Picking a Winner in the Game of Love
April 11, 2006
If you're looking for love, a U of I Extension educator says to look with your brain,and your heart. Betty Barsley-Marra has 30 years of experience in relationship education and teaches a class called "How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk or Jerkette," -- a program developed by psychologist John van Epp.

Barsley-Marra doesn't discount the importance of chemistry between two people, but if you don't pace your emotional involvement, you won't be able to exercise good judgment about that person's relationship potential.

She says to look for someone with a well-developed conscience, someone who is compatible in personality, lifestyle and values.

She also recommends that you get to know your partner's family. Their behavior is a strong predictor of the way your partner will act when she marries. It's the way she thinks a family should be. Psychologists call this the family within, and it's a strong influence on the family member you'll become.

And remember that potential partners are on their best behavior for at least three months, so stay very vigilant about protecting your heart during that time.