You are on a first date: how do you know if the person sitting across from you is going to be your next Mr. or Ms. Right? If you are the woman I met on Saturday night, you will make him skip. She tells me, 'This shows that he is up for a laugh’. She then added, ‘Oh, don’t worry. I always go first to show them how’. Another woman said that if he doesn’t share his food, it’s an immediate no-go. Both of these women have good points. Who wouldn't want a partner who was up for a laugh and shares their food? But then I think of my wonderful husband, who would, flat out refuse to do the ‘skip’ test, (although he has a wonderful sense of humour) and certainly doesn’t share his food with me (much to my annoyance). I would have missed out on a wonderful partner, if I had based our potential future relationship on these two criteria.

But these aren’t the only situations where people are using the wrong criteria to assess potential partners. One client told me that because she was assertive and confident, that the man would have to be the one to approach her otherwise, she believed, she would railroad right over him. I understand why this woman would need someone equally confident but, once again, the criteria she was using, was completely ineffective. My husband is self-assured, and certainly an equal partner for me, but would have never come up to me without knowing me or someone whom I was with. Her criteria means she is attracting the wrong guys and missing out on the right ones. There are far too many case of women making up their own yard sticks, without any merit, and using them to assess potential partners. They’re doing themselves more harm than good.

Now, if you are a guy, you are probably in the other direction, you don’t have enough criteria. For guys, it’s a matter of three simple criteria to gauge Ms. Right:

  1. All of your friends are settling down. This has less to do with the woman, and everything to do with your timing in life.
  2. She is pretty. Not pretty as in a model, or everyone stares when she enters a room, kind of way. It’s just that you think she’s pretty (and it doesn’t hurt if your friends agree, although not too much. You don’t want your friends lusting over your lady)
  3. She is nice to you. You want to be with someone who you look forward to share your space with. Not a drama queen, not someone uptight, just nice.

There, that’s it. No skipping involved for the women. I am not suggesting that this is a better way. In fact, most of my male clients are very perplexed when I ask them what their 5 Deal-breakers are for a partner (5 must-have criteria for a future mate). ‘Oh well, I’ve never thought of that before’ is the frequent response.

Whether you are looking for a man or a woman, it’s important to think about what is really important to you: the five deal-breakers. Everything else is either a Christmas wish list or something sparkly, that’s not important, but very distracting. You can read more about deal-breakers here. Or, better yet, sign up for some private coaching with the expert ( I don’t care what Gove says, an expert is very useful), and know that you are completely on track.