1. Marina says...

    Hang wallpaper together! That’s the test of fire.

  2. Dee says...

    And isn’t the truth that we all have some “who someone really is” of our own…? Even though we might treat the waiter well, we absolutely love our parents, totally cool with dial up internet, love kids and puppies…but handle other things pretty badly. The real real is how we behave when we don’t get our way. When plans fall through, when you get fired, when you get betrayed by a friend, when your spouse cheats, when your plane gets grounded for hours and you have to wait and wait, when someone else gets favored over you but you deserve that promotion… or… what about the rude waiter, the parents who abandoned and abused you as a kid, what if you don’t love dogs but love monkeys…

    There are a myriad of situations and stories as to who someone really is…

    And yes, the breakup! THAT will speak volumes.

  3. Kelly O'Reilly says...

    Oh, also, this reminds me of the Nora Ephron quote that my mom often repeats: “never marry a man you wouldn’t want to be divorced from.”

  4. Kelly O'Reilly says...

    Go for a run or work out with them! I dated a guy who treated service people like gold, had the utmost respect for women, traveled with patience and joy, but man, on a run, he was a competitive, critical, boastful, never shut up, and never slowed his pace a few steps for me.

  5. Maddy says...

    try canoeing together!!!

    • Haha! That was one of the things that impressed my then new boyfriend/ now husband. We went canoeing on one of the relatively flat easy rivers around here, and about twenty feet from the takeout we flipped! He grabbed the boat and our supplies, and I went swimming to catch my floating shoes. He was expecting some anger, maybe tears, definitely blame… I couldn’t stop laughing! It was funny! And a little water never hurt anyone. That ability to take (literal) upsets in stride was the first sign to him that maybe I was special.

  6. kay flynn says...

    Looked at the tests and felt I could pass without all of me coming through. me. Later I failed a test that showed my less attractive side. My partner disagreed with me, in so many words told me I was wrong . I did not keep my cool, got loud and could have handled the criticism in a calmer, cooler way.

  7. WMom says...

    I know this probably isn’t very romantic, but get in a fight, and see how it resolves…

  8. Mouse says...

    My sister is seriously mentally handicapped and every year she spends 4 or 5 days with me and my husband at our home. His ease with her and the way he treats her just reinforces my decision to be with him.

    Also, we take her to parties with our friends–all older people who don’t know any truly handicapped people–and they are amazing with her. And THAT reinforces out decision to live in our community.

    Aside from my sister, I think the way people treat those in a service profession is the most telling, especially waitpeople. Years ago I finally had to tell my best friend that I couldn’t go out to eat with her anymore until she became aware of her behavior toward the waiters. Slightly not her fault, as she basically inherited the behavior from her mother, but in the end it was a good thing, as she changed her behavior. Part of it is about whether or not a person has had to work in a service job in their lives, but mostly it’s about empathy.

  9. This is so cute.
    But maybe we should do every single one of them to find out who someone truly is. ;)
    xx Ana http://www.disasterdiary.de

  10. Ruth says...

    The ultimate way to tell who a person really is…honest to goodness, TRAVEL WITH THEM, ideally on a plane. You’ll finish the trip coming to the conclusion that the person is either brilliant or an idiot. Promise.

  11. Roxana says...

    This is so true!!!! Especially waiters and store clerks (which I think someone else mentioned).

  12. So on point!

  13. I had only known my husband a few days when I found out who he really was. We were hanging out at his apartment with a friend of his. His friend went to the bathroom and a long time passed. When he finally opened the door, the toilet was overflowing! My husband remained calm, was kind to his friend, and quickly took care of a pretty horrifyingly awkward situation with remarkable ease. I fell in love that night. Yes, over a clogged toilet.

    • Roxana says...

      Haha! This is hilarious. And kind of gross :).

    • Best anecdote ever!! This made me smile so much :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha me too, so funny.

  14. Amanda says...

    In the first few months that my boyfriend and I were dating, he made us dinner in his NYC apartment (very sweet) for valentines day. Turns out I had a food allergy I developed abruptly. My face was blown up, a rash covered me, I was in the bathroom the whole time. Yet he ran out to grab Benadryl, ginger ale, sat close with me, rubbed my back, and nursed me back to health until I started feeling better. I was mortified…but he was more mortified that he “poisoned me” with his romantic dinner. That’s how I knew the kind of person he was.

  15. Natalie Brennan says...

    Mari Andrew is incredible! Cannot believe how many hilarious things she comes up with every week. I totally agree with this, including the break up part!

