We'll preface this by saying: This is not hard science. And it's not based on a research study, either. Rather, we've soaked up this advice during casual conversations with women (informal polling, one might say). They've told us about all the silent observations they make in early-stage dating. Yes, we know, sneaky. But save your guilt. Actions speak volumes and men are likely doing the same exact thing.
How do single women know what to look for? Every woman seems to have gathered an amalgamation of anecdotal wisdom, passed down from either a sister or a grandmother, a college or grad-school roommate. And while each checklist is different (depending on what each woman is looking for in a man), the advice often seems to have included making at least one of these three observations. Take from this what you will.
1) How does he treat the wait staff? We've heard, from the mouths of sage older women, that the way a man treats the people who service him out in public, whether it's a waitress or a cab driver, can indicate how he may later treat the woman he marries. Put simply: If he's impatient or rude about what's being served to him out at a restaurant, or worse, if he neglects to tip the cab driver a dime, red alert. If he strikes up a friendly (not flirty) conversation with the people he encounters, panel says: Keeper. As with many things in life, it's all in the tone.
2) How does he treat cute and cuddly animals? Does he show an affectionate side when playing with friendly, furry animals? Is his pet in love with him? Does his fish have a name? Like we said, this isn't rocket science, but if he's complaining about a teeny-tiny powder-puff dog hogging the sidewalk or if when his fish starts floating he sighs, "no worry, I'll just get another," you may want to start running for the hills.
3) How does he talk about his mother? Is the word mom followed by a litany of disparaging comments or does he talk about the good relationship he has with her with an air of respect? If he praises his mom and speaks of her with a smile or a laugh, we've heard that this is a very good sign. Again, take from this what you will.
Now, dear readers, what can you add to our list? Surely you've been given a nugget or two of what-to-watch-for dating advice. Spill it!