i had a friend ask me not long ago about how she could tell if someone you've just met or have spent a couple of weeks with is reasonably safe as a partner or lover. i didnt think too much about it until last night in discussion with another friend and came up with this list, in order of importance.
– not have a problem with aggression, violence and emotional abuse towards partners or lovers or people in general. This is number one and one which i will make no cheap witticisms about.
– not be involved in crime especially violent crime or fraud. a criminal history check is not too expensive and well worth the investment! also certain things can be a giveaway such as firearms kept under the pillow, lots of friends with names like "vinny the snake" or "cement john" or "44 al" or "deadeye liz". Of course if you happen to be known in the underworld as "jake 'the hitman' alfonze" or "hannah widowmaker", this is not a problem.
– not have a severe mental illness – especially one with violent delusional tendencies. The DSM IV manual while contentious can always be helpful. Also, this can often have clear giveaway signs.
– not have a history of crime or if so is convincingly rehabilitated. Again, a criminal history check is a good investment. However, if your potential soulmate happens to have a shady past, all is not lost! Look for signs of complete rehabilitation. A deep rooted spiritual calling for example, volunteer work for refugees (and not rightwing construction union benevolent societies for widows/orphans). Friends who have no nicknames and live in gated communities is also good (even if they may be involved in white collar crime – but that is good crime and respectable)
– not have a drug problem as that will eventually lead to you selling your body on the street to support both your habits. It's easy to tell if someone has a drug problem. Do they have to have their drugs? Do they get all annoyed if they dont (twitching and nervous tics are likewise bad signs)? Are they unable to have a good time without it and spend your entire evening out trying to "score"? Do they keep saying they have a drug problem and should stop taking drugs but never seem to be able to?
– not have a huge amount of debt unless it is to the bank in the form of a mortgage because middle class debt is completely acceptable even if it is dependent on the vagaries of the property market. Someone with a lot of debt says a lot about their ability to manage themselves, their ability to postpone gratification or their run of luck. If the debt was accumulated for a good cause such as an ill parent or loved one, that's one thing but if it's sitting in the driveway while the power company is threathening disconnection, that's another thing. Note: do not be fooled by the term "cash flow problem" especially when used in connection to a request for a "temporary loan". If someone uses this term with reference to their personal finances, run a mile.
– not have a gambling problem. A portfolio of stocks is not gambling – it is investment. Unless they are day traders in which case it's still an investment (assuming they have a diverse portfoilo). Unless they are chalking up hundreds of transactions every day. Which is ok only if they work for a managed fund and not for themselves. And which might still be ok if they're making a lot of money. (which come to think of it is probably true about gambling too)
– have a good relationship history. References are actually not that difficult to come by. A good sign is if they are friends or are at least on good speaking terms with their major ex-lovers/partners. Do not be shy! Get the dirt. Ex-partners are often happy to share! Having only one long twenty year relationship that ended two weeks ago is not a good sign. Never having had a single relationship longer than 2 nights (five years ago) is likewise not a good sign. Never ever having had sex with anyone is also not that good (unless you are likewise a virgin in which case true undying love awaits).
– be reasonably emotionally mature and independent. Having a partner is one thing, having a leech that sucks up all your energy because they have no sense of self due to early seperation from their mother is another thing again. Avoid leeches! Bribe their psychoanalyst for session records.
– be employed even if that employment may pay little or nothing at all. An employed person is generally cheerful motivated and busy in a charming attractive way. Also, busy hands keep the devil away. Of course, employment should also be lavishly remunerated if possible as it's far better to have a sugar daddy than to be a sugar mommy (or vice versa).
– am single. Ok, for many people this is a given but unless they have a partner and children, being single is not that important in the cut and thrust of love (where all is fair as in war). Compete avidly! Display only your best characteristics! Damn the othr person with faint praise! And when your lover is hooked, make firm deadlines for the termination of the other relationship. In this way you will be sure to succeed!
– am not into kinky sex stuff that you're not into as well. Remember, safe, sane, consensual and of legal age.
– does not vote for the opposition. the political is the personal! the only way to beat the other side is to not breed with them as this will ensure the next generation will only be of your political stripe. Also, you may at the same time contribute to the other side's expiration from sexual frustration. Shag the way you vote. Any other action reveals a deep seated hypocrisy and a lack of integrity. Subtle questions like "who did you vote for at the last elections" can soon reveal crucial information.