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INTRODUCTION TO CHECKLIST

(audio version coming soon)

What is it?
A collection of major and minor issues compiled over 46 years that can affect the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. It’s not only helpful and thought-provoking, but fun, as well; perfect as a home party game. Great gift item.
Structured around 550-plus true-false, yes-no, multiple-choice, open-ended questions, organized under 21 life categories, guaranteed to stimulate conversation. It works on the principle that the answer to life is in the questions.
Understand, there are no right or wrong answers, just a starting point for deliberation or discussion. it’s not important to agree on everything. If you did, life would be pretty boring.
When answering a question, answer first for yourself, then ask or imagine how your partner would answer. Then ask yourself, how would you feel if your partner chose differently, or the opposite.
If you foresee a potential conflict or a red flag, choose PC for potential conflict, DB for deal breaker, NI for non-issue.
Note that the content under many questions is provided to stimulate a more thoughtful response or a more thorough discussion than might otherwise occur.
If you have difficulty choosing true-false, yes-no, or multiple choice questions, pick the answer you most lean toward. Avoid the inclination to say neither or depends. 
Whatever you feel about an entry, be careful not to underestimate the value of what may appear to be a petty or trivial issue. You’d be surprised, or maybe not, at how little it can take to start an argument. A discussion of these minor issues and related details or specifics, can sometimes be quite revelatory. Furthermore, if there are too many conflicts over small issues, one more may become the “straw that breaks the camel’s back.

How can it help?
It can help you focus on you, your relationship with yourself. Look at it as a fun way to interview and profile yourself.
It can help you clarify your desires and preferences related to finding a mate or partner.
It can help determine if you’re on the same page with a partner — psychologically, philosophically, and intellectually — in all 8 areas of life: mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, social, financial, family, and career.
It can lessen the likelihood of saying “if only I knew then what I know now.” As a byproduct it can help you avoid making the same relationship mistakes over again.
Whatever you decide about your relationship, it can give you the confidence or reassurance that you’re making a wise decision.
If you decide to end the relationship, because you can’t foresee it becoming fulfilling, you will have saved possibly weeks, months or years normally spent in the dating-vetting process, time you can never get back, and can instead be invested in finding a more compatible match.
Quite frankly, by simply reading this list, I believe you’ll learn or reaffirm more about your mate, prospective mate, soul mate, and even yourself in just a few hours, than in months or years of dating, plus, you’ll become more aware than ever why making relationships work can be difficult, and why divorce rates are so high. In any case, however the statistic is calculated (often quoted as 50%), it doesn’t account for relationships that would end in divorce, were it not for financial issues, children issues, or the insecurity of one or both partners.

Features
The format is non-judgmental and non-preachy, nor does it tell you how to think, but rather what to think about, and possibly discuss with a partner. This makes it a non-defensive opportunity to help you comfortably broach topics on a variety of sensitive issues, often not thought or talked about until they become issues.
The list is super organized, categorized, and uniquely indexed under 21 main headings. The headings and the key-words under each heading are in alphabetical order, providing for quick and easy reference.
In addition to its thought-provoking questions, you’ll find many that are light-hearted, perfect as conversation starters or ice-breakers for first dates. On the other hand, if shared with a parter, some questions may expose areas of disagreement. When discussing your differences, I encourage you to engage your sense of humor. Treat it as a game. Do so and the entire experience can be enlightening, stimulating, and even fun.
On the positive side, why not look at some conflicts as opportunities to test your creative skills at finding compromises and resolving problems.
Questions
How can reviewing this list help if you’re not in a relationship? Regardless of your relationship status, you are always in a relationship with yourself. The list provides a broad perspective on life. Reviewing it may stimulate you to ask, is the life you’re living compatible with the life you envision, and could possibly live?
How do you review this list with a partner? You can review the list together live, by reading the questions in order, or by selecting particular questions that each or either of you may like answers to. If reviewed separately, you can compare and discuss your responses afterwards.
How do you handle answers that may not be truthful? The fact is everyone lies to some degree, by omission, exaggeration, and sometimes intent, usually in an attempt to think well of themselves. However, while you may never know for sure if your partner is telling the truth, you will, because of the comprehensiveness of the checklist, have a pretty good idea whether they are being less than open and honest, or someone, on balance, you can trust.
Can you really ever know somebody, totally? Of course not, but this checklist can get you closer than you could ever imagine.
What about dating websites or speed-dating events? No problem, but save your final decision until you’ve reviewed this document, with or without a partner.
What about dating relationships just for fun, sex, and companionship? Enjoy them. However, partnerships, live-in relationships, and marriages are in another category. When these relationships fail, they can cost those involved greatly in time, money, and emotional turmoil. If children are involved, they too will suffer.
How can this book help reduce the divorce rate?
By beginning a relationship more aware of potential conflicts, partners are more able to resolve or avoid these issues, before they arise, nip them in the bud as they say, possibly years in advance.
By helping to choose a partner more wisely, relationships that are likely to be doomed from the outset can be avoided.
By helping young people make a more informed and mature decision on one of the most consequential decisions they’ll ever make, young people have a better chance of beginning a relationship on the right foot.
By helping both parties realize that all couples have their issues, and that the grass on the other side isn’t any greener, partners will be more inclined to give their relationship a second chance.
By serving as a preliminary step to getting couple-counseling or professional help, partners will be in a better position to save a salvageable, loving relationship.
How can this book help increase the marriage rate? Premise: there are many people who would like to be married but hesitate to commit out of fear. Working and playing with this list allows a couple to face and resolve, in advance, the troublesome issues that many people fight over, argue about, or get divorced over. Doing this in a non-defensive setting can give a hesitant couple the courage and confidence to take the plunge.
How will you know if you’re compatible? You’ll know in your gut if you are or are not compatible. It’s a feeling that will reveal itself with great confidence, a byproduct of thinking clearly about such a wide breadth of life issues.
Wrapping up.
At the end of the list, enjoy reading the 10 secrets to a long and happy marriage, and the 30 quotations on love, marriage, sex, relationships, friends, and friendship.
Lastly, keep in mind, life is too short to live in an incompatible relationship. You deserve better. Good luck!
For more information on what Why Not? Publications is all about, visit our website, www.thethinkingplace.com.