jeo Oiesen

    When I was single, I checked out how he’d treated/broken up with previous girlfriends, or, if previously married, how he responded to the divorce and how seriously he took parenting.

    My husband is a widower whose first wife died in his arms with cancer. While dating, I was diagnosed with melanoma. I’d offered him an “out” of the relationship the day I was diagnosed, and he’d responded he wasn’t the kind of guy that cut and run even though he’d lost his first wife to cancer. We got engaged just 3 months later.

    All too many of us have had previous marriages. History talks….about you as well as him.

  • Me

    Mr. Shore,

    I want to say that I don’t agree with Test #2. I believe in purity before marriage. Going on a road trip with a guy is bound to lead to something Biblically incorrect. And on that, I won’t elaborate anymore.

    Now, I’ve never had a boyfriend (I’m still too young for that yet), but I’ve had my fair share of fights with my friends. (which I might add, I am not proud of.) So, therefore, knowing that it is true that a fight tells alot about a person, I agree with test 1. Not nessacarily that you should start a fight, but if one happens, begin test one.

    test #3: If there’s a chaperone, like someone helping him help you, (preferably a female), I find nothing wrong with this. Otherwise….see reason for not agreeing with test 2.

    Test #4: Absolutely. If your boyfriend (or finacee as the case MAY be) finds nothing wrong with flirting with other girls while you’re dating, (or engaged) that’s not likely to change after marriage.

    Test #5: Once again, I agree with this test. If he treats others wrong, eventually he’ll treat you wrong, too.

    Test #6: I agree with this test too. If he loses bad, eventually, he’ll win bad, too. And that’s…not good.

    I’ll have to remember these when (and if) I ever get a boyfriend.

  • Transformed Through

    Mr Shore,

    Having been a man all my life 🙂 and seeing so many women hate men because of the very things you have stated here, I applaud you for this. I could have written this myself. I do not agree with (14. Determined Disciple – November 12, 2007) the above statement from this good lady in referring to "I do not know WHY the Lord allowed you to marry him".

    Having been a Christian for only 12 years out of the 47 I have been alive, I know I have made some pretty poor choices. God gives us free will. We cannot blame everything that is negative on our Lord. We as people make unwise choices at times, especially when we are blinded by what we think is love. We make these choices when we are searching for someone to fill a void only God can fill. I don't blame God for my wrong choices. I had to be alone to learn to live alone so that I could be filled with the Spirit and allow God to transform me.

    I am far from perfect but I will tell you that I have been married and divorced. It takes 2 to make it or break it. I knew my failings and admitted them openly. She wouldn't and that doesn't break me. All that matters is where I was at fault- In other words, I didn't point the finger at her. A person cannot heal and change until they stop blaming. Otherwise they drag what is not right in them into the next relationship. We don't have the power to change anyone but ourselves and even that requires God. We were both guilty of a few of these things.The biggest problem: We both dived right into marriage without getting to know each other. We were NOT a proper fit. We thought (blindly) that it was "love at first sight."

    So to me there is a Test #0: Am I right with the Lord? How do I conduct myself when I am alone? Am I one person to others and someone different when I am alone? Do I seek my security in others, or material goods? Or do I seek my security from the Lord? Do I trust Him to open that door for me when He determines it is the right time? Or do I force that door open and go where I shouldn't?

    When a person can answer these questions in the positive column then they are ready to date and discover the other 6. This goes for both men and women. Being right with the Lord first (Who should be first in everything) we will know HOW to love. He will put someone in our lives but He must come first and be in control.

    My fiance sent me this article. God has placed this person in my life. We were NOT looking for each other. We became friends through our church and small group and just had that for over 3 years before we even started dating. God built our friendship over time and there is no substitute. We have gotten to see each other at our best and worst. Frankly none of these 6 things will I ever think about. I know I do not fall into these negative categories. I won't HAVE to think about them because they were resolved through Christ who transforms us!

    I didn't plan this. If I had I would have messed it up! Ladies, there are some very descent men out there. The wrong man is at every corner. Please give yourself time to allow God to put a person in your life. Instead of starting by looking at them, look within yourself. Get Test #0 handled within yourself and you will be attracted to a healthy man. I was attracted to unhealthy women who were attracted to unhealthy men. Until about 3 years ago I wasn't healthy. I was immature. I was Mr. Wrong………

  • JTriplett

    im currently in a seperation with my girlfreind…… i see something in her that i cant see in anyone else. i meet most of these tests…. but i can be a sore loser accasionaly, she is currently talking to some new guy she met in a pshyc ward….. but at the same time she is still talking to me…… i really dont know what to do. she has been playing games or something, one day we had a talk which i thought went really good, then later that night through an IM she said i think we should be frinds i think our relationship would last longer like that, then she told me she was really into this new guy “he really gets me” or something like that, then a day or 2 later she said she was joking and got mad at me for getting this guys name wrong…..

    im so confused…. my heart aches cause i want her to be part of my life

  • JTriplett, that sounds like a really hard situation…I’m no doctor or counselor, but I think your current separation is a good thing.

  • Brian


    I felt that it was quite a good piece of article. Though some part of it may not be as practical, but the point that the writer was trying to bring across was apparent. What is of utmost importance is the condition of the man’s heart and the degree of his love for the other party. A man’s love and lust is as different as black is to white. Well, to me, for the lady, the most important question you should ask is your Mr right like a Jesus to you.

  • Triplett: Why would you want someone in your life who treats you (or anyone else) like that?

  • Lisa Clark

    I think this is a very good article — straight and to the point, and so true. As a midlife woman who went through divorce to a midlife crisis narcissist after a mostly-healthy 11-year marriage, I’ve used each of these tests to determine make-or-break in relationships through the years and can advocate that they work really well. Here are examples, per each test:

    Test #1. Just ended a one-month relationship with a man whose behavior showed he was still emotionally attached to his ex-wife, divorced two years. It seemed like we were a wonderful intellectual/physical match on many levels, but he pulled away suddenly and, when I called him on his downright bad behavior turn that he was expressing in a variety of ways, he got extremely angry, threw back personal things at me that I’d confided in him, turned cold as a stone — not quite the Mr. Compassionate he’d billed himself as (especially since he’d told me that his *perpetual anger* was one of his XW’s reasons for the divorce. RED FLAG. I think this is a great measure of whether a person remains human or becomes a cornered animal behaving like they’ve never met their significant other before.

    Test #2. Traveling with a partner can make or break a relationship; I highly recommend it. Two weeks of “wild west” wandering around the U.S., or on holiday anywhere, experiencing just those scenarios the author mentions, does the trick. Even whether the relationship is intimate or friendship. Shows the guts of the character we’re each made of.

    Test #3. I told Mr. One Month Guy (mentioned above), the night we broke it off, that my definition of a “friend” is someone who comes to my house when I’ve got the flu and goes my grocery shopping for me. That’s a measure my grandparents would have used, and they were married for 70+ years. I’m Old School and Southern California attitudes (where this type of imperfection isn’t acknowledged) don’t seem to care about this.

