Is She Right For Me?

These are questions we thought we ought to know the answers to before getting totally enamored and putting someone in our will... There are no right answers. It is a good idea to answer them for yourself, then check with friends to see how accurate they think your answers are. It is common for all of us to present our best side when we first meet someone. These questions may help us to see past the honeymoon stage and have some idea beforehand of what life would be like with her after the honeymoon is over. There are no right answers to these questions. What you should be looking for is answers that are similar to your own or that complement yours, but this will also more than likely bring up some areas which will require negotiating and discussion. Think about what you can live with, not for a few weeks or several months, but for a lifetime. Ways to get answers to these questions: ask directly, ask her friends, relatives and exlovers, observe her behavior. This list is by no means definitive, but is a place to start thinking about the big picture when your think you may have found Ms. Right.

    HEALTH

  1. Is she allergic to animals or other environmental things?
  2. Does she have any STDs? Is she willing to have (or has she had a recent) HIV test?
  3. Does she have PMS or cramps?
  4. Does she have any disabilities?
  5. What hereditary diseases run in her family?
  6. What medical problems/chronic illnesses does she have? What medications does she take?
  7. Does she have addictions to drugs/alcohol/other? Does she use them?

    MENTAL HEALTH

  8. What is her overall mental health?
  9. What is her perspective on therapy/psychology/psychiatry? Has she ever gone to a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist? Why? For how long? How long ago?
  10. What phobias does she have?
  11. Does she have a history of physical or sexual abuse (as abused or abuser)?
  12. Is she aware of her own quirks? Does she recommend strategies for dealing with them?
  13. Is she in touch with her emotions?
  14. Does she comes from a dysfunctional family?
  15. Does she have anniversaries of traumatic events that I should know about?
  16. What are her triggers or hot buttons?
  17. How does she deal with stress?
  18. Is she violent?

    SEX

  19. What is her sexual style? Does she like S/M? Sex toys? Pornography? How adventurous is she?
  20. How much sex is adequate for her? Is masturbation okay in a relationship? Nonmonogamy?
  21. How does she feel about casual sex?
  22. How does she feel about who initiates sex? Is egalitiarism important to her in the bedroom?
  23. Is she addicted to sex?
  24. Has she had affairs in her other relationships?
  25. Was she in a relationship when she became interested in me?

    FINANCES

  26. What is her attitude about money? What's her income? Does she have debts?
  27. How does she feel about division of property and shared expenses?
  28. Has she done things (like cheated on her taxes, defaulted on student loans) that may catch up with her and put her in debt?

    PERSONAL HABITS

  29. What are her food idiosyncrasies, likes/dislikes? Does she have eating disorders? Is she on a special diet?
  30. Does she smoke? If so, what?
  31. What are her sleeping habits? Snore? Light sleeper? Night or day person?
  32. What is her personal hygiene?
  33. How much exercise does she do and what type?
  34. What little habits does she have (like whistling to the radio, etc.)

    HOUSEKEEPING (ENVIRONMENT)

  35. What is her housekeeping style? What are her expectations for division of labor?
  36. How does she feel about conservation, ecology? Is she thrifty? Does she recycle?
  37. What material goods does she need or like?
  38. Is she a collector of anything?
  39. What is her tolerance for dirt?

    FAMILY

  40. Does she have children/grandchildren? How does she feel about children? Does she want to have a child?
  41. What are her relationships like with her parents? Siblings? Extended family?
  42. How big is her family? How close are they emotionally? Geographically?
  43. What family commitments does she have?
  44. Is her family accepting?
  45. What are her holiday commitments/expectations with regard to her family?

    FRIENDS & COMMUNITY

  46. How much alone time does she need? How social is she?
  47. How does she feel about friendships and what type of friends does she have?
  48. What kinds of things does she do with her friends?
  49. How does she choose her friends?
  50. Does she maintain friendships over time and distance?
  51. Is she friends with any of her ex-lovers?
  52. How related is she to the lesbian community?

    RELATIONSHIP PATTERNS

  53. Does she have realistic expectations of me? Does she see me for who I am?
  54. Have her previous relationships ended? How? Were they with any of my ex-lovers?
  55. How does she feel about commitment? How does she feel about putting it in writing? (Wills, partnerships, joint-accounts, joint ownership, joint custody?) What does she want to commit to? Monogamy?
  56. What balance of power does she prefer in a relationship? Does she have a need to control?
  57. What level of independence vs. fusion does she want in a relationship?
  58. What were the power dynamics of our relationship when we met? (i.e. was she a therapist/client, student/teacher, boss/employee, etc.?)
  59. What do ex-lovers say about her?
  60. How quickly did our relationship become physical?
  61. What is her vision for the future for herself? For our relationship?
  62. Does she want to live together?
  63. Is she willing to help create a relationship?
  64. How carefully does she monitor the balance of contributions -- financial, time, energy, chores -- to the relationship?
  65. Is there a potential for developing the level of trust that I would like to have in a relationship?
  66. How many previous relationships has she had? Who ended them? Why? How?

