The big bad wolf was really nice to little red riding hood. So what, he ate up her grandmother.
A client came in today & said she shares her “Rhodaisms” with all her friends. One of them is “He’s just nice. Nice is not enough.” Nice is only the surface and it’s easy to appear that way. Good is the crucial ingredient. Does he have character?
Does s/he volunteer? Does s/he mow the elderly neighbor’s yard? Does s/he parent their kids? I suggest people look for substance when the world is filled to the brim with messages about the superficial being important.
I suggest people read Jane Austen’s novels or at least rent the movies. She wrote about how important character was in finding someone to spend your life with. Make the bare minimum effort to at least watch 3 Jane Austen movies based on her books. I list the 5 best on the dating tips page of my website.
The really big question to ask? How does this guy act towards his mother? (or the woman toward her father?) That’s the secret weapon for determining future well-being. Two of my closest friends hooked up with guys who didn’t do well with their mothers. My girlfriend was left divorced & bankrupt and the other, my dearest guy friend died feeling lonely.
He doesn’t have to adore his mother or she, her father. Respect & for the most part, trust would be the ticket to look for in the parent relationship. How he treats her is how he’ll treat you. How she treats her Dad is how she’ll treat you.
Look below the surface. Don’t avoid some of the hard questions. Don’t be afraid to ask “How did you contribute to the problems in your last important relationship?” Be able to answer that question yourself.
If there is only a long monologue of blame, there’s a problem.
Do they see life in black & white simplistic terms? Are they able to consider complexity? Relationship survival requires complexity to do the work of understanding the differences. Survival depends on respect for the differences. Talk & Talk & Talk & Talk & Talk is the only thing that can soften the differences. Nice just isn’t enough to do the work to truly understand another person.