    Test #4. One of the FLAGS I noticed about Mr. One Month Guy was during a dinner he took me to at an upscale local restaurant. There we were on the patio, me looking great, and at a large round fireside table next to us were seated six similar blonde (???) beauties all in black dresses. My date, 53, kept looking at them, 30-somethings. Mr. Midlife took me home and used some excuse about needing to get home so he could get up early. The night we broke it off I told him about that night and how demeaned I’d felt. He said, “If I’d been a gentleman I would have switched my seat to not look at them. I guess I was a cad for watching their breasts for 30 minutes.” ‘nuf said. By contrast, XH NEVER behaved this way in my presence during our marriage, until the last year when we were out with a dinner group at New Years and I noticed he was actually *flirting* with the woman who was his dining partner and what a change that represented; I didn’t know at the time why that was happening or that he was already planning the divorce (a year in advance).

    Test #5. I’ve read this one before, about how someone treats people in service and I completely agree. Relatedly, Mr. One Month Guy drove me to a desert astronomy party, and was in a hurry — so he yelled at all the drivers around him and passed one guy on a double yellow line road. By the time we were off-road he was driving so fast it scared me, and I’m usually the off-road driver. So I watched his driving behavior elsewhere; he talked at/yelled at other drivers incessantly, every time we were in a car together. I’ve never known anyone else who did this, and saw it as his anger at humanity oozing out — anticipating when it would ooze out on me (as it did weeks later), or on my daughter. I was right.

    6. How someone loses is a big indicator for me. Reach back to 1991, when my ex-husband (divorced 2003) and I were engaged and playing Monopoly with the couple next door. XH became aggressive, negotiating side real estate deals, trying to put multiple hotels on each property to bankrupt the other players as fast as possible. I was alarmed by his behavior. The other couple asked, “Are you sure you two ought to get married?” right then and there. They knew then what I couldn’t/didn’t want to see. Later, I sat playing a board game with XH and I made a move which won. He took his arm and swiped all the pieces off the board and onto the floor. He’s the only person I’ve ever known who has done this. RED FLAG, but I didn’t/couldn’t see it at the time. I’ve never been a bad loser and was raised with highest regard for good sportsmanship and the importance of being in the game v. winning. XH was never a member of any team, and boy did/does the difference show. I’m raising our daughter to experience competition both as an individual and as part of a supportive team, so she doesn’t go in the direction of the Dark Side.

    Thank you to the author for pinpointing what, for me, have been simple truths borne of life experience, that are measures of human behavior and character.

  • toni

    I have been following your "blogs" for a few months, and have found your advice and comments entertaining , thought -provoking , and wise for the most part. Thank you for the Six Tests suggestions….and the advice to Single Women about men not changing. I have questioned my own heart, mind and intuition about these very things for the last year I have been dating a certain man.

    The first test on fighting showed him very much beyond the limits of civil behaviour during arguments, but I had not been able to judge the situation for myself without some kind of "back-up" advice to help me stand up to his "I haven't done anything wrong" line.

    And the flirting with other woman constantly was one of the triggers for some of our "discussions" , because I felt very rejected , humiliated, and abandoned when he put the charm on for a young beauty, as though I was not there. Now this all makes you want to repeat the article on Why you don't like to give advice to women with jerk husbands, because you think we "KNOW" what we are getting into and staying around for.

    But some of us just keep on wanting to believe we are loved and they are going to change , and God can still do miracles…..and we won't accept what we are experiencing and seeing as really true until someone(like you) just comes out and rubs our nose in it.

    I don't want to marry a man who is like this and cry and whine for the rest of my life, but they are SO convincing.

    What I am saying is thanks, don't hold back, and keep up the encouragement…….

  • Toni: You say your man is "SO convincing"? But what is he convincing of?

    I know: He sweet-talks you. He apologizes. He shrugs his shoulders, and smiles a cute little boy smile, and with many words rapidly spoken somehow takes the edge away from what he's done. He makes you doubt your own heart. This is what men do.

    This is what women let us do.

  • dsilkotch

    Personal pet peeve: adults who make selfish, unkind choices and then say that other adults "let them do it."

    I see it as my own personal responsibility to do the right thing, even if other people "let me" or even *encourage* me to do the wrong thing.

    I do not see it as my personal responsibility to chastise or "parent" my adult loved ones.

    People make their own choices for themselves — and live with the consequences.

  • dsilkotch

    As long as I'm on the subject, I can't help but notice that you recently advised your male readers to seek out a wife who is "absolutely without agenda or ambition for you beyond that you’re happy."

    Now you appear to be telling your female readers that if they are actually foolish enough to *be* that sort of woman, they have no one to blame for their unhappiness but themselves.

    Seriously, double standard much?

  • Boundaries and personal responsibility.

    A simplified example–my husband (being an adult and all) is free to make his own choices. I can't 'make' him do the dishes, or want to save money, or clean up after himself (hence the not banging my head against the wall trying to get him to do those things). Yet in the same way, I make my own choices as well. If he leaves his socks out, I don't pick them up for him, even if company is coming. I can't make him clean them up, but by choosing not to swoop in and rescue him (ie enable the behavior), he has to live with the consequences. He might get mad at me at first, but in the long run he learns to pick up his own stuff, and I don't get resentful over 'having' to do it for him.

    Socks, no big deal. But in the bigger picture of taking personal responsibility, a huge difference (for the better) in our relationship.

    (John, not sure if this is on par with your intent of the post, so feel free to clarify as needed.)

  • No, I've not said that men CAN'T change, or that they won't. All I've said is that women imagining that they PERSONALLY, through the strength of their love or via whatever other means are at their disposal, can change their man, are in for a world of hurt.

    I'm just saying that trying to get someone to change into someone YOU'D like them to be is generally futile. That's all. I'm saying what anyone would, I think, agree with: If your man IS a slob, you need to either be okay with that, or (assuming you have THAT big a problem with messiness) get out. What's NOT wise is to stay there, thinking that if you say the right things, or do the right things, he will, BECAUSE of your words and actions, change. He won't. He might change for OTHER reasons, but it's very unlikely he'll change because that's what YOU'D like him to do. Men are stubborn like that.

    Anyway, you guys have what I've said, or meant to: Love him as he is, and go from there. But don't love him for who you think or hope he'll one day become. Kiss of death.

  • dsilkotch

    "I’ve not said that men CAN’T change, or that they won’t. All I’ve said is that women imagining that they PERSONALLY, through the strength of their love or via whatever other means are at their disposal, can change their man, are in for a world of hurt."

    May I share with you the long, excruciatingly personal story of my marriage? Because we're so close and all? ;^)

    I almost hate to post this here, just because someone in a bad marriage that they really need to get free of might read it and decide unwisely to stick it out. But what the heck.

    My husband and I both came from very dysfunctional families. Actually, I guess that's a matter of debate. We both agree that I came from a ridiculously dysfunctional family. He insists that he had a wonderful childhood. I think his upbringing was just as warped as mine, just in a completely different direction. Anyway. When we first met, he was a self-absorbed alcoholic whose moral compass was firmly calibrated to Due Self. I was a budding control freak who had made up my mind that, now that I'd finally escaped my mother's suffocating grip, I was going to have EVERYTHING MY OWN WAY, dammit. Pretty much the only thing we had going for us, as a couple, was this indefinable feeling in both of our hearts that made us want to be together. I like to think of it as the Hand of God.

