When the small talk is through and both of you are feeling relaxed, gently peek inside your date's mind to see how together he is. Do this in a gentle way with the following questions:
Question: "What kind of guys do you like?"
Meaning: How well do you know yourself?
Possible response #1: "I don't know, someone cute."
Interpretation: Usually I'm just wondering if the other guy's gonna like me. I'm insecure. Also, I haven't made it that far into understanding relationships yet to prioritize non-physical traits. So for the next few yearsassuming I'll eventually learnI'm just going to pursue guys who look hot to me. For a while the whole focus will just be on trying to find a guy who I think is cute who also thinks I'm cute. That might take years. Then, as those relationships fail miserably and I start to learn more about compatibility, I'll probably revise my search criteria to include the kinds of behaviors and values I respect and enjoy in people.
Possible response #2: "Usually guys who are [heavier/fitter/taller], generally [older/younger], [insert racial preference, if applicable], nice, honest, and funny."
Interpretation: I have a type! For the most part. I'm super-heavy into looks, hence my emphasis on body type, age and [if applicable] race. But the good news is, since you're with me on this date, I've already checked those boxes off on your list and now I'm paying attention to your personality. The bad news is I have the most generic qualifiers a person can list when it comes to that. "Nice, honest, and funny"? Universal and vague, I know. And highly subjectiveI mean who's to say what's funny and nice? But that's where I am right now. Deeper probing of myself and my needs I have yet to do. Wanna talk about the menu or something now?
Possible response #3: "Oh, you know, guys like you."
Interpretation: I can charm my way out of anything. Kindly drop your pants and let's move on.
Question: "What's your relationship like with your parents?"
Meaning: How will you treat me years from now after the novelty has worn off, and how do you accept the things in life you can't control?
Possible response #1: "Pretty good I guess. We've never talked about me being gay, but they know."
Interpretation: I come from a "let's agree to ignore things" background, which is how we operate when it comes to most heavy or potentially uncomfortable issues. So don't expect strong verbal communication skills. But that aside, my family is important to me.
Possible response #2: "I moved here to get away from them, but we keep in touch."
Interpretation: I moved here to get away from them, but that's not to say that's because I'm a douche. Some parents are legitimately too much and a little distance is needed to keep the relationship healthy. I mean … people be crazy, you know?
Possible response #3: "We don't really have one; I haven't talked to them in twelve years."
Interpretation: I am a deeply angry person. Stand by for this anger to manifest.
Question: "Are you generally optimistic?"
Meaning: Are you gonna be one of those guys whose conversations all revolve around a complaint?
Possible response #1: "I consider myself a realist."
Interpretation: I'm a pessimist.
Possible response #2: "Eh, I'm kind of a pessimist, I have to admit."
Interpretation: I'm a pessimist, but there's hope! I acknowledge that this isn't very attractive, which means I know how this can affect other people so I try politely to keep my pessimism to myself so as not to be a prick about it.
Possible response #3: "Totally. I am a complete optimist. I'm a big believer in the power of positive thinking."
Interpretation: You will really like me, but I might not be that stable.
Homer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .