Part 2- Ways to vet a man
When selecting a LTR partner, you're checking thousands of subtle and overt cues to their character, against a loudly ticking clock due to SMP competition. It makes sense to make your vetting process as thoughtful, thorough, and efficient as possible. Your role while dating is to appear as an appealing and worthwhile potential partner obviously, but don't neglect to pay critical attention to the emerging details of his persona as you work to project your own best image.
For the most part, your vetting is passive and observational. Confrontationally overt tests, specifically shit tests, are unfeminine and RPW specifically recommends against them.
Knowledge of kinesics (body language) and nonverbal communication gives you a great edge in the dating game. Even from a distance, you can tell a lot about a person by watching their eye contact and posture relative to others. Knowing the signs to look for and how to interpret them is well-studied but not widely known; like assertiveness, it's almost an orphan life skill that goes untaught.
One fascinating book on the subject (not dating specifically) is What every body is saying, written by a former FBI profiler/interrogator. Be aware that body language has a strong learned component; the "rules" governing eye contact, posture, etc can be quite different according to culture/upbringing, social class, and situational context. This makes it easy for the unaware or lay person to misinterpret body language signals in newly-met people, but the good news is, just a few hours of study will give you a great framework to help understand the complexity of it better than most humans.
If you take away one lesson about kinesics, let it be this: If there is a conflict between what someone is saying ("Yes") and what their body language is saying (shaking head NO), the body language is almost always correct.
Some signs you can use to probe and vet a prospect observationally
How he treats people "beneath" him such as waitstaff is a classic indicator of character; you also need to observe how he interacts with equals and authority figures. How does he speak of his colleagues, his siblings/cousins; his bosses, his elders, the law, etc?
How socially adept is he? Is he good at reading nonverbal cues? Can he guide the interaction to a state of push-pull with you? Can he banter well with people you encounter? If a pretty woman walks by, is he discreet about looking while in front of you, or does he stare like a 5yo when the dessert cart goes by?
How respectful and genuine is he toward you? Does his escalation respect boundaries and respond to cues from you? Is he engaged, relaxed, and spontaneous, or does he seem to be reciting lines and acting formulaic, then becoming frustrated if things go "off script?"
How does he deal with delays, frustrations, problems? Is he quick to anger, does he hold a grudge; or does he pivot and accomodate unexpected glitches for the overall good of the day's experience?
Example: If a table won't be available for another 10 minutes, does he spend that time arguing with the hostess and ranting and fuming over it, or does he spend it sitting with his date chatting and getting to know her?
What is his sense of humor like? Self-aware, LOL at our human foibles type? Philosophical, wry irony or karmic justice? Blaming or demeaning, where one party is always hurt, shamed, or loses face? The things a person finds funny can reveal a lot.
How well does he take charge, when minor or major opportunities for leadership arise? What leadership styles does he use in various contexts; authoritarian and demanding, or charismatic and pragmatic?
Example: Spontaneously organizing a random queue into an orderly line, or recruiting strangers to help move something heavy like a stalled car in the parking lot aisle or a fallen tree branch across a busy path; versus doing nothing and being stuck in the problem like everyone else.
How is his overall integrity? If he makes a mistake, does he make amends, deny, cover up, or deflect blame? Do inconsistencies or lies come to light when adding up everything he says?
Given the time constraints of getting to know a person well before becoming intimate, one cannot passively wait for every necessary detail to emerge spontaneously from a prospect's behavior and words. It is necessary to verbally probe for information you need that is not forthcoming on its own; be careful but not inhibited over the thought of actively learning about your prospect becoming manipulative of you.
You definitely want to avoid an interrogation or job interview vibe; you'll get the most accurate impression about a prospect organically through subtly guided conversation. Instead of peppering him with questions, use mutual self-disclosure to maintain a balance of knowledge about each other. Aim for a physical and social environment where your prospect can engage you without distractions like loud music, things on the table before you etc. .You want to appear warm and inviting in your conversation, to set the stage for him to feel comfortable about opening up and revealing his inner self to you.
Example: "Do you want to get married any time soon? Are you the marrying type?" is rather direct and blunt, therefore potentially off-putting. To obtain the same information, you might say in conversation, "My parents are still together after 35 years; I hope to be happily married like that one day." Then STFU and let him respond. If he changes the subject, that's one whole block of information. If he's interested in marriage and you, TRUST ME, he will lead the discussion in that direction at the appropriate time and pace.
How well does he reciprocate your interest in him overall? Is he vague or secretive about his time away from you, his future, your future? How responsive is he to your needs, and concerns you bring up to him? Is he overly concerned and supplicating, does he ignore them completely, or does he try to strike a healthy balance? Does he show responsive leadership and initiative as a date progresses, does he do what he wants regardless of how his partner reacts, or does he defer to YOU for ideas and feedback every tiny step of the way?
How future-oriented is he in general? Example: Talks mainly about parties, conversations, events of the day, what he'd like to do to you later that day and other ephemera; versus career, pertinent news/current events, family history and plans for the future relevant to a long-term partner. A favorite expression comes to mind: Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
When he isn't revealing vital information spontaneously, don't be afraid to subtly elicit the information from him verbally. Mutual self-disclosure is the best tool for this.
In Part 3, we will focus on Alpha and Beta traits and their importance to the vetting process.