    Still sounds like a marriage made in hell, though, doesn't it? For the first few years it was indeed pretty rough. I nagged and whined and cried about his drinking, and he responded by drinking even more heavily. He pushed and pushed for us to start having kids, and I eventually gave in even though I knew we weren't ready, because I hoped it would make him want to be home more. Instead, he decided that babies were in fact noisy, messy, and inconvenient, and he was home less than ever. Which engendered more nagging and whining on my part. The whole time, he was swearing to me that he'd LOVE to be home more but [insert some insultingly transparent and drunkenly-delivered lie here about how there were no less than five accidents on the freeway, causing his afternoon commute to be six hours long, or whatever]. We never had enough money because he drank and partied it away.

    About now you're wondering why the hell we stayed together, right? Well, amazingly enough, and I know it sounds like the worst kind of denial, but it boils down to this: in spite of our ginormous problems, we loved each other. We still felt that mysterious, intangible bond. And in a way that is difficult to explain, both of us were gradually changing. At first, we only changed as much as we absolutely had to to keep the marriage from falling apart. But as those little changes brought obviously positive results to our relationship, they began to snowball into bigger changes. I stopped trying to control him, and accepted that he needed to make his own choices. At first that was very difficult for me…but then it was amazingly liberating. He, in turn, became happier in the relationship and felt less need for self-medicating his discontent with alcohol.

    It certainly wasn't easy. Twice I decided that enough was enough, and I was ready to leave for good. Both times he realized that whatever issue he'd been stubbornly trying to "win" was not worth losing the marriage over, and we started fresh.

    This fall we'll have been married for twelve years. From the craziness of those early days we have managed to forge a strong and true partnership, based on mutual respect and genuinely wanting each other to be happy and satisfied. If one of us is upset about something we both address that problem until everyone is happy again. He no longer drinks more than a beer or two at a time, if that, and shows no signs of missing it. From a decidedly rocky start, he and his children now adore one another. My legendary tantrums are a thing of the distant past. We enjoy a life of wonderful peace, joy and prosperity.

    That's what love is. It changes people. It heals and mends and beautifies. It moves mountains.

    So…sorry, John. I respectfully disagree. I absolutely believe that men and women, "through the strength of their love," *can* change one another for the better. Absolutely.

  • dsilkotch

    Ah. Well…okay, then. ;^)

  • Over simplify much?

  • dsilkotch

    I’m just saying that if you’re going to dispense relationship advice you should probably choose a position and stick with it. You post all this stuff about how men don’t change and how men are selfish beasts and that’s just the way it is and that women should stop banging their head against the brick wall of trying to help them grow…

    …and then you say that men behave like selfish beasts *because women let them?*

    Perhaps I’m missing some key point in your philosophy. Care to shed some light?

  • dsilkotch–that's a beautiful story, about your marriage. Very cool.

  • dsilkotch

    Skerrib — I totally agree with your approach. I’ve found it to get great results in my own marriage. But…I would be very much surprised if it were on par with John’s intent. From everything he’s posted, I gather that his stand is that a slob is a slob is a slob, forever and ever amen, and a woman can either accept that her man is a slob or hit the road and try to find one who isn’t.

    Do I have that right, John?

  • This is one reason I stay away from (most) chick-flicks. Too many times the husband and wife are all, “Blah-blah-BLAH” and the wife tries & tries & cries, and the husband just ignores her until some moment where he comes to his senses and then they’re fine. In my less-sane days I was that woman, and I couldn’t figure out how long I’d have to endure all the ‘injustices’ in our relationship (ie my playing a doormat). I mean come on, it’s in the script, he HAS to change eventually, right??

    Then I came to my senses (no he doesn’t HAVE to change. Ever. But I can) and was completely fixed, and we’re perfect now.

    But I’m just sayin’…

  • Of course people can change–and of course love changes people. I’m at a loss as to why you continue to think I’ve made an assertion I have not. Your husband changed out of love for you. HE CHANGED BECAUSE HE WANTED TO CHANGE, NOT BECAUSE YOU TALKED OR FORCED HIM INTO IT.

    He genuinely wanted you to be happy. He changed himself whatever inside of him was getting in the way of that happiness.

    You’re talking about change coming from inside a person. I’m talking about change coming from OUTSIDE a person. Apples and oranges.

  • dsilkotch

    Thanks Kerri. As a general rule I totally don’t recommend anyone trying to make a marriage work with a heavy drinker (or with a control freak, for that matter), but in this particular case it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to either of us. God truly does work in mysterious ways. :^)

  • Casper

    Interesting question – I wonder how I would react?!?! She's got a bit of a shy streak and I'm the outgoing one, so it hasn't been much of an issue. With friends we're comfortable with she flirts and charms and gives hugs – but it takes her longer to get there than it takes me.

    Interesting food for thought, thank you. I didn't mean to get into a confrontation either, I guess I just wanted to point out that sometimes flirting's just flirting, and a flirt can be a good husband if he can remember who's who and what's what.

  • "But it takes her longer to get there than it takes me." And THERE we have the entire …

    Well. Let's just stop right there.

    You really would have to be thoughtful and then honest about how you'd react if your wife acted toward other men the way you apparently do towards at least some women. If it wouldn't bother you, then … then you're lying. No, but … well, yeah, really. I mean, it most likely would bother you, if for no other reason (and this is a HUGE reason) than that it would be embarassing to you. It belittles you; it basically emasculates you. Standing there while your wife flirts with another man just … can't be good for you.

    Anyway, if you wouldn't feel comfortable with that sort of behavior in your wife, then you have a real challenge on your hands justifying the thinking that she's supposed to be okay with something you're not.

  • I was just responding to you saying, " I wonder how I would react?!?!". I figured that meant … well, just that: That you weren't sure how you'd feel if your wife flirted like you do. Especially since you also said you thought the question of how you'd feel made "interesting food for thought." But … sounds like you've already thought about it! Fair enough! As I say, I was just responding to what you said. No offense intended, of course.

  • Casper


    Great test, but I gotta take issue with number 4. Your cultural prejudices are showing through my friend. I’m a guy, very happily married 20 years to a great gal that I don’t deserve. We have 2 great kids, one grown one nearly grown.

    In the years we’ve been together I’ve taken every one of those tests, and passed 5/6 of them with flying covers. I’m a gracious loser, I respect the people who take care of me (and I tip well), I’ve spent several months out of the last 20 years as my wife’s patient and loving day nurse, we do a couple of multi-day road trips every year and look forward to the time together, and I fight fair (when we fight, which is extremely rare).

    However – I’m a southern boy. I grew up as the center of attention among several loving aunts, lots of older female cousins, several female “friends of the family”, 2 grandmothers, one great grandmother, and of course a doting mother. I am extremely comfortable with close, playful, flirtatious, loving non-sexual relationships with women of all stripes. I admire and respect and adore women, and I am an incurable flirt.

    Perhaps in California, when a man greets a woman with “Hello Beautiful” and a warm smile, it’s shorthand for “Let’s do it!”, but in the southland it just means “Hi there! You’re a sweetheart and a cutie and I just love ya’ to pieces. Want to meet my wife? She’d love ya’ too! Let’s get together and play guitars and sing old country tunes and have pulled pork sandwiches. Is your hubby here? Where is he? Can he sing? Bring him too!”.

    We have a certain enthusiasm, and as Bill & Ted said, we try to “Be Excellent to each other”. Most women love to hear “Hello Beautiful!”, and the ones who don’t probably should. We say it warmly and with great regard, and we mean it – but in most cases it’s not a serious attempt at unsavory activity. It’s also not an insult or belittlement of our spouses. I like Tonja and Rebecca and Debbie (to mention a few of our lady friends), but I LOVE Diana, and that’s a whole ‘nuther thing, and there’ll be no messing about.

