Test for Mr. Right

I love me an absolute. A pass/fail. A right/wrong. A black/white. An all/nothing. I profess to appreciate the grays of life, but that is really just brainwashing by Oprah, God, and some qualified therapists.

If I had it my way, there would be CERTAINTY. 100% GUARANTEES and YOUR MONEY BACK.

Especially on relationships.

After my first marriage failed (in a fiery inferno seen from space), I developed a test for knowing if the person would be right. This was not just a test validated by my first husband, but also previous and subsequent boyfriends.

It is foolproof.*

Test #1- Move a piece of furniture. Is he the type to just heft and go and you’re fumbling around trying to find a grip and stumble over the curb? Does he say “Okay, we’re going to move to the left. Your left.” Or does he just head that way and you nearly trip over the garden hose and lose your flip flop and a toenail because of the sudden about-face. Moving something heavy and unwieldy is a good test of cooperation and communication. If it isn’t going to fit through the doorway, does he step back and think carefully or does he pull back for a running start?

Test #2- Go camping. Camping is one of those things that you think you know what it means. I camped as a kid all the time. I know how to camp. Until you go camping with someone else. For me, camping means appreciating nature, campfires, hiking, and s’mores. And a shower. For one boyfriend it meant reliving Marine boot camp. With my first husband, it meant hiking a trail no one had been on before. Well, except the duck hunters who shot at us when we rustled some brush.  Camping also brings out the edge in people. The threat of rabid wildlife and foods that only travel well by ice chest can do this to a person. Not to mention losing the necessities like…showers. And blow dryers.

Test #3- Plan an event. Like a wedding. The problem with the event being the wedding is if he fails the test, then you are so close to the marriage you may not actually honor the results and back out. But planning an event where you both have stakes will bring out some TRUTH in people. Suddenly the mild mannered manly man will have a hissy fit over wearing a white shirt instead of ivory. Or why his name is not engraved first on the toasting glasses instead of yours. I had an engagement end much too close to the wedding date because I did not pick up on the clues revealed by the guy failing this one element of my test.

Much heartbreak would have been avoided had I followed my own rules.

*Any attempt to develop a foolPROOF system against heartbreak is foolISH.

There are no guarantees. The longer  I live, the more I think it’s a giant crapshoot.

I have been through one divorce, one broken engagement and one near divorce saved by a miracle. I have a DH who moves furniture like a gentleman, camps like an eagle scout, and only cared about the really important things for the wedding (like the “I Do” part). And it still has its hard parts.  There are no guarantees. That is a flaw in the system that needs to be fixed.

But in the meantime, here’s what I’ve got:

Do your very best everyday.

Love. Pray. Forgive. Laugh.

Repeat as needed.