Before I was happily married, I dated extensively for many years. Here are some of my hard earned lessons from my bygone days of bewilderment and disillusionment.
  1. If you can't remember his name, it's best to ask up front. Things get awkward later.
  2. If you're making excuses to friends and family about how they don't understand him, and he's a completely different person when you're by yourselves, the person they're seeing is the real one. The one you see behind closed doors is a sham.
  3. If he demands that your animals change their lifestyle for him (e.g. "No more sleeping on the bed"), you're next. Know where your boundaries are and be sure to enforce them. You and your animals live there. He's just a guest.
  4. If he's rude to the waiter, he's a narcissist and probably an all-around terrible person. Get out now.
  5. If you find yourself questioning whether or not you would still be interested in him if he didn't provide the same lifestyle/excitement/adventure he offers now, the answer is no, and you're in it for the wrong reasons.
  6. Married is married. "Legally separated" and "almost divorced" mean nothing. Divorced for under a year may as well count as still married, too, trauma wise. Steer clear.
  7. If you think his hobbies/interests/politics are strange, don't waste time talking yourself out of "being judgmental" -just admit there are some differences too great to overcome, and cut your losses.
  8. There's no such thing as "too picky". Lowering your standards completely negates the point of getting to know someone if they're not someone you want to get to know from the beginning.
  9. If he doesn't smile at, or at least acknowledge, babies, animals, or elderly people on the street, keep it moving sister.