    My wife is a Yankee girl from Indiana, and she didn’t understand at first. It was a strange adjustment for her. She thought I was seriously trying to hit on other women right in front of her, and she was angry. She confronted me, and my response was “Huh? What? You’re kidding! You really thought,,,?!?!”. Now she just finds it funny. One of her coworkers asked her if my flirting bothered her, and she responded “Nah – he’s all talk. If some woman tried to get him in the sack he’d run away scared and hide behind me” (which is probably true).

    So,,, perhaps you need a qualifier in there. If your feller isn’t flirty, but gets really chummy with one certain gal, then beware. Perhaps the old “Tramp at the bar” test, where a cute friend tries to pick up your guy. I don’t know what the right answer is, but I know from my own life that your #4 is not necessarily an accurate indicator.

    My $.02. Love the blog. Thanks for the writing tips – I’m scanning my local freebie paper now, and I’ll make a submission soon.


  • Hey, Casper: Thanks for the long, great comment. I am familiar with Southern mores; I was born in Nashville, my sister in FL, my mom’s from Virginia.

    Anyway, it’s a whole conversation. But yes, you’re right: What constitutes “flirting” is largely a cultural calculation. But let me ask you this: How comfortable do you think you’d be if your wife felt as comfortable flirting with men as you are fliring with women? What if you had to watch her quite often saying to men–with, as you say, “warmly and with great regard”–“Hello, handsome! You’re a sweetheart and a cutie!” Tell me you woudn’t have issues with that.

    Anyway, I don’t mean this in a confrontational way at all. I understand what you’re saying, and appreciate it. It’s just great … conversation foddder, basically. Cuz it IS interesting, the question of the validity or fairness of this double-standard with which you claim women in the South are so comfortable. It’s been my (limited, for sure) experience that–as with most things–some are, and some aren’t. But, you know. Duh.

  • Casper

    Actually, I never said I had a problem with her being flirtatious – you said that. I just pondered the question. Do I feel emasculated or embarassed when she flirts with another guy? No. I’m pretty self assured, I’m the father of our children, I’ve been with her since Reagan was in the White House. I don’t suspect that I’m going to lose my spot as her mate over a little banter around a punchbowl.

    I didn’t say she doesn’t flirt, I said it takes her a little longer to “get there”, meaning to get comfortable enough with a new male friend to flirt a little. There’s a bit of shyness there, there’s also a bit of safety concern involved. The double standard that I’m talking about is that men rape women, women don’t rape men (or at least it’s EXTREMELY rare). When I meet a nice lady at a party, I don’t have to worry about her grabbing me on the way to the restroom and assaulting me – my wife does have to consider that, and that’s why it “Takes her a little longer”.

    Please don’t assume that I suffer from this jealousy or insecurity.

  • I think your list is priceless–and I do indeed agree with each. In my last relationship, we were able to experience all of those issues in the natural course of dating. He passed, I passed, and then we were able to move in to the deeper issues–money and family.

    Loving each other more than life itself was not enough to overcome our differences in those two extremely important areas, but we had developed the ability to speak very honestly and lovingly with each other through all of the items on your list and so were able to split amicably before we ended up married to someone who was ultimately wrong.

    Alright, I will go back to lurking now.

  • Wow. A funny, articulate lurker.

    Are there OTHERS like you out there?

  • Casper

    Hey – I was reasonably articulate! I'll try to work harder on the funny.

  • So you're a LURKER, Casper! I KNEW it!


  • Who was the guy who said something along the lines of …

    Going into marriage, a women hopes her man will change, and a man hopes his women won't change, and they'll both be disappointed.

    … or something like this?

  • Els

    That would have been Albert Einstein.

    "Men marry women with the hope they will never change.

    Women marry men with the hope they will change.

    Invaribly they are both disappointed."

  • Your post, whilst being quite true, is a little lopsided. Did you ever do one for women? While it is true that a man should always be present and attentive with his woman, he is also very vulnerable in this place to being manipulated by her. Its a fine line – an art – the balance of power in relationship. Sometimes it is a show of his wisdom – and to her best advantage also – for him to not support her in her negative emotions (illness, jealousy, guilt). Just as much as he must be loving and attentive in his presence with her, she must be open to it, or it cannot be given, and she cannot get it, and there can't be much true love for long …..

  • tabitha powell

    yea i have hard that to but you know what my boyfriend goes though so meny changes that it's not even funny and he's one day all over me and the nexts he's mad and don't want to be by me but yea thats just men

  • arlywn

    5 out of six is okay right?

    we argue alot. some days it seems we cant be near each other. He is a good guy. Bad temper, never with me. I love him, but its communication really. I have ambitions, but only because he isnt happy now.

    and the flirting thing… he makes me feel loved.. and I knew he was mine- but he was so obvious about it. we'd be in the car, and I'd see him looking at someone else- or he'd mutter sometihng like 'sexy'.

    and i'd look at him and suddenly he's innocent and all, " her is you honey. Im talking about you…"

  • arlywn

    * clarifier here, Im not bothered so much by his obvious flirting, more by the girls who either take him seriously, or seem to ignore the fact that he has a gf.

    maybe I'm just too jealous… or maybe we just pick the wrong girls to try and be friends with. Cause it doesnt seem to be a problem with guys…

  • Regina

    Great 6 tests ,,, and I agree with the very early comment (possibly the first back in 2007!) that says something about looking at the way a man treats his mother … and what their relationship is really like … well, I would add, does he have enough compassion and kindness of heart to be patient with your parents as they age and may, someday, need their daughter to help them at some level…there are lots of mother in law jokes, but the reality is that aging parents need the love and support of their children usually one of their daughters, as they age and grow frailer and more afraid of the bustle of everyday life! See how a man reacts to in-law discussions, etc. TMy mother lived with us for 8 years, and my kind and patient husband brought her an early morning coffee and toast every day for nearly all those years hanks again for the six tests artice….and he passed all six of the tests … thanks!

  • That's great how your husband did that for your mom, Regina. Wonderful. Thanks for writing and sharing.

  • That is one excellent post. The 'first fight' point is a pearl and will teach you how driven he is by his ego. Does he take things 'personally' or can he separate his emotional attachment from facts and events?

    Watching him around other women is another test of his egotistical nature. Does he require the validation of other women in order to feel good about himself? Also if another woman flirted with him – would he rise to it?

    The service staff point is great too. All truly great men are humble and the way he treats service staff is a measure of his self perception.

    Very, very good. I shall explore the blog further.


  • kimberly braaten

    i was reading your blog on the is he right for you and i am sitting here crying like i havent in a long time,about what he does with a woman and when he is not around and how it hurts so bad, how i have been treated by a guy and now how i cant trust men for nothing no matter what i cant let them in my life to many lies and hurts it all came out right now by reading this article on is he right for me. i havent been in a relationship for 3 years was always when i have been with a man that when another woman is around how i was treated like i was a nobody they would flirt wit hthe waitress, and the cashier, wherever we went, not intrduce me to his friends as his girlfriend. not one man i have known has shown me i can trust him, or long trips with a man then hitting on me , i left that man in the desert after that. d oyou have a book on all this hurt from all these relationships that has destroyed my trust completly on anyone, please let me know, cause i need some relieve.

