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How to “chart” a first date

You’re used to spending your day evaluating patients. Not only do you have instruments and measurements to make those judgments, but you also depend on your innate intuition and powers of observation to assess your patients’ well-being.

In a few seconds, you can probably get a good sense of coloring, alertness, emotional state and energy level for clues to their current state of health.

Now let’s say you’re getting ready for a much-anticipated first date. How confident are you that you’ll be able to judge your date’s character and worthiness as a potential mate just as quickly and efficiently?

Don’t leave it up to chance. Think of that first date as a job interview. Even better, think of it as a patient interview. Chart your date just like you’d chart your patient: Get a history, vital signs…you know the drill.

My mantra to singles is: Don’t waste time going out with The Wrong One. Here are 10 checklist items to get clues about whether to keep ’em or ditch ’em.

  • Beforehand, compute a background check to see whether you know anyone in common.
  • Ask your date about the length and present status of past relationships.
  • Make a mental note about your date’s level of emotional damage from any past relationship.
  • Learn what your date currently does for a living, and how successful he or she is.
  • Get a handle on future earnings capability and professional goals.
  • Notice whether your date has a sense of humor—either makes jokes or laughs at yours.
  • Ask your date about his or her friends and what they’re like. Are they the type of people you could befriend?
  • Find out if your date has “baggage,” such as children, alimony, dependent relatives, pets, debt or pending litigation.
  • Take a mental inventory of your date’s overall likes and dislikes.
  • Watch to see if your date is a positive, lighthearted person who sees the glass as half full.

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Nick Aretakis

Nicholas Aretakis is author of Ditching Mr. Wrong: How to End a Bad Relationship and Find Mr. Right (Next Stage Press, 2008) and hosts an interactive online community for single women looking for Mr. Right at www.ditchingmrwrong.com.
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One Response to How to “chart” a first date

  1. Gina

    Sorry but I don’t see children as being baggage. Not everyone is young and in their 20’s when they’re dating. Us “older” single folks are most likely divorced with kids. It’s up to our potential dates to decide ahead of time if they want to pursue a relationship and be open to the “instant family” if the relationship progresses before getting involved.

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