The most important determinant to your happiness will be your selection of mate.   I’m not suggesting that a mate is essential for happiness-but if you’re going to pick one-choose well.

As women-we’re sort of better than men. We connect more deeply and more quickly and our compassion can let us get stuck. The big trick is going to be to cast a very big fishing net and shake it vigorously and here’s a real world example.

Of course you’re going to do the safe stuff of meeting during daylight hours in a public place. Of course you’re not gonna give up any private information in advance of the meeting and of course you’re going to come armed with five or six really important questions to ask. Try not to bread bread on this first  encounter-that’s why God invented Starbucks. Make some work related excuse for why you have to get back to the office within 20 minutes and make those 20 minutes count. Leave smalltalk for the small minded.

The questions will be personal and you will scare some people off if you’re asking things that are important to you. That’s a hack.  Let them run-far, far away.  That is essential for this technique of shaking the net vigorously.

So-what’s important to you? You’ve got to be a little bit tricky about the question so you can have a leg up on the liars. Don’t ask a question like is fidelity important to you.

Instead-come at it sideways. Ask for a story. Say you want to be entertained and you want to know about the trickiest thing that this candidate has ever pulled off.  Smile sweetly and ask them to regale you with a good story. You will know how their mind works based on the answer you get.  Was deceit deployed to prevail? Now u know more about them than they intended to share.

So-be ready with five things that are important to you and good sideways questions that can get you answers. So-I guess the logical next question is how do you get these fish in the net in the first place? By all means possible. I have friends that swears they would never do online dating and that’s absurd to me. You should do every kind of dating where the fish can be found in big numbers and you should be swiping left so often that your thumb bleeds. It’s not your job to be egalitarian in this process.  If you are using a low data app like tinder-you just have to trust your gut. If you don’t like big dogs and he’s pitching himself with the big dog let your thumb bleed.  If a significant other is cropped out of the photo-ditto.  If where target is in some uncomfortable state of undress and that’s not your thing-you know what to do. You should shoot for saying no at least 30 times to every yes.  It’s a good habit for dating in general, anyhow.

So let’s jump ahead a bit-you fill that net with fishies and if shake vigorously and you’ve had that 20 minute coffee and things went really well. What do you do next?

I recommend having some fun. You’ll probably hit on an activity that you both enjoy so why not do that? Don’t choose a movie or something that restricts talking.  Should be heaps of talking and the sharing of each other’s story.

Assuming you get through this without scaring each other off-rinse and repeat for about two years. The only other variable at this point for compatibility is going to be time. Time will produce experiences and circumstances that will show you both parts of a mate’s personality.

Sometimes I hear that dating is too time-consuming and hard and really some of the stuff that I am recommending doesn’t make it quite as hard…but this is the most important decision u can make in life in terms of personal happiness and professional success.  You cannot go out and slay dragons each day if u r coming home to a toad.  The big trick is not letting yourself form a connection with somebody who’s unlikely to be the love of your life.   Instead, make Starbucks shareholders very wealthy by having hundreds of 20 minute dates.  Ask the questions and trust your gut.  Remember that u r wasting the other person’s time as well if u r not madly smitten.  Do them a favor and let that little fishy escape the hook and find their own perfect mate.

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