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For the trifecta.....nah, hold out for JA. :)


Hey Billy,
If you're looking for a hobby, what about selling posters of that photo of Hugh Jackman on your site? I'm just saying:-)



I'm super nosy and find a way to ask pretty much anything and everything. So, fact-finding hasn't been difficult, but the eye-opening moments have been in observing how the other person reacts to different events and people, especially in times of difficulty/challenge.


Yup, I had read that article and was wondering when you were going to get around to blogging about it. Ohhhhhh, Bil-ly, another one where I feel I must recuse myself. But I can say that if the person you are sooooooo in love with asks, in all seriousness, "Is it absolutely necessary for your mother to be at the wedding?", that's probably not a good sign.
It's always been so curious to me that couples can achieve the most amazing physical intimacy ("Sure, you can put that in there!"), but shut down and can't discuss emotional issues, i.e., genuine intimacy, the very things that last longer (and can cause more rifts) than physical passion.
And isn't it funny (or not!) that the very things you found attractive in your mate are the very things that make you want to kill them later on.


Pffft... ask? I'm a WRITER. I observe. After all, it's the small things that people do/say that reveal who they TRULY are.

For instance, I have a friend who has a girlfriend that I don't particularly care for. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I hate her or anything. It's more that I would never choose to be this woman's friend... because she's not a nice person. Oh, you might think she was crazy about my friend... she's inordinately touchy feely with my friend. But. She doesn't speak to my friend nicely. For instance, one day, my friend was joking about something, and the g/f got offended... when my friend apologized, she dismissed the heartfelt apology with "I don't think I'll accept your apology." Making my friend practically BEG to be "forgiven". That's NOT nice. So, yeah, I watch what people they say things and weither their actions jibe with their words. If not, then the red flag waves and I pay attention to it.


It's like that old saying, if your date is nice to you, but they're rude to the waiter, your date is not a nice person.


Interesting post. We've been having this discussion in my circle of girl friends for a while.

My conclusion is that people are running into problems from the get-go because they aren't dating in a way that leads to a meaningful relationship. The fact that you both like sushi and do yoga does not form the foundation of a life together. It comes down to values questions ... what are your top three goals in life, is attending church/raising kids in religion important to you, how big a part does your family play in your life and why or why not? I think that is why so many religions insist on some form of a marriage preparation course or counselling, so that you do in fact touch on some of these issues at least once before getting hitched.

I know five couples who ultimately divorced over the issue of kids in the last year. When they were younger and got married, one or the other insisted they didn't want them ever and their spouse was fine with that at the time of the wedding. As time marched on, that OK-ness went away and inevitably they pressured the spouse who didn't want kids to have them. The spouse who didn't want them felt betrayed because they were honest from the start and were being emotionally blackmailed. There's no good ending.

Ultimately it comes down to what you can live with, tolerate. We all have our faults and eccentricities, and I am sure I am no prize to live with, either. But at the end of the day, it is whether the other person's most annoying habits and personality flaws are ones that you can take for the long haul.

For me, there are two things that are unforgiveable - infidelity (either physical or emotional) and abuse/violence. I've also broken up with a person who was unkind to my animals.

I'm not sure if that in any way answers your original question, but there it is.

E.C. Henry

A Naomi Watts/Hugh Jackman pairing is BRILLIANT, a garanteed draw -- unless you end up with a plot akin to Oceans 12...

Two people in love should discuss their religious viewpoints, but I guess you leanred that lesson already. People in my circle of influence call that, "being equally yolked," -- marying someone of the same faith.

For some people political views are a hidden hot point: the republican v.s. democrat dillema. Or finding out your love interest harbors some secret, crazy anarchic views.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Scott the Reader

I'd see it.


Yeah, I'd see the Naomi/Hugh combo. Hope you're writing something, Billy.

Agree with writergurl, its the way someone behaves to others that's the key. Physical abuse is unforgiveable, and from experience, differing politics are bloody hard to live with too.


Dave are you trying to ruin me? My new honey reads my blog...

Scribe: and I'm just laughin'.

Hucklecat: Nothing like a little difficulty for those "pull back and reveal" shots...

Binnie: "Kiss her or kill her?" has always been one of my favorite questions.

Writergurl, totally with you there, having recently discovered that The Waiter Test is evidently a major Early Testing Protocol...

Caroline, you triggered an interesting discussion over here, too. It led me to admitting I had killed some homicidal gleebs with my bare hands on the Planet Zygon once (in my wasted youth), but my girlfriend has forgiven me.

EC: Well yeah, but as long as they jibe with my own secret crazy anarchic views...

Scott: Good concept, but the execution -- despite some attractive character work and actor-friendly dialogue -- faltered, especially in its contrived second act turning point.

Bloody well agree, Sal. And now you've got me thinking that Naomi would be good with Hugh in the adaptation of my little project...


