GETTING IT ALMOST RIGHT
Mark Twain used to say the difference between almost the right word and the right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug—a mighty big difference. In a similar sense, the difference between the way people date and the way they should be dating is often worlds apart.
THE PAPER TEST
The Paper Test is done before the two meet. Ideally, before anyone has seen anyone and certainly before there is any involvement or emotional investment, you take the “paper test.”
The paper test consists of asking the question:
• “On paper, do they match?”
• Are they looking for the same things in life?
• Do they share a similar outlook?
• Do they have compatible aspirations for their home?
• For their families? For life?
If he intends to learn for the next ten years, and she only shops in Saks Fifth Avenue—we have a problem.
The paper test determines from an objective standpoint whether this is a good match. That doesn’t mean, “Do they have the same sense of humor?” “Are they equally intelligent?” “Are they similar in personality?” Those are compatibility issues—issues that only they can answer—and only in the second stage of the process.
The paper test is also where you look for things that you won’t see on the date.
Is she emotionally stable?
Does he have a drinking problem?
Are there things in his past that might prevent him from being a supportive husband?
Assuming that the two are holding in about the same place in life, and there are no skeletons in the closet, they are ready for the second part—The Bashert Test.