At the start of every relationship, there’s so much you don’t know about one another. It can take weeks, months, even years to discovery each other’s likes and dislikes, to reveal those lovable (and not so lovable) quirks, and to figure out if your differences make you incompatible in the long term.
So, to combat this issue, I challenge every new couple to the ultimate litmus test.
Head to the nearest grocery store.
Going grocery shopping is one of those mundane life errands that no one really enjoys. I mean, it’s not the WORST chore out there. It’s not as bad as emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, or dealing with Comcast, but it is most certainly an underwhelming activity. It’s also the type of weekly endeavor that you’ll inevitably end up doing with your partner regularly in the event that you do end up together longterm.
So, early on, before you commit to anything serious, before you’ve DTR’ed or met each other’s friends, or maybe even before you’ve stayed the night and experienced those first flutters of feelings, it’s worthwhile to take a lil jaunt down to the ol’ market together.
Here’s what you can learn.
How does he or she shop? Are they listmakers? Are they spontaneous food grabbers? Are they aggressive with the shopping cart, nearly barreling into nearby patrons? How do they treat the folks behind the deli counter? The guy bagging your groceries?
Does your date exude a calm patience as you meander through the store together? Or, can you sense nervous energy emanating from their body as they attempt to navigate the cart through the narrow aisles?
Beyond these general logistics, you’ll learn what types of foods they gravitate towards.
Is your love interest healthy enough to stick mostly to the perimeter of the store, stocking their cart full of fresh produce, meat, fish, and other natural items? Or, do they dive deep into the crowded aisles loading up on sugary cereals, processed foods, and frozen meals?
Do they shop with you in mind?
Do they turn to you throughout the process asking if you like this or that, inquiring to see if you’d be up for trying a new recipe with pork shoulder or veal or chestnuts?
And of course, some major questions get answered right off the bat. Do they eat meat? Do they eat fish? What about gluten, dairy, alcohol? Does a six-pack end up in the cart, or do they generally abstain from drinking at home?
Every single one of these choices tells you an enormous amount about the person you’re shopping with. It illustrates compatibility (or lack thereof) on a totally practical level.
And the last thing, maybe the most important component of this entire experiment…
Are you enjoying yourself?
Because if you can find pleasure in roaming the aisles of the local grocery store with this new person, then imagine how much fun you’ll have when you embark on actual adventures together.
Picture yourselves circling volcanoes in a helicopter over Hawaii or dog sledding in Finland under the Northern Lights like last season’s Bachelor and bachelorettes. Any legitimately exciting activity will be all the more fun if you’re with someone who makes shopping for dinner above average.
So, next time you’re testing out a new potential beau… consider skipping cocktails altogether and heading to the local Whole Foods.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find that this litmus test can help you weed out the duds and more quickly land on the person you’re supposed to end up with.
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