THE TRAIT: Responsibility
THE TEST: play the blame game. Next time she rear-ends someone during rush hour, listen to her post-game analysis. “Successful couples focus on positives,” says Dr Scott Haltzman, a psychiatrist and the author of The Secrets of Happily Married Men. “Is she the eternal victim? Or does she accept responsibility?”
THE TRAIT: Flexibility
THE TEST: cook dinner at her place. If she’s a control freak in her kitchen, she’ll have a hard time letting you take the reins elsewhere in life. Even if she’s a gourmet, she should still accept your different way of chopping carrots, reveals Pat Love, author of The Truth About Love.
THE TRAIT: Patience
THE TEST: talk about work. The time she made an intern cry may make you laugh, but that attitude won’t stay in cubicle land. “If she rips into a co-worker for no reason, watch out. It shows what she’s like under pressure,” warns Dr John Van Epp, creator of the “How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk” program (nojerks.com).
THE TRAIT: Empathy
THE TEST: take her shopping. Malls are buffets of human interaction – peeved customers, airhead shop assistants, mums with kids, all begging for vitriolic commentary. “You want to see empathy for the stressed and clueless. If she thinks most solutions are clear-cut, expect the same absolutism with you,” cautions Haltzman.
THE TRAIT: Adaptability
THE TEST: make last-minute plans. Sure, you’d planned a chick flick, but the only film not sold out is Scary Movie 19. Relationships change, so see if she can roll with it. Another time, show up 15 minutes late. If things like that set her off, “she’ll have no problem finding ways that you disappoint her”, explains Haltzman.
THE TRAIT: Confidence
THE TEST: remove the spotlight. Take her to a party, then watch her mingle. Does she seek male attention? Could be needy. Dodges women? Not good: women “deliver necessary honesty” to other women, says Love. Also, she knows that your female friends will offer a realistic review of her. Talking with them shows balls.