The genesis of new love brings about magical things. Butterflies flitting about in your stomach, heat channeling its way through your loins. You discover your new lover’s likes and dislikes, their special spots and the size and shape of their genitalia. What a wondrous time!

But as you progress through this special period, remember that it’s easy to be blinded by the very same traits that are drawing you in. And if you’re looking for a serious relationship, you’re going to want to have your eyes wide open to certain aspects of your new lover’s personality, lest you find yourself realizing how miserable you are a year or more into the ill-fated romance. (If you’re not looking for a serious relationship, proceed in whatever manner you deem appropriate.)

Here are seven questions you should be sure to get answers to:

  1. What is their relationship like with their family?
  2. What are their hobbies, besides going to bars and restaurants? (Note that this is important for two reasons: you can get to know that they like to do, but you can also see whether they actually do it, or it’s just a distorted self-perception.)
  3. Have they ever struggled with addiction of any kind?
  4. What are their career goals, and are they happy in their career?
  5. Do they want to stay local or move?
  6. Do they have any STD’s? (Yes. You have to ask.)
  7. Why did their last relationship end?

Of course, the key with these questions isn’t just asking them, but listening to the answer. If you hear one that doesn’t sit well with you, don’t ignore it and hope it will go away. It won’t. It will only get worse, and you will find yourself dealing with it after you’ve already wasted a lot of time.

For instance, if they tell you that they will only raise a family in their hometown of Milwaukee, or that they’ll never quit going for two-for-one lap dances every Wednesday even after they’re married — for the love of God, woman, believe them.