  16. Elisha says...

    Observe how they are untangling christmas tree lights!

    • Jen says...

      Ha ha! Untangling lights gives me nose sweats. So frustrating!

  17. Lauren says...

    THIS IS THE TRUTH.

  18. Cynthia says...

    also observe how they treat store clerks and their parents.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes for sure!

    • I disagree completely on the parents. Some people had tough childhoods, suffering physical or emotional trauma that no one else could ever understand. No one should be judged based on how they treat their parents.

    • Amy says...

      I used to think you could tell a lot about a person by the way they treat their parents too, but I learned it isn’t always accurate, as some others have suggested. I was initially kind of appalled to see a colleague who seemed pretty bossy and terse towards his mom. I learned later that during childhood his mom had a lot of problems with addiction and often left her family struggling, and he grew up having to take care of his younger sibling and trying to hold the family together. I’m not saying the mom doesn’t deserve to be treated gently, but I am more understanding of why it would be difficult for my colleague to do so.

    • Agree with Rebecca, there are cases where this can be telling, but not always. My boyfriend is estranged from his mother (…a nicer way of saying he doesn’t speak to her) because she has been emotionally abusive to him his whole life (which I witnessed firsthand, he stopped speaking to her a few years into our relationship). And then I think back to a former abusive relationship, and that guy was pretty nice to his parents. So that means nothing.

    • Beth says...

      Also here to add that I disagree about the parents bit, to a point.. I stand by the statement that you need to watch how a man treats his mom/sister/talks about his past girlfriends — it will say a lot about how he views women. Otherwise.. In high school I remember being critiqued by a “friend” who said I was rude to my parents.. There was a lot of heavy verbal abuse going on behind closed doors but we were a “perfect family” to the community.

  19. I think the dogs and children one is the most true.

    • Hmm. says...

      Unless you’re not a dog lover…I love animals but dogs are not at the top of the list by a long shot. Cats, tree frogs, rabbits, foxes, etc. heck even trees go over dogs for me.

  20. MB says...

    While funny I don’t think “break up with them” is true at all – you aren’t your normal self when going through abnormal amounts of stress and turmoil. Seeing someone “at their worst” is not who they really are.

    • heather says...

      I was thinking the same thing! I’m at an age now where I’ve had several friends go through divorces, and having seen my own parents’ divorce, I can say with confidence that the kindest, most level-headed people can do insane, out-of-character things when they’ve had their hearts broken. This is just being human. I would maybe replace that big slice with “have a fight with them.” I don’t think you really know someone until you’ve had an argument.

    • Noelle says...

      I agree with this completely; I don’t think that’s when anyone is their normal self.

      I like the Will Ferrell quote about observing how someone reacts to ultra-slow internet speeds :D

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha just googled it: “Before you marry a person you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet to see who they really are.”

    • Donette says...

      This was my first thought!

    • Seeing people at their most stressful time really is who they are. that’s when how you act counts the most. it’s easier to act kind and generous when it’s all sunshine and butterflies, and that’s not who they really are.

  21. Alice says...

    Love this!

  22. Madie says...

    TRUTH. Best one yet.

  23. I have an older sister with Downs Syndrome and the BEST advice my mother gave my 18-year-old-bad-taste-in-men-self was that I’ll know the character of a man by how he treats my sister with special needs. A couple years later when I began dating my now husband it was so obvious that the attention and love he gave her just by engaging in conversation and making her feel special was a true testament to his heart.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love this, marilisa. xoxo

    • There is a picture of my parents that I love. My father is picking up my mother for their first date – which happened to be their Junior Prom. My father is handing a dozen red roses to my mother’s younger sister, with similar special needs as yours, Maralisa. The look on my aunt’s face is priceless. I love that picture because it looks so unscripted, but it must have made such an impression on my mom and my grandparents. I know my aunt still points to and loves that photo when she sees it.

      (And she married him! 44 years ago!)

    • Oh goodness….I may have just teared up a bit. There are good ones out there…

    • heather says...

      I’m so glad you shared this. I love this story.

    • Monica says...

      I love this – my sister is very active with the special needs community and took one of the boys she has been camp counselor for to his prom. It made his night of course! Her then fiance got jealous and huffy and puffy about it and was totally a jerk. It was one of her red flags that she shouldn’t marry him!

  24. Ahhh this is so good. I would also include nurse someone through a really bad stomach flu. ;)

  25. nice : )

  26. l.s. says...

    also “observe how they treat the elderly & the disabled”