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Yesterday a very eligible, single guy I know commented that it usually takes 6 months before the crazy comes out in the girls he dates. My experience is that typically it takes about a year to discover the personality disorders of the guys I date. With psychopaths, who are masters of deception, it can take years. People can hide their true selves for a long time and by the time you discover all that lurks in their character, you might already have their kids.

As Billy Joel recognizes in his song “The Stranger”, “I came home to a woman that I could not recognize, When I pressed her for a reason, she refused to give an answer. It was then I felt the stranger kick me right between the eyes.”

My interpretation of that song is that love is dangerous because everyone has their hidden personality traits, and one day those traits are going to appear and knock you the F out.


I was with my last boyfriend for a year before his ex called to tell me that he was lying about his age by 11 years and I was with him for 3 years when I found out he was still living with that girlfriend behind my back. I was married for years before my ex husband literally kicked, punched and threw me down stairs.

I am older and hopefully wiser now. While the stranger may not come out right away, you can to some degree figure out who a person’s stranger is. You just have to ask the right questions on dates.

Instead of, “Tell me about your job.” or “What are your hobbies?” try, “What is your blood pressure?”

That answer will tell you a lot about the person’s temperament. If your date is hypertensive, you know that person’s stranger who you will eventually meet, is likely a workaholic, who is impatient, hostile, and easily upset.

I once dated a guy with high blood pressure who yelled at a group of geese on our date.


A mandatory first date question should be, “How did your father treat your mother?” Domestic violence is learned. If his dad verbally or physically abused his mom, you could be next.

Throw into the conversation the question, “Were you ever in AA or NA?” That could tell you what you need to know to avoid future hell. People with addictive personalities are impulsive, have heightened stress levels and lack coping skills. Plus, 40 to 60% of addicts relapse. Every guy I dated who had gone through AA, had lots of shtick (Yiddish for impossible to deal with personality quirks.)

Lastly, you might want to throw into the conversation, “What prescription drugs do you take?” The answer to that question could chop a year off the time it usually takes for you to figure out the person’s personality disorders.

Remember, everybody has something. As my grandmother used to say, a good match is when the rocks in one person’s head fits the holes in another.  Don’t forget that you have shtick too. Getting clues about your dates “stranger” could just enable you to make smarter decisions about whether or not you are a match. For example, if you are a super laid back artist, barely paying your bills, you might benefit from a Type A, workaholic hypertensive.  Or these questions could help you get out while the getting is good and you are not in love yet.

How do you throw these types of questions into the conversation?  Maybe get your date drunk first.  Or ask them these questions like you would any other question.  For example, you could turn, “Tell me about your family” into “What was your dad like and how did he treat everyone?”

Will you be a fun date? No
Will you get a second date? Probably not.
Will you want a second date? Probably not.

One last thing… A guy I’m dating just got diagnosed with high blood pressure.  Could be the stress of listening to me endlessly rant about my divorce issues.  Yes, he has a tendency to tell people to go F themselves, but I find that endearing.  The rocks in my head…


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