Now comes the "getting to know you" phase. You slowly begin to get to know the other person. You reveal your personal histories and share stories. With each new piece of information, layers are peeled back, and you draw closer to each other`s core essence.
This stage is very important because this is when you find out the information you will need to assess whether your new partner will ultimately be compatible with you. If this stage is rushed or overlooked, you may find yourself with someone whom you either do not really know or who is not right for you.
In the midst of learning all the wonderful new things about your partner and the exhilaration of revealing your innermost thoughts, it can be a challenge to proceed with your eyes open and your antennae tuned. Though it may be tempting to keep the rose-coloured glasses firmly in place so as to not burst your bubble of happiness, peek over the rims of those glasses often to keep at least one eye on reality.
Use this stage as an opportunity to explore your potential partner, both inside and out. Ask questions, and really listen to the answers.
Ask about the basics. Where does he live? What does he do for a living? What does he do for fun? Does he have any pets? About his familyare they close?
Ask about his preferences, his past, his hopes and goals. The answers will help you paint a complete picture of who this person is and how he got to be that way.
Watch how he communicates and treats people his friends, your friends, family, waiters, cab drivers, the man on the street . or anyone at all. All these interaction provide clues into his true nature.
Observe his actions in relation to you. Is he generous? Does he call when he says he will? Does he make you feel special?
At the same time that you are getting to know your potential partner, he is also getting to know you. Take care not to mislead him into believing you are different from who you really are. By definition, a faâžade naturally prohibits you from connecting on an authentic level. You will waste both your time and his by leading him down a deceptive trail.
Ask the hard questions. It`s often difficult to interrogate your potential partner about where he stands on major life issues. But asking the hard questions early on is the best way to know what you are getting yourself into. Hard questions can range from how religious he is, to whether he wants children.
There are ways to ask the hard questions without coming across like the tax office. One way is to approach the issue generally in conversation, to get a sense of where the person stands. Or, if you prefer, you can approach the issue directly, asking gently in passing, without pressure and in a casual tone of voice.
Granted, asking the hard questions sometimes yields responses that you may not want to hear, but at least you will be in possession of all the facts and can make an informed choice about whether this is the right person for you.