  • kimberly braaten

    i do hope some day the hurt will go away and that i can trust just one man. but i just been shown for most of my life i cant then i will get hurt if i do.. thanks

  • I highly recommend looking at his relationship with his mother. I married someone whose mother was pretty much the most unhealthy person I had ever met. (I am talking emotionally unhealthy.) And she raised my ex… and he had no siblings and she had no one else in her life. She unconsciously wanted him to be a surrogate spouse for her when he was 7 yrs old, at the time of her divorce from his dad.

    This played out in various negative ways in our marriage, which I won't go in to. But suffice to say I am NEVER going to consider marrying a man again who has an unhealthy relationship with his mother and whose mother raised him in a very unhealthy way.

    Perhaps it is needless to say that my blog is about divorce!

  • Des

    Great list.

    I'd like to add to #1

    During an argument, if he ratchets down, that's fine. If he does it to the extent of not talking to you for a month because he got his feelings hurt, then that's a red flag too.

  • John Rippo

    Glad you didn't go with the suggestion about treating mothers and sisters. My mom and I got along like fire and gasoline and my older sister was the one who taught me the fine art of fighting dirty—-I almost didn't survive the tutorial. But even the grimness of mortal combat can teach one to respect the Opponent and this is a vital life lesson; one that can go far in the life of a loving relationship with a woman. Besides, the sheer relief of having a woman in your life that isn't trying to kill you at least once a day makes the intelligent, sensitive soul much happier and when a guy is happy, he can't wait to share this with a woman he loves. Good luck.

  • Judy Latta Smith

    I chose Mister Right. No doubts. So happy!! We’ve been married for almost seven years and he proves daily who he really is. I have to state that I have the experience to say that I know what I know. I was with my first husband for 34 years and after he was killed in an accident it shocked me to realize that he never truly loved me. My REAL husband loves me, no holds barred, and that adds joy to my life and my relationship with God in ways I could never have imagined. Wow.

  • Susan in NY

    According to this list, I got me a keeper!!

  • quantumcat

    Watch how your prospect fares around critters.

    This would work,to a certain extent,with any beings not at the top of the social order (kids,the mentally disabled,etc.). These persons often have an acute sense of an individual’s character.

    Once,my pets took a strong,instant dislike to a visitor who was charming and had a good reputation. Suffice it to say,their reaction was born out later.

    My partner made a far less successful first impression -except for the animals.

    They looked past his scruffy,curmudgeonly facade and “adopted” him on sight.

    When the gregarious pet hides or growls at someone-listen.

    When the shy or cantankerous beast is accepting or smitten,pay attention.

    They may be able to read something about the person we can’t detect.

  • Donna Runion via Facebook

    Good tips for any relationship!

  • I mentioned it in a comment regarding Michelle Bachmann’s team in New Hampshire quitting. I said one of the test is to see how they treat the people who serve them, and I also said, a presidential campaign is like a long road trip. 🙂 Your rock John. The Six Tests should be required reading for all teenagers in love. Heck, it should be required reading for adults in love, too.

  • Here is a link to my post. I think I also commented on someone else’s post to that link but can’t seem to locate it at the moment. Been a busy day. 🙂

  • Monique Jones via Facebook

    My two teenaged daughters read…I sent it to them as a must read. They thought is was so good they sent it to all their friends. Wonderful post!

  • Michelle Wyatt Mrozkowski via Facebook

    Really good. Really, really good.

  • Ken Leonard via Facebook

    I guess we now know why there’s a run on the article, huh?

  • Linda

    I think this goes across the board, even for us ladies looking for our Ms. Right. After spending 25 years in a mariage with mr wrong I am double cautious when it comes to matters of the heart. There is alsways going to be a balance of power in relationships it is how they use that power that tells us who they are and we them. thanks for this post John.

  • Debbie

    Great post! I thought I was safe when I saw that my first husband was, in general, shy with women. I thought this meant that he would not have an affair. WRONG. Later on in our marriage, he had to bring me to the ER around 11pm and I got 11 stitches in my pinky from a glass breaking while washing it. When we finally got home around 5am all he did was complain severely about how it was all my fault that he had to be late for work the next day and had no compassion whatsoever for me.

    My husband now scores high on all of these tests. He does have his flaws but they are deal-able and most importantly, I’m aware and see them for what they are.

  • Debbie

    Very interesting. I’m Italian, too, and my first husband was Italian. At first, I thought his relationship with his mother was a good one because he seemed like a steadfast, family oriented guy. Later on, it was apparent that his relationship with her was quite dysfunctional. I plan on checking out your blog.

  • Debbie

    Sorry, Chandi… Not so sure you’re Italian.

  • Anne Young via Facebook

    Oh boy, I am afraid to read this. John, please don’t make me think!!!!

  • Oh, come on, Anne. You know me better than that.

  • Penny

    I had major surgery last December and was completely worthless and helpless for weeks afterwards. About three weeks into the recovery period my husband told me, “Even if you never got better, it would be my honor to take care of you for the rest of our lives,” after which we both burst into tears.

    Yes, I’m keeping him.

  • Been married twice. Where were you ….?????? or Dr. Phil….. lol

  • Pass – pass – pass – pass- pass – pass- pass. I love this man too. I shall keep him.

  • Brianna

    I’m 14 and I was dating this guy that I had a great amount of feelings fir but he did me wrong and all he wanted from me was to use me. I’m in high-school now and I’m currently dating someone and when I red this I was shocked at how much I can relate to this. He is my Mr. Right:)

  • It’s amazing how I thought I was in love… with the wrong guy. But I let go of my past & forgave those who hurt me & once I was able to handle taking risks, God blessed me with a wonderful guy that meets all of these expectations. He is my Mr. Right.

  • Areyoucrazy

    The simple answer, ladies- IF YOU HAVE GOTTEN TO THE POINT WHERE YOU ARE EVEN THINKING ABOUT ANY OF THIS, LEAVE THE RELATIONSHIP. If you are the type to “test your man” you don’t deserve to have one. If he’s ever bad to you, leave him, of course. But if he’s bad to you because YOU put him in a situation to make it happen, then you lose.

  • DR

    Oh, twisted and creepy projection. Thy name is – well, it’s the actual username in this case!

  • DR

    But if he’s bad to you because YOU put him in a situation to make it happen, then you lose.>>>

    So in other words, if I go to a restaurant with my man and he’s rude to the server, that’s because I asked him to go out for dinner? That’s my fault? I’m just trying to get specific here.

  • Soulmentor

    Good advice for gays too.

  • That Guy

    That is absolutely adorable ^.^

    I wish I had something witty to say or insight to give so I don’t simply spam the comments but I can’t resist just pointing out the obvious here.

  • yikes

  • lisa

    Im not sure if anyone can help but im in a relationship and now engaged. Well i loVe him deeply and it hurts me to think about leaving him. We dobt have any kids together and dont live together so whatever ur opinion be straight. Well we argue u a lot because to me ghe acts like a one man show (as if ge forgets he has a gf) . Dont get me wrong he doesnt flirt. Its just his everyday actions. ex: we eat dinner sit on the couch he will sit directly in the middle as if i didnt exist to sit beside him. Another Example: constantly thinking about himself. Always just buying himself stuff. Always just doing things for himself. Is he a one man show or is this just men?

