What’s the best way to tell if your date is a keeper? Do things together that bring out the best and worst in people and contain hidden clues about the way they’ll treat you down the road.

  • For example: Go to a restaurant where you have to share what you order, like fondue, tapas or Korean BBQ. And pay attention.  Do they hog the dish they ordered and seem reluctant to try “your” food? That means they lack a give-and-take mentality. But they’re a keeper if they voluntarily dump the last morsel on your plate or offer you bites from their own plate.

  • Another test to help you rate your date: Play a game, like pool, darts, miniature golf, or Xbox. People who are highly competitive in games view arguments as win/lose propositions.  And they won’t quit until they win. But if they cheer when you score a point, you’ve found someone supportive.

  • Then: Go dancing. It’s not about how well they do; it’s about their willingness to try it. Dancing makes people self-conscious, especially men. And if they dance, it shows they’re okay with not being in complete control.  And aren’t concerned about what other people think.

  • The final way to rate your date: Take a walk. When you’re away from movies, music, food, and people-watching, does the conversation flow easily? Also see how they handle any lulls in the conversation. The longer they can wait before filling the silence, the more comfortable they are in their own skin.