Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Here are some practical tips from 4thDwarf on how to get answers to those questions we often have for our romantic partners but can't necessarily ask -- at least not at the beginning of the relationship. Maybe someday google will provide us with these answers...

Relationship Questions

When we start a new relationships there are things we'd like to know that we can't directly ask about. Here are some tricks I've picked up along the way:

The Age
1. Ask what their age difference is with any siblings. (For only children, ask about parents.)
2. Several days later, ask how old the siblings are. (Or parent.)
3. Do the math.

Do they want kids
1. Ask how old their mother or father was when they were born (can be combined with "The Age")
2. Mention you read somewhere many people feel pressure to have children at the same age, ask what they think about that. (If you didn't read it anywhere else, you read it here.)

Religious Beliefs
1. Ask about childhood stuff, what kind of school, sports, music/dance lessons, scouts/guides, etc.; how they liked it, any regrets, resentment, etc.
2. Ask about whether they got dragged to church or synagogue or whatever
3. Again ask about how they liked it, etc.

The Name (Method 1)
1. (Okay, no value judgments here, you met in a noisy bar, you exchanged numbers, but now you just feel too embarrassed to admit you don't know their name.) Have a trusted and outgoing friend show up at the place you're on a date.
2. Instruct the friend to give you a big hello and introduce themself using their full name to your date.
3. If your date doesn't say their name back, say, "this is uh..."
4. Your date will then say their name (e.g. "Kelly"), when they accuse you of forgetting their name, you say, "No, no, Kelly, it's just I started to say 'my date Kelly', but I thought that might be presumptuous or offend you."

The major weakness with Method 1 is you start your relationship with lying and if your date even suspects you lied, nothing you ever say will be trusted.

The Name (Method 2)
1. Okay. It's embarrassing. But just suck it up and admit you don't remember. No matter how long you've let it go.
2. Be frank about how embarrassing it's been.
3. Say that you've even thought about elaborate plans with friends showing up and introducing themselves.
4. Make a point of writing it down somewhere that you won't lose it along with their birthday and any other important information. Like their favourite food or flowers. [The writing down will (a) show that you care and (b) prevent having to go through this again. And notice that this method will demonstrate that you can be honest even when it's embarrassing to you.]

Any others?
I'm curious whether anyone else has methods for getting other useful information that's hard to ask for, or whether anyone has things they'd like to ask about but don't know quite how to do it in an appropriate way.


At 10/25/2005, Blogger The Chair said...

One that comes to mind is innocently asking how they spent their Goods and Services (GST) refund cheque this year? If they say they don't qualify for it, you have a pretty good idea of the lower bound of their income. I find this more subtle than asking what line 150 was on their brother's tax form, followed up the next day with how much more or less they earn than their brother.


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