  • lisa

    Also we fight a lot and everytime we fight i fill like i am at the ferge of wanting to leave him. And like i said him and are engaged. We argue so much and its gotten so bad that we kept giving the ring back now i just dont even wear it as an agreement to see what we can give back to eachother as far as something that means so much. See all of this startex when we got to alaska. We came here to work. Well this is also the first time of living witheachother. Anyways before the bith of us starting working such crazy working hours we had the most fun and i i still felt like that crazy inlove girl that i was when i first met him. But. now that crazy hours have split us up he has seen the real me. I miss him so much that now the little bit we do see eachother has turned to arguments and hell. When it should be loving times for the portion we do see eachother. But when we do have the chance to see eachother it

  • lisa

    But when we do have the chance to see eachother its like im the last thing to cross his mind. Example: i had food at my job for us to eat together and asked him ahead of time to let me know when he is done working as well so we could eat toghether and i kid u not he ate with other people besides me. And he does stuff like that a lot. And it hurts me because im the kind of person that just lovez to do and do and do for the people i love. And he keeps hurting me intentionaly but no matter how many times he does it i keep giving because thats my nature. But he is started to tare my good and loving nature away from me. I dont know what to do or to think anymore. And now he has me on edge with everything he does. Im tence. What to do? I know at the end of the day i am the only who can answer this question but i would love some feed back

  • ana

    hey lisa, sounds like you are with an asshole. there are plenty of red flags from what you told me, esp how he doesn’t care about you or respect you, is totally selfish and self-centered. i’m not sure why you are still with him. the constant fighting is a sign that you are upset by how he treats you but b/c he doesn’t care/ want to change, the relationship does not grow or move forward. you can do better and be with someone who appreciates you for who you are. if your girlfriend wrote what you wrote, what would you tell her? you’re engaged– so what? that’s better than being married! leave now when you can and never look back! if he’s treating you like crap now, he will definitely treat you like crap after you’re married. actually, he’ll have even more reason to because you let him get away with it for so long!

    check out “baggage reclaim” online. google it. there is invaluable info about bad relationships. it has helped me a lot with mine. good luck and never settle!

  • Sue

    I am living with a man who when he get angry he just clams up and don’t talk for a day or two. I also have a problem because he has a picture of his ex with parrots they had, it is on his cabinet and I see it it makes my blood boil. He says he keeps it because of the birds. They have been divorced 22 years. Then there is this little statue that says “happiness if finding someone like you under the covers”. From an ex girlfriend I think. He is 59 I am 57. I think I should move on. Friends say he just needs time to change. Give me input please

  • Hannah Grace

    This is really quality. Really, really good.

    Though about the flirting – if flirting does hurt your feelings, they should stop. If, like in my relationship, you’ve talked about it and have your own lines that you’re happy with, then flirting isn’t necessarily disrespectful or making you look foolish for staying with them. The main point is talking it out honestly and finding what you’re actually comfortable with (I mean, some happily married couples have threesomes with friends, and that’s ok – as long as it’s genuinely what both of you want).

    What’s not ok is when one pressures the other into being ok with their behavior, instead of putting their feelings first. Something’s only ok if it makes both people happy.

  • otter

    oh…this is some GOOOOOD advice. Ane it works for any combination of junk in the relationship, not just the plug and socket sort.

  • John. I think a similar set of tests for a man (or woman) to consider when dating a woman is in order. What do you think?/

  • Ruthie

    You are being unreasonable and controlling and you need to stop. Guy is almost sixty — and so are you!!! how have you not gotten past the jr. high attitude toward relationships?!?! — and he’s going to have past relationships. They exist and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Even if he was still FRIENDS with his exes and he spent time with them on a regular basis I’d tell you to chill; the fact that you are upset about exactly TWO objects (objects! not even remotely close to threatening!), one a photo that includes beloved pets and one a freaking STATUE, is a testament to how off base you are. If this is break-up worthy in your book, you have serious jealousy issues that you need to work on.

  • Ruthie

    I don’t think John is saying you should set up situations specifically to test your partner and mess with their brains. That’s manipulative and controlling. He is talking about observing certain reactions to situations that should occur naturally in the course of a long term relationship and should be used to spot warning signs and trouble spots before you sign a legal that says “forever” and is a pain in the whatev to get out of. Helps you avoid honeymoon stage blinding you to problems down the road that can seriously damage your relationship and life. None of these require a breakup either, they just indicate more communication and work should be done before permanent commitment.

    For the record, John, you phrase this toward women and that’s actually not necessary. This advice applies equally to men and women and same-sex partners. Should perhaps change that for future articles.

  • Lisa, he may not be using words, but his actions are all saying “You don’t mean much to me and I’m living my own life”. Hand back the keys get your toothbrush out of his bathroom and say goodbye. You deserve move, and he’s not going to give it to you.

  • I think I’d get my ass handed to me if I wrote that.

  • Awesome tests. Thanks.

  • ck

    Lisa…stick to your gut. I am with someone I love yet has said things that would definitely hurt. It’s almost like he acts like it’s no big deal..Your feelings matter and when you love someone you don’t want to hurt. It’s one thing “picking on each other” and knowing it’s just that. When it’s intentional, it’s not right.

  • Scott

    Here is a good song about rule #5 (Ironically titled rule #1 by the songwriter)

  • Maria

    Wow! I can’t express how awesome and concise this rundown list is! I’m putting all of it to the test soon. Haha. And printing out and handing out to all of my friends. Thanks, John!!!

  • Maria


  • Nancy

    No, no, no,a thousand times no! But maybe a bunch of us women should write that one–ha!

  • Susan

    Oh – this is so good.

    The one about caring for you when you’re sick, though – my husband of 25 years FAILS at this – and I called him on it while we were dating. I asked if he’d care for me if I were disabled and he said, “Absolutely not. But, I would pay for someone to care for you.” OK, good enough. The guy knows himself well enough to know that bedpans and barf are never going to work for him, but he’s got a backup plan.

    I would add one more thing: how does he treat his mother? Or, at least, how does he talk about his mother? While my husband might have failed at the sick bed, I loved his caring relationship with his mom, who became one of my best friends. I still miss her every day.

  • Wish I’d had that list 35 years ago.

  • This is a fabulous test! More people need to apply this to their relationships!

  • Linda

    My husband truly fit the bill, all six. And then 10 years into our marriage I found out he had been having multiple affairs for five of them. And then the revelation (to both of us) of how early childhood sexual abuse had messed everything up. Heavy stuff, but this is real Christian life sometimes. All of that goodness had a dark secret. Trying to deal with the devastation and grow. Do I stay or do I go – what would Jesus do. . .

  • Linda – my husband is also a victim of child sexual abuse. After 30+ years, I can’t deal with it anymore. I pray you can figure out what is best for YOU.

  • Wendi

    Well I put in for a broad search because I wanted to know if the man I’m dating is the right one or if there might be signs I’m not seeing that say he isn’t. He passed every single one of these items with flying colors so guess I’m in! 🙂

  • Well done you for being so honest with your post.

    I think a lot of people deal with a lot of crap one way or another – but at the end of the day you know what’s right and what’s wrong.

    I wish you the best of luck with your future.

    Sara x

  • Harrisco

    If this is his way, be sure he is not so uncomfortable that he delegates your care completely. He still has to be engaged in it, present at some level. Alas, bad things can happen when you delegate care. The carers you designate need oversight and attention and skepticism. Sorry, but he is going to have to get close enough to get grossed out from time to time.

