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Figure out your date quickly

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Go ahead, Google your date all you want. But the fact is, you can find out even more about that special someone by sharing a few particularly telling date-night activities together. Certain activities, you see, bring out the best or worst in people — and contain hidden clues about how he or she will treat you. Suggest doing one of these things during your time together and you’ll have plenty of information!

Activity #1: Share a communal meal

Instead of choosing the standard dinner fare, take your date to a place that encourages — or better yet, requires — that you share what you order, whether that’s fondue, Korean barbecue, or tapas. Suddenly, the “I’ll order mine, you order yours” rule is out the window, so you’ll get the real scoop on how well he or she can compromise. When you suggest something exotic, does your date seem open to it or make a face while steering you toward something else on the menu? Once the food arrives, there’s more to learn. Those who get territorial about the dish they wanted or seem leery of infringing on “yours” or “your half” all suggest that the give-and-take that relationships require won’t come naturally, warns Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of DSI: Date Scene Investigation. The true keepers are those who will voluntarily dump the last morsel on your plate and won’t mind if you’ve double-dipped. (After all, if your date can’t handle sharing a little saliva over nachos and salsa, how is this person ever going to handle more intimate moments, like kissing?)

Activity #2: Play a game

Want to know how your date plays the game of life? Pit yourself against your partner in pool, darts, miniature golf, or stay home and have a battle on the Xbox or Kinect. As you’re playing, ask yourself: Is your date playful or serious about scoring? Does this person curse when losing or gloat when winning? “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to win, but you’ll learn a lot if your date has to win,” points out Sharyn Wolf, a Manhattan psychotherapist and the author of Guerilla Dating Tactics: Strategies, Tips and Secrets for Finding Romance. If your date’s got a serious competitive streak, you’d be fooling yourself to think it doesn’t carry over to other areas — like his or her love life. “These people will see arguments as win/lose propositions, too, and they won’t quit until they’ve won,” warns Kerner. If, however, your date cheers you on when you score a point, that’s a sign of a truly supportive partner, so take note.

Activity #3: Put on your dancing shoes

The next time you’re out, consider dragging your date onto the dance floor — and fear not, this isn’t about having a dance-off. In fact, seeing your date getting down isn’t even about the dancing; rather, it’s about his or her willingness to dance in the first place. “There’s nothing that makes a person more self-conscious than dancing — especially men,” says Wolf. “If your date dances, this shows that the person’s good at surrendering, at not being in complete control in front of others, and that he or she is less concerned about what others will think.” Which is all good information to have!

Activity #4: Take a stroll

Instead of sitting down for a movie or a cup of coffee, step outdoors for a walk through a park and see what happens. Can you two keep the conversation going away from music, food and people-watching? “It’s life without props,” points out Kerner. See how your date handles any lulls in the conversation. The longer this person can wait before filling in the silence, the more comfortable your date is in his or her own skin — and the lower the chances are that what you’re seeing is just a “front” this person has put up in order to impress you.

Activity #5: Go for a drive together

The next time your date offers to drive you somewhere, pay attention to how he or she reacts on the road. “Driving is very, very revealing,” says body language expert Patti Wood (pattiwood.net). “Years ago, I was on a first date with a man who’d turn left at yellow lights and took lots of risks on the road. That told me he was a person who would always live a little on the edge.” Other insights from Wood: lane-changers will probably always be on the lookout for someone better-looking, smarter or richer than you. Picky parkers who always want to go around one more time to see if they can snag a closer spot probably have problems with commitment. Herky-jerky drivers who accelerate and brake so quickly they leave your stomach queasy may have a poor sense of pacing in all areas of their lives. Plus, if you’re driving, see how he or she handles it; nagging that you should slow down, speed up, or otherwise do things differently is a sign this person probably won’t love you just the way you are (starting with your bad driving).
(Amy Spencer writes for Glamour, Maxim, New York and Real Simple.)

By Amy Spencer




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