Easy solution Billy, just use these few words.....That's just Dave, the phsyciatrist's are close to a diagnosis. Besides most straight women I know admit to having a girl crush on either JA or AJ anyway :)

Scott the Reader

I was just sitting on the throne, reading an old issue of Entertainment Weekly (12/15/06), and I stumbled on a short article on Naomi Watts.

In it, she says "I keep trying to steer towards a lighter thing. But I'm not interested in romantic comedy, and frankly, I don't think I'd be very good at one".

So, you know, beware.

Kid Sis

Well, gee, if you're going to try a Naomi Watts/Hugh Jackman pairing, the first question they'd both have to ask is if the other is a bisexual swinger...allegedly...


I didn’t really have a very good screening process with my wife.

For instance, she does NOT like seafood!? How could I have missed that? It really changes our dining-out experience. Occasionally she drives to her parents and spends the night. As soon as she’s out the door, I’m off to the store to buy $90 of seafood. I’ll make 6 single-size meals in one day.

But considering I married up (way UP), and the deliciousness of seafood is about the only point on which we disagree, it’s a good thing I didn’t screen.

Come to think of it, I’m LUCKY TO HAVE ANYONE!


Dave: My girlfriend and JA both have pitbulls, so all's well.

Scott: Might be why my people tell me that her people don't return our calls...

Welcome back Kid Sis: Wow, you really know where the bodies are buried (metaphorically speaking) or at least, sleeping...!

Oh God, Adam, I know exactly what you mean -- I'm a charter member in the Lucky Club, myself -- and if only more men felt the way you do...

Ruth Yunker

How did I miss this post until now?

The man I just parted ways with AGAIN--yes, the same man, sent me that NY Times question thing with his answers, by way of a response.

A stopping point for me early on was whether or not the man was child friendly. In fact, he had to have children of his own, so we each had the same issues there. Which is how I ended up with a million children for a sixteen year veritable hurricane of life experiences. When the kids all grew up, I swear we got divorced from sheer exhaustion.

Now he'd have to be pet friendly.
And we'd have to be on the same side, basically, politically.

Mystery Man

I'll tell you what would be a great pairing - Naomi Watts and Mystery Man. Off Screen.

As always, great post, Billy.



I am working up to ask the question, "Would you get surgery for me to reduce your snoring?"

I think for any light sleeper, this is a question you should ask before you start getting serious.


Kristen, made me think of my aunt's answer when people ask her the secret to her long and happy marriage: separate bathrooms, a walk-in closet and a guest room that isn't always used by guests. My aunt's got personality.

Helen Metella

The question I thought of when considering the guy who turned out to be right was, "Why do your friends like you?"
What he says, what you think, and where they intersect - or not - holds a world of information.


Tact? How to ask question without offending? Does offending really matter when your future is at stake? That's like Russian roulette with your marriage.

Let's see -- Lack of tact, hurting somebody feelings, and maybe getting ditched vs. disaster in my future...

I can ask about finances or I can wait for my future spouse to be arrested for identity theft...

I can question my future spouse's religious beliefs or I can wait until our children are stolen and hidden in a non-Hauge convention country...

I vote for lack of tact.


These things matter: attitudes about marriage and monogamy, neat level (don't want too sloppy or too anal), politics (I'm borderline Libertarian and get tired of whining liberals - I also get tired of politics so no politicians), religion, attitude towards money (must have high credit rating but not be cheap), general indulgence level (I like to eat and drink, but not to excess - a health fanatic wouldn't work for me and neither would a glutton), etc. I'm a middle-of-the-roader on just about everything but my passion for storytelling. Then I'm a nutcase.

So, he must also be a good reader of first drafts and enjoy fiction. I actually broke up with my last boyfriend because he had no interest in my screenplays. He fell asleep a couple of times on page 5 of different screenplays and then became jealous of the time I spent writing. Now I test potential dates by giving them a screenplay and seeing how long it takes them to read it. They don't have to try to give feedback or anything, they just have to have some legitimate interest.

But mostly, I watch how they treat other people (especially their mothers and waitresses) and then how they treat themselves. Someone who has self-esteem problems is going to make them YOUR fault in a few months...

Is it any wonder I've been stone single for a year? My brother calls me "hard to date."


Ruth: Yes, I'm all for being on the same side. Especially when sideways.

Mystery Man: Ah, but then you'd finally have to take your mask off!

Kristen: And if the guy agrees to surgery for you, then you KNOW you've got a keeper.

Caroline: Your aunt's a smart cookie.

Helen: What a great question! The answer will speak volumes...

MaryAn: As always, you are crackin' me UP. I vote what you voted.

Dear Hard To Date: You just sound like a woman who knows herself, to me. But I would worry about your page fives...

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