  • Harrisco

    Interesting that it is the two objects that make your blood boil, not his junior-high silent treatment. No blood boiling about that? Why is the cabinet his and not yours together if you live in the same house? Is it his life and you are just visiting, or is he open enough to share? Or is it your life and he is just visiting, so you can tell him what to do? Are you open to letting him be himself? Is he open to you being you? It is time to learn how to fight for what you need–and for him to do the same.

  • rachya

    All the negative qualities meet him,,i dont know why i think,,he will change,,i’ve spent 4 yeas trying to change myself into being wht he wants me to become so that the relationship would be good but the only thing he does i points out my faults and punishes me for my tiny little imperfections,,he isnt the one,,my head knows that just need to convice my heart,,dont know how to do that though..

  • Susan

    Good point, Harrisco! That’s why our daughter is my DPOA!

  • yomy

    i am going to the same thing as you. and i just dont know how to let him go. i know he is not the right one for me. but its so difficult.

  • nadia

    Hi Rachya. I am going through the same situation. I have been with this guy for almost 4 years now. I have also left him several times and then went back to him after a day or two thinking that maybe he has changed from before. But as the years passed he started treating me worse and I got even more sad. I was also scared that maybe he was the one for me and that if i leave him i would never find anyone i could love again. But after reading this article im pretty sure now that he is not the one for me and that there has to be someone better out there for me. So today i broke up with him and i have decided to leave him for good.

  • Sue

    Well I guess I am insecure because my man has never once treated me badly, flirted with other women (when I am around) lol, He is always there for me, for better or worse. No we are not married yet but I think after reading this now I know he is the right one. Thanks 🙂

  • Sandy

    I dn’t knw y am so invovled into men i hv 4 of dem at my beck nd cal bt i jst dn’t knw whom i luv mst wat do i do

  • JenellYB

    You must be awfully young to believe that. I’ve seen too many such relationships in my 65 yrs. Sooner or later, where flirting and even more so sexual involvement with additional persons are ‘ok’, it is going to all come unraveled. There is room for 2 and 2 only in a marriage relationship.

  • JenellYB

    Sum it all up in one word: Respectful. That’s it. Of not only partner, but everyone.

  • Theresa Anderson Ener

    i would add “watch how he/she drives”…road rage and general bullying when behind the wheel is a good indicator of how kind, patient, and levelheaded a person is…if they’re constantly yelling, cursing, swerving, and trying to “get even” with other drivers, then it’s apparent they have some anger issues that most likely will show up in your relationship…and if they refuse to see that their bad driving is an issue (and dangerous!), then it’s safe to bet that they will be in denial about anger issues within your relationship and you’ll have a difficult time dealing with and getting past hostile/ combative aspects they exhibit when angry or frustrated with you or other family members…

  • JenellYB

    The mention of ‘the balance of power in relationship.’ Harrison, not to pick on your post specifically, 😉 but because I’ve seen it mentioned in several posts now, and every time it makes me feel stronger about saying something about it. To whatever extent ANY ‘balance of power’ is relevant to the “success” of a relationship, doesn’t matter who is manipulating or controlling whom, or who is ‘in charge’ or whatever, to whatever extent there is a ‘balance of power’ involved, it is to that extent an unhealthy and unstable relationship, and very unlikely to survive long term. Life throws every couple a lot of unexpected curves, and there are going to be times when one is stronger, the other vulnerable, and the other way around, and both parties in a relationship must have enough self-esteem, stability, and mutual respect and trust to just leave any ‘balance of power’ out of it, both be ready to kick into whatever role needed as need arises, because sooner or later, some life event or circumstances is going to disrupt any ‘balance of power’, it simply isn’t going to remain consistent long term. I’ve experienced not only in my own relationships, including the breakdown of a 27 yr marriage, and observed in to many others, that where there is a ‘balance of power’ involved, when some life event brings changes that disrupt it, the relationship is going to unravel and go down, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

  • JenellYB

    As myself a ‘southern woman’ I don’t really think that makes a lot of difference, where you live or are raised, at least in the US. I’ll pull the age card, at 65, I’ve seen a lot of lives play out. And flirting, whether man or woman, when already in a (supposed) committed relationship is playing with matches in the hay loft.

  • Matt

    Honestly, the idea of “balance of power” just creeps me out. Two adults are already balanced, because they are responsible for themselves. When they enter into a relationship they do it to care for one another, and that involves sometimes being the vulnerable and supported and sometimes being the stronger and supporter. We give freely, trusting that we will receive in kind.

    If you don’t allow your partner/spouse to ask for your help/care/support at appropriate times, and withhold your support in what appears to be an arbitrary fashion so as to maintain this imaginary “balance,” well, I can’t think of anything short of adultery that can undermine trust more quickly.

  • JenellYB

    An interesting rabbit trail to run off that one would be John Bradshaw’s ideas about there being “three levels of change” we might experience. Might be summed up, as how, what, and why, or as tactic, goal, and motive. Any lasting change has to occur at the 3rd, innermost level. Any time we “change” FOR someone else, to please someone else, we are doing it to get what we want from that someone else. Lasting change occurs when we’ve come to changing for ourself, who/what we would want to BE, the person we want to BE. If/when a person “changes” for reason he/she “loves” someone else, and that is what it takes to keep that other happy, then what happens when one “falls out of love” with that person? Which in a long term relationship, can happen more than once.

  • JenellYB

    Why being very ‘caught up into’ any kind of ‘romantic’ (or for men, male macho conquest or porn) is really a very dangerous thing… Years ago, so many of the other young women around me we caught up in daily tv soap operas, and subscribed to paperback romance of the month book clubs, and the like, and there was so often a REAL problem in their ideas about relating to reality in relationships. Men’s ideas can be likewise skewed as to what women want and how to relate to women through not just the obvious porn, but the ‘manly’ western or cop hero fiction, in which the men hop from the bed of one grateful woman to the next.

  • Paula Demosthenes Fluharty

    Agape love is a wonderful thing, but when you have committed yourself in a relationship and find that after 20 years you’re still facing the first-year problems, it’s time to reassess. No, I’m not perfect, but I am loyal and honest, and I have decided that I can’t accept anything less from a life mate.

  • JenellYB

    Slobism is NOT as stereotypically assumed attached to the “Y” chromosome. 😉 My serious advice would be for confirmed slobs and OCD neatniks NEVER EVER EVER contemplate getting together!
    However, while it is doubtful there is any hope of reforming a slob, there can be hope for the OCD neatnik. I am something of a witness to that. I was raised by one of those old time housewives people used to brag about, kept house so clean you could eat off the floors. My first house that was really ours, not rented, had lovely hardwood floors, and oh, my was I ever so proud of them, and keeping them just so. But somewhere along the line, 3 kids, and a mechanic husband that seemed utterly unawares of the grease and grime on his shoes and clothes when he came home from work and plopped down on the neat clean sofa….well….and then, when I realized how much I was missing out on in life, doing really cool fun things, because I was too busy cleaning house, well….. I turned slob, and have never looked back.

  • Cynthia Anne Womack

    See how he or she acts with children,the elderly,animals,etc. My critters adored my partner when they met. He does a good imitation of a curmudgeon but he has aced all these other tests.

  • scribble73

    The Mister Right Test #7: Make sure YOU can pass each of these tests, too.

