After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Valentine's Day: love quiz

Photo sourced from

Dating is about going out there to meet people and have fun. You don't have to be a relationship expert to date, but you do have to be somewhat confident about who you are and what you bring to the table. And you do have to know in advance what it is you are looking for, and what it is you can give.

There are three main categories of daters: casual dating, dating to find a mate, and dating for sex. One can start out being one kind of a dater, but end up being another. I’d like to think that people have the right to change their minds and change courses at anytime.

But let’s just say that I'm right in separating out dating/romance from relationship/love. This first quiz allows you to get an idea of whether or not you are ready to get out there into the world of dating and romance.

Answer YES or NO

1. Do I know what I want? (Friends? Marriage? Sex only?)

2. Am I open to meeting different types of people and trying new experiences?

3. Do I feel good about my life in general?

4. Is my life governed by a sense of abundance rather than scarcity? Optimism rather than pessimism?

5. Do I experience balance and wellness at this point in my life?

6. Do I mostly have closure with regards to previous romantic relationships?

7. Do I have nurturing connections with family or friends?

8. Do I make time to pursue interests or hobbies outside of work?

9. Do I have clear sense of what my values and life goals are?

10. Do I have enough self-respect to stand by what I value?

11. Do I have enough self-respect to not compromise on issues related to my physical and emotional safety?

12. Can I remain grounded (i.e. focused and clear-thinking) in the face of strong emotions?

13. Do I like the person I am, and can I be alone with myself?

14. Can I contribute something positive to the lives of people I meet?

15. Are my children’s well-being safeguarded by mechanisms I have put in place as I enter the dating world?

Tally up your number of "Yes" answers and score each "Yes" as one point. Questions answered with a "No" will give you an idea of what issues and needs need attention. Although this is not a scientifically verified study, the following is a rough guide to interpreting your score:

0-5 You have too many issues and needs to make dating a fun and easy experience for you. Get them sorted out before you proceed.

6-10 You may have fun dating, but you still need to figure out some important issues. Get some help, it’s worth it.

11-15 Congratulations! Dating should be easy for you, but consider looking into your “No” answers. Remember the less baggage, the better.

Relationship and love readiness quiz

Dating and romance naturally lead into relationship and love. This is not to say that one doesn’t or can’t experience feelings of love when dating. Obviously, this is what “falling in love” is about. It is the “falling” part that worries me as most people do this rather hurriedly, leaving out the realities of what real relationships and cultivating deep love are all about.

Still, we all learn relationship skills through practice, so we don’t have to assume that we need to know it all as we start out. But, achieving a solid sense of self, being emotionally and physically independent and stable – these are fundamental attributes that lead us to better experiences in our relationship quests.

Answer YES or NO

1. Do I have a solid sense of who I am and what I value?

2. Am I able to stand up for what I believe in at the risk of losing a relationship?

3. Do I know what I’m looking for in a partner and what my deal breakers are?

4. Have I resolved “unfinished business” with family, friends, and past lovers or spouses?

5. Do I still carry around resentment, hurt, anger, or bitterness from past experiences?

6. Do I hold limiting beliefs about myself or others that might interfere with getting closer to someone?

7. Am I willing to get help to challenge those beliefs?

8. Am I ready and available for commitment?

9. Do I have life goals and interests I feel optimistic about pursuing?

10. Do I have family and/or friends who support me and whom I regularly spend time with?

11. Do I prioritize good self-care and balance as part of my health and well-being?

12. Can I be in charge of and responsible for myself (body, heart, happiness, finances, hopes & dreams) rather than look to someone else to do so?

13. Am I seeking a true equal in a relationship match, rather than someone to fill in for what’s missing in my life?

14. Do I approach conflict with an open-mind, using good communication skills and a willingness to understand my partner, rather than withdraw, blame or manipulate my way out of it?

15. Are my children’s wellbeing protected by my choice in relationship partner? (i.e. Will this person respect and care about my children?)

As before, give each "Yes" answer one point, and tally up your points. Remember, this is not a test of relationship skills, but rather an indication of the attitudes, worldview, and goals that inform your relationship quest.

0-5 You are not ready for a committed relationship as you either don’t know what you want or you have too many unresolved issues or needs. Go back to causal dating.

6-10 Not bad, but look seriously at your “No” answers and work through them. You can only make your life, and your relationship better by addressing them.

11-15 You are ready to take the plunge, as you have a healthy outlook overall and enough self