"Sorting is the process of quickly determining if someone you meet has future potential. A successful single is able to initiate contact with people and in conversation get enough information within 5 minutes to know whether they want to get to know them better or move on. Think of "working the room" at a party.
Screening is the process of getting enough information to determine if a prospective partner meets your requirements or not. Since requirements are relationship breakers, all of them must be met. Getting this information can occur over the telephone, by e-mail, over coffee, or taking a walk. If you are looking for your life partner, you can't afford to explore dead ends; and it is important to get this information BEFORE you date them and get involved." (Steele, 2002)
While it's impossible to get the full scope of a person on a first date, you should be on the lookout for any possible "red flags" that would halt the possibility of a second date. Or perhaps he will have inspired some intrigue in you to invest further in getting more acquainted with him. So when conversing with the man sitting across from you, think about some of the following points to help you ponder how you'd like to proceed with this particular gentleman:
1. What is your immediate reaction upon seeing your date? How do you
feel? Do you find him physically attractive and inviting? Does he appear to take care of himself and have good grooming and hygiene?
2. Does he maintain eye contact with you as he speaks or is he looking around the room at the other guys (very disrespectful!)?
3. Does he appear attentive and genuinely interested in what you have to say? Notice his body posture and whether it's open or closed.
4. Does he display a good sense of humor and is he able to laugh, relax, and have fun with your interaction? Does he exhibit good verbal and social skills or seem stiff and have difficulty maintaining and initiating conversations?
5. Is there a good balance between his talking about himself vs. his asking you questions about yourself? Or does he monopolize the time talking only about his life? Or does he not engage in any self-disclosure at all?
6. How are his manners? Is he polite, thoughtful, and considerate? Based on your first impression of his manners, would Mom approve of his behavior? Do you feel comfortable being with him or do you experience embarrassment by his behavior?
7. What does he talk about? Notice any themes? Does he seem positive and upbeat or negative and pessimistic? When he talks, does he seem judgmental, petty, and put down other people or himself?
8. Does he seem to have goals, aspirations, and ambitions? Does he exude excitement about life and possibilities? Is he passionate? How well-rounded does he seem? Does he have varied interests and hobbies, have an active lifestyle and seem reasonably intelligent and able to converse about a variety of topics and current events?