By Lindsay Dodgson

  • Sometimes it can be tricky to work out everything about someone on a first date.
  • According to a marriage counsellor, how they answer one simple question can tell you whether you should stick around or not.

First impressions are very important. That’s why a first date with someone is so nerve-racking — you have to put your best self out there and hope for an instant spark.

But it’s not all on you. You want to actually fancy the person sitting opposite you too. Dating is a way of sussing out whether you want this person to be around all the time or none of the time. Unfortunately, this is made even more difficult by game playing, emotional barriers, and the fact Tinder exists.

According to marriage counsellor Robert Maurer, author of “One Small Step Can Change Your Life,” the essential predictor for a successful relationship isn’t shared interests, the same job, or sense of humour. No, it’s cutting to the chase with one simple question:

“So how come someone as wonderful as you is still single?”

In a blog post on Psychology Today, he explained: “Your date will hopefully hear this question as a compliment but their answer is usually revealing. Everyone makes mistakes in dating and that is not the issue.

“As they relate the stories of their last relationship(s) are they taking any responsibility for choosing poorly or not having the right skills at that point in their lives? Are they taking any responsibility for the last relationship not working?”

If their answer portrays them as the victim, then Maurer says you should run. Relationships are a two-way street, and unless you’re dating a narcissist, you are both likely to have played some part in your previous break-ups.

But some people always blame others for relationships not working out, which is a major red flag.

“All relationships run into stumbling blocks,” Maurer wrote. “When you hit the inevitable rough patches, will they look for ways to help or wait for you to take the blame, the whole blame, and nothing but the blame?”

He added that two renowned marriage researchers, John and Julie Gottman, have found that the key skill for a successful relationship is being able to “repair” and resolve issues together.

“It is hard to make an effort to repair if every problem is the other person’s fault,” he wrote. “So look for someone who is willing to look inside for the source of the problem and for solutions, nothing is more vital for a relationship to thrive.”

Originally published at

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