Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dating Litmus Tests

Did you ever set up ridiculous litmus tests for your dates to see if they really had what you were looking for? (Speaking of litmus tests, check out Sorro debunking some water pH bunk somebody sold his Mom.) I can think of a couple.

The first was a test that I never actually used. There was a dead tree sticking out over the banks of the Provo River down near Utah Lake that we would throw rocks at to knock off branches. We spent considerable time throwing A LOT of rocks at that tree. We decided that any girl with real potential (like marrying potential) would have to enjoy a date where the main activity was going down to the river and throwing rocks at the tree.

The second litmus test involved Savers. Taliatha and I had just started dating and I wanted to get her something from Savers for Christmas. I found her a shirt/sweater that was pretty cool and boxed it up. Her family wasn't impressed that I gave her a present from a thrift store but she wore it with pride anyway. She passed with flying colors.

The third litmus test wasn't mine, it was Tony's. The test was that at some point on a date you would ask your date, "So do you like stuff?" If a date was truly the marrying kind she would have some cool answer. I know, it's a tough test. In fact, some of Taliatha's roommates were indignant at the thought of a man employing such a stringent test--but dating is a high stakes endeavor and you can't be too careful. Did you ever actually use that one Tony?

So what were your litmus tests? I know a lot of girls had "the list." You know, the list of ideal qualities a young man of the marrying kind would possess. And more importantly, did you ever apply any of your tests?


  1. The 'do you like stuff' test is a toughy, one that I never actually used, but Ralph Wiggum used to perfection with Lisa on 'The Simpsons'

    My main litmus test: CD and DVD collections. I figured if a girl listened to stuff and watched stuff that I liked we'd probably get along fine. Lesley had quite a boss CD collection (Zep, Elvis Costello, The Who, etc.) and some great DVD's (Rushmore, Billy Elliot, What's Eating Gilbert Grape.) Throw in the fact that she was a film major and I wanted to propose on the second date...yet waited 16 months.

    More than the quality of the music, I just liked people who HAD opinions. I hated the people who said they "liked everything" when it comes to music, because that basically means they like nothing.

  2. I also had a list of movies (Waiting for Guffman, Harold and Maude, Amelie) and music (Built to Spill, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens to name a few) that one had to like. I also was interested in someone that could introduce me to something new in these categories. It's one thing to agree with what someone likes but is he really as interested in movies and music as I am.

    I know it sounds cliche but he needed to have a sense of humor. I have a weird sense of humor, largely based on sarcasm. If he couldn't hang, then I was out. I seriously dated a guy once that had zero sense of humor. I didn't think people like that existed but here he was, not laughing at any of my witty banter. It didn't last long.

  3. Of course I met the man/boy I married when I was seventeen, so I don't have a lot of mature dating experience, but I do have a sort of litmus that I think maybe typical of a lot of teenage girls. Before I met Rob, I was worried that there was something wrong with me. Whenever I was interested in a boy, and found out he was interested in me, I immediately lost interest. I got sort of a sick-to-my-stomach feeling. (I later learned that one of my roommates, Rachel, also had this problem.) So I guess Rob was the first boy who didn't make me feel sick, which was quite a relief!

  4. Rob and I also developed a great litmus test/date idea that we unfortunately never implemented. In fact, most people we told about the idea thought it wasn't even a good idea but they didn't know what they were talking about.

    It was the "farm date" idea. It's a simple idea you befriend a old school local farmer and get him to agree to have you and your friends come spend a day working on his farm. You pick your date up around 3am and head to the farm to milk cows, slop hogs, bail hay, shoot vermin, eat farm food, make farm jokes with hired hands, chase of cow rustlers, etc.

    We knew that any girl that not only survived but enjoyed the farm date would be a keeper.

  5. My test was that a girl had to make me laugh sometime during the first date. This wasn't a tough requirement, seeing as I have an extremely unsophisticated sense of humor (heh..."poop"), but it took me a while. I figured Regan was a keeper when she agreed that roommates should always allow one to watch the Simpsons.

    This one girl I took to a dance in high school was pretty funny, but I think I made her sick.

  6. My most important test was forcing a dude to sit through my "Best of Robyn and Carly" tape. If he can handle that, he's acceptable. If he can watch it and then make fun of me afterwards, he's marriage material. My husband passed, and continues to pass, that test with flying colors. Thankfully I passed my husband's "hot tub" test. The test consists of one of his roommates suddenly suggesting a trip to the Glenwood hot tub. I have to choose between making a well-placed joke about how they outlawed whaling and bowing out gracefully, or sucking it up and going anyway, despite extreme self-consciousness. In an act that surprised even me, I chose to suck it up. Heaven knows where I'd be now if I hadn't!

  7. I am beginning to understand why I dated so many gay men. I had no tests. Unless my test was the problem, I couldn't date a guy unless he was able to enjoy shopping with me.