How do you tell when you found the right person? You can fall in love, get married, you even have a couple of kids. And the wham, out of the blue, they just cold leave you in the night, with nothing but a note on the dresser saying they “weren’t happy anymore.”

Everyone’s worst nightmare.

So how can you avoid this situation and make sure that that cutie who makes your heart do all of the backflips really is the one and only?

Obviously the modern dating scene isn’t cutting it, people keep complaining about it left right and center.

Since Lunacy Now encourages people to live intentionally and think critically about the scripts and life patterns you are running, we have some views on this. The current dating norms are not the only way of going about things and you are not required to hold to them. They are very recent constructs, heavily influenced by new technology.

We are proposing a four stage stress test method as one alternative way to structure it. 

The stress test model to screen for serious ideological or values based differences in a large number of potential partners rapidly, before putting them under intense pressure to see their true character. In the same way as you would when choosing a bodyguard, or an airline pilot, you want to know this person can handle themselves when shit hits the fan. After all, you’re trusting them with your future! 

So what better way to do this than to artificially engineer an extremely stressful situation, and then go through it together? It could be as simple as fasting for a week together, or as complex as canoeing up to find the source of the Orinoco River.

This may sound cruel, but since it is almost certain you will be under highly stressful situations as a married couple, you want to make sure you know who you are getting into it with. This method is based on old fashioned courtship practices.

Of course, this shouldn’t be done in a mean or antagonistic way. The purpose is to find someone long term compatible using a reliable filter, not to cause harm for no reason.

The filter is based on a series of assumptions

  1. Romantic love alone is a bad foundation on which to build a marriage.
  2. Approaching dating pragmatically as one would a business deal is perfectly acceptable, even desirable.
  3. Old fashioned courtship rituals worked for a reason and we should reassess their value in the light of the contemporary issues many are facing.

A lot of this may seem familiar or obvious, but we’ve gone through the whole thing in the name of comprehensiveness.

Some caveats before we begin.

  1. Although this system is loosely based on traditional religiously oriented courtship patterns (in particular the Orthodox Jewish shidduch system), it has not been extensively field tested in this exact format in the contemporary dating market among secular people. The traditional religious frameworks on which it’s based however has been extensively field tested and works very well.
  2. This is not advice, we are sharing a possible dating model for informational purpose only. LN takes no response for your nuptial success or failure. We do not claim to have the keys to bliss, nor do we think this approach will work for everyone.
  3. This model is only intended for people courting with a view to marriage and children. It’s a pretty old fashioned approach and some people probably won’t like that (others will love it).
  4. Your mileage may vary.

The model is set out as a traditional sales funnel. It’s expected that most prospects will be rejected at each stage, after all you only need one person to marry. If you just want to have fun that’s great, go ahead, this model is not for you.


Stage Zero: Get Your Shit Together

No point in dating if you’re useless. Before you even start trying to meet partners get yourself together. Become the person that the kind of person you want to marry would want to marry.

Time frame: As long as you need.


Stage One: Pre-vetting

You see the prospect and you’re interested. Not so fast kiddo. First you want to check to make sure there aren’t any immediate and massive red flags. Do they have a warrant out for their arrest? Are they in a cult?  Is she single? Is she planning on moving to a foreign country next week? Question mutual acquaintances these questions to make sure you’re not wasting both of your times.

Time frame: A week or so to ask around.


Stage Two: Vetting

So you asked them out and now you’re on a date. You want to be hella upfront about your intentions (marriage, children) and just lay all your cards out on the table to make sure she’s on the same page. Discuss where you would live, how many kids, what kind of schooling you would want for your children, how discipline would work, religion, politics, all of it. You’re looking to make sure you have the same values and life goals. Obviously what you’re looking for depends on you. Two or three dates are usually enough for this stage.

Have a chill time as well, but mostly just chat. If you like her and there are no incompatibilities, see her again! If not, next. Totally ok to date a bunch of people in a very short space of time, like someone else every day.

You want to get married, yes?

Time frame: A couple of weeks to a month per person. If you don’t find someone you like the stage itself could last even a year. If it lasts longer than that either you’re being too picky, are too low value or are not meeting enough people.


Stage Three: Courting

This is the dating part. Do fun things, get to know each other, have a good time. While it’s ok to go on dates with lots of girls in the vetting stage, should probably settle on one once you get further along. Building a relationship takes time, you have to put the hours in.

At this stage you’re also looking to find out their flaws and making sure you can live with them. Don’t be too shallow and throw someone over because of something silly, values is the main thing. Probably no one is going to match your vision of a dream partner in every aspect. Be realistic.

It will be easier to break up with the person if you see red flags during this stage if you haven’t been sleeping with them. Obviously that’s a pretty high bar and impractical for many people though.

Time Frame: Two months to a year.


Stage Four: Stress Test

So you really like this person you’ve been dating for a while and everything seems like it’s going great. Now you want to know what they’re like under pressure. This is to find out if they are likely to fall apart if life becomes difficult, and who they really are when you take away the creature comforts.

Exactly what stress test you devise depends on you. It could be a multi-day hiking trip in the wilderness, a long boat trip or an adventure in a foreign country (not somewhere cushy like Western Europe, somewhere a bit rougher). Whatever you choose the point is to push you both out of your comfort zone and test your mettle. It needs to be hard enough that they and you need to make tough decisions or carry on going while at depleted energy levels and in a fragile emotional state.

This shouldn’t be sneaky or cruel, you can do it openly (without saying it’s a test). You definitely shouldn’t put them in a horrible situation without asking just to see how they respond.

If it goes well, you will come away with new admiration for them and a conviction in your choice. Obviously you will be in the stressful situations with your future life partner, so this is a chance to make sure you show her you don’t fold under pressure either.

Time Frame: A month is enough time to plan and conduct the stress test.


Stage Five: Proposal, Marriage, Kids.

A ring, a discussion about where to live and career plans, and possibly a prenup.

Time Frame: Six months to a year for an engagement should give you plenty of time to plan a wedding.


There you have it! 

Get you a partner you can survive a war with. Marriage is more like a business relationship than anything else, you’re choosing someone to spend the rest of your life with, raise children with and face the world with. Choosing someone just because you are “in love” is a high risk strategy.

This is a rough outline of a plausible modern day courtship system to screen rapidly for a long term relationship. 

We hope you enjoyed this possible alternative framework. Take it or leave it as you like, and of course there are many other ways to run things. 


Comments, concerns and criticisms welcome. If you have your own model, we’d love to hear it!


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