    PERSONALITY

  67. Does she tend to be supportive or combative?
  68. Does she tend to be good-natured or nasty?
  69. Is she sensitive to other people's feelings?
  70. How willing is she to negotiate?
  71. Can she accept "no" for an answer?
  72. Does she keep her promises?
  73. How flexible is she? How well does she deal with change?
  74. Is she able to tolerate chaos? Calm?
  75. Does she have initiative? Is she a self-starter?
  76. Does she have an attachment to tradition?
  77. Is she judgmental/critical or tolerant/open-minded?
  78. Does she have a sense of humor? Is she able to laugh at herself? Can she be serious?
  79. How much quiet time/down time does she need?
  80. How punctual is she? Is she compulsive about time?
  81. Does she complain?
  82. Is she a good listener?
  83. Is she patient?
  84. Does she like to try new things? Is she willing to take risks?

    LEISURE ACTIVITIES

  85. How much TV does she watch? What background noise-level does she like?
  86. What are her passions in life?
  87. What is her idea of a good vacation? What does she like to do for fun?
  88. Does she like to dance? What kind of dancing does she like?
  89. Does she like to play games? What type? Is she competitive? Is she a good loser?
  90. How many interests does she have? Does she have her own? How prone is she to getting interested in new things? How related to ex-lovers are some of these interests?
  91. What does she do on vacations?

    TASTES

  92. What is her taste in art and aesthetics/interior decoration?
  93. What kind of clothing is she comfortable wearing in various circumstances?
  94. What type of music does she like?
  95. Is she a country person or a city person?

    MIND

  96. How creative is she?
  97. How does she feel about intellectual pursuits?
  98. How important is formal education to her?
  99. Is she psychic? Intuitive? Superstitious?
  100. Does she have learning disabilities?

    SELF-IMAGE

  101. What is her body image? Is she comfortable naked?
  102. What cultural, class, ethnic or other group identifications does she hold? How important are these to her?
  103. Does she like herself?
  104. Is she growing? Learning about herself?
  105. How accurate is her self-perception?
  106. What is her age? How does she feel about aging?
  107. Does she care for herself? And how well does she take care of herself?
  108. Has she had a sex-change, or does she plan to? In which direction? Is she happy with her sex?
  109. Does she consider herself lesbian? Bisexual? Straight? How comfortable is she with that?
  110. Does she engage in dangerous behavior?

    ETHICS/RELIGION

  111. Has she done anything that I consider unethical? Is she open to examining her ethics?
  112. What is her religion/spirituality? Is she a witch?
  113. Does she attend church/temple regularly? Does she a member of a specific church/temple?

    HISTORY

  114. Has she ever been in jail? A hostage? Institutionalized? Been a POW? In the military? In spiritual service?
  115. Has she changed her name? Why?
  116. Are there any missing years in her personal history?

    SOCIAL/POLITICAL

  117. What are her political affiliations? Is she an activist?
  118. Is she a leader? Does she hold or is she interested in holding a political office?
  119. How out is she?
  120. How does she deal with authority? Does she think for herself? Can she manage other people?

    WORK/SKILLS

  121. What type of job does she have? How stressful is it? Does she like it?
  122. What is her educational level? Profession?
  123. What are her long-range career goals? How often does she switch jobs? How willing is she willing to move for her job?
  124. What is her level of competence in life skills? Is this still evolving?

    RELATING TO OTHERS

  125. What is her strategy for dealing with conflict?
  126. What are her privacy needs? Does she respect the privacy of others?
  127. Is she territorial? Does she respect the boundaries of others?
  128. How does she feel about gift-giving and receiving?

    GEOGRAPHY

  129. How rooted is she in one geographical area?
  130. What kind of vehicle does she drive? How does she feel about driving? What about motorcycles?
  131. How much of a factor is distance for her? How far away does she live? What kind of travel balance seems appropriate to her?

    OTHER

  132. How much touching does she like? How public?
  133. Are there parts of me that she doesn't even want to hear about?

This page last updated Saturday, June 29, 1996.
© Margo Burns burnsm@mhc.mtholyoke.edu & Janis Walworth merkin77@aol.com, 1996.