Chapter 1: How to Find the Right Person

“A man loses his sense of direction after four drinks; a woman loses hers after four kisses.” –Early 20th Century journalist and satirist H.L. Mencken

How do you find and meet people? How do you choose the right ones for possible romantic relationships? How difficult is this process? This is a huge topic. Everywhere you go people complain about how challenging it is to meet someone. We assume there are a number of eligible people out there who are just right for us. When it’s right it should be easy. It shouldn’t be a struggle. But it is.

Why? We think everybody out there is normal. But there are a lot of people out there who aren’t really normal. You meet these people when you’re dating.

Almost everyone lies when dating. They tell you money doesn’t matter. They try to impress you by saying they own real estate in Pebble Beach. They tell you they absolutely love kids and gourmet cooking. Then you come to find out they’re lactose and spice intolerant, they want to know the most you’ve ever spent on a date, they complain about everyone’s kids, and their real estate investments consist of a timeshare in a motel along California Highway 1.

There are a few quick filters you can use so that you don’t waste your time. For example, I have a friend who runs his own business and when he interviews potential employees, he sends someone out to the parking lot to peek into their car. If the car is a mess, that’s how he expects they will keep their desk. The way a person keeps their car and home is often how they keep themselves. So if this is a red flag for you, be aware of it.

Here’s another one. If a woman orders three drinks (or salads) in a row and sends them all back, it’s pretty clear she’s hard to please. One more: observe how a person salts their food. If they salt their food before they taste it, they may have hard-wired habits and will be resistant to change. Evaluate accordingly.

Most people seem okay–until you spend some time with them. What usually happens is two hours, two days, two weeks, or two months into the relationship, they’re not what you thought they were. Things start to surface. Whatever little red flags were waving in the beginning turn into rows of red flashing lights with sirens after a few weeks. When people feel comfortable enough to dial back their best behavior, the warts and boils can come out with a vengeance. To succeed you have to be smart. And really lucky.

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