    Courtship is not generally much fun for anybody. If past relationships have left you with bruises, it has left bruises on the men you meet, too. … only our culture does not provide most men with the tools they need, to handle the experiences they’ve had. Respect those bruises.

  • Marissa Hursh

    Just wanted to add a couple comments: One, that no one is perfect, and that people grow and change over time naturally. My husband would have failed a couple of these (like the competitiveness / poor loser one and the taking care of me when I’m sick one) when we first met but over time, he has matured and changed some. Let me say right now, though, that doesn’t mean you should necessarily take someone thinking they WILL change… but it also doesn’t account for the fact that sometimes people just need certain things pointed out to them and need to think about them and decide if that’s the way they want to be, or to be perceived.
    When we first met, he gagged when the dog threw up. Since then, he has caught puke from our kids in his hands, cleaned up the floor when *I’ve* puked, cleaned a toddler’s poop out of the bathtub… 🙂 He still gags, but hey, he can’t help it, and the point is, he takes care of things anyway.
    My second point is this, though: there is something more than those five or six things in this test, that I have a hard time precisely defining, but it’s *extremely important.* I mean, you could take two people who have never met each other who could each pass all the items on this test and put them together but does that mean they would necessarily have a good marriage? There’s the spark of being attracted to another person’s mind — how they think — what they find interesting, what they find funny — being able to talk for hours — understanding the other person’s point of view *without* exhaustive efforts. I think it’s possible to still have a *good* marriage without it, but you are probably always going to feel like something is missing.

  • First, John (bless his heart) could not write a “six tests” guide for men. He’s fully man. Could not be more cis-male hetero if he tried. He’d be attacked like piranha on a cow carcass. As for the rest, the need for a woman to be open or she can’t get it? Her ‘negative’ emotions? His vulnerability to her manipulation?

    Yeah. I’m not buying that. Those sexist stereotypes went out with the ’60s. I am loved, and will be loved, for the strong woman I am.

  • Carl Badgley

    your best defense is to find out /why/ you can’t let go.

  • Marissa Hursh

    “Courtship is not generally much fun for anybody.” Hmm… I have to say, I pretty much *loved* courtship. Ahhh… courtship. I miss it.

  • Sally Thurman

    My husband would completely fail the last test….we fixed that, I do not play games with him. He also tends to explode every now and then, and suffers for it afterward, so he has evolved and doesn’t explode as much as he used to, he doesn’t like the consequences. He is also a big flirt, but he’s not serious and no one takes him seriously, intentions behind flirting need to be looked at before you get your feelings hurt. So, he’s not perfect, but he’s been my Mr. Right through 4 kids, 1 grandchild and almost 32 years. Still, I do wish I had this list before we got married. We still would have gotten married but I could have put my finger on a couple of things that vaguely didn’t sit right at the time (the explosions…nobody did that in my house, I did not have a frame of reference for it)

  • Sugarbush43

    This is true! We can’t hold men up to standards which we don’t also hold ourselves to.

  • Sugarbush43

    This is also a matter of perception. For example, if you want a man to take care of you when you’re sick, I guess you want him to do it the way you want him to. My husband isn’t the best nurse, but he doesn’t leave me hanging either. His ex called in the heavies when he left her side to help his brother move (same city) because she claimed he left her there to die…she was at home, not dying in a hospital. To her, he was terrible. To me, he’s great. Some people have different needs and their needs should mesh well with the needs of their partner.

  • maria deniels

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    mio figlio era affetto da cancro della sua parte privata che quasi tolto la vita, ero confuso così anche mio marito era come stiamo andando a perdere l’unico figlio e il bambino che avevamo ma Dio non permettere che ciò accada con l’invio di DR aḳabah al nostro salvataggio.
    Un amico invia il suo indirizzo e-mail a noi e subito lo abbiamo contattato ci ha assicurato che il nostro bambino non morirà e non abbiamo mai creduto fino a quando non ha inviato quello che lui chiamava l’olio di cannabis per noi e ci ha istruito su come applicarlo e dopo una settimana nostro figlio è alto e il suono come un bambino appena nato.
    Quindi, qualunque sia la malattia è oggi basta contattare l’indirizzo email qui sotto come ora.

  • WhatdoestheBiblesay

    The Bible does not condone homosexuality.

  • Megan Harding

    I have severe multiple sclerosis, and my boyfriend will piggy-back me when my muscles seize up too badly for me to walk.

  • BarbaraR

    Fortunately, my husband passed all of these.

    We went kayaking on our third date. I noticed three younger women nearby checking him out and coming over to talk to him. I stood back to see what he would do. He turned, answered whatever questions they asked him, then turned his back on them and paid attention to me. I thought, “OK, he passed that test!”

    Seven years later I was hit with cluster headaches (trust me: you really, really, really do not want these, not EVER) and he came through like a champ, ferrying me to the doctor, the hospital, picking up my prescriptions, and generally caring for me at a time when we both thought secretly I might have a brain tumor. He’s a keeper.

  • honoriaglossop

    It also doesn’t condone shellfish and polyester. It condones slavery and oppressing women.
    I agree with Ruthie too that this article should be gender neutral. This is good advice for anyone seeking a relationship.

  • cornie

    #1: Get into real knock-down, drag-out fight with him – so true! you cannot avoid conflicts… so the sooner you check how he fights, the better

    but personnaly, it always valuable to check your sign compatibility, I’m an Aries and my ex was a Taurus – we were arguing every single day… here’s an article on love reading, check it:

  • walnutosage

    That is almost exactly the same thing my mother told me, long before I met my husband – and I fell in love with him when I saw him wanting to feed a homeless elderly man against the advice of other friends!

  • walnutosage

    Try not to mistake flirty for just really friendly. I’m a friendly person, and my mother was as well – sometimes that was misconstrued. My husband gets along really well with all my women friends and can laugh and visit with them even when I’m not in the vicinity. My sons are really comfortable with women and are nice to them, which is sometimes mistaken for flirting, when it’s really just them acting like their father!

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  • eirayza

    my guy would have passed all these tests except for #2. Nope, he completely panics when something does not fall into place especially when it’s against time. But I guess that’s why it’s called “your other half” because you have to have balance and team work. I stay focused when he’s panicking and try to show him how to get through it (while having a stronghold on my patience). When he loses or feels weak, I stay strong for him until he makes up his mind, picks himself up again and try one more time. ^^

  • eirayza

    See how he treats his mother. I think that’s the ultimate test. Once you’re married, it will greatly affect how he sees and treats you too. For men, see how your woman treats her father. You’ll get a rough idea how you’ll be treated in the future too. well, that’s according to my dad that is.

  • studiogirl2009

    OMG! This is why I read comments on these articles. I found out on the day that I broke up with my ex that he was the victim of sexual abuse. Which is totally not his fault. But he was an alcohol addict, and would go CRAZY when he was drunk. I never trusted him. I always had a horrible sense of unrest with being with him and finally broke up with him. I really believe I dodged a bullet. He tried changing but couldn’t rid himself of the depression/anxiety/alcohol abuse and porn addiction. Now I found out he is getting married, I pray his future wife knows what she is getting into. It has all been very quick and they haven’t been together for very long. He was able to hide all his issues from me for a year. I really hope his fiance knows who he really is.
    P.S I am now with an INCREDIBLE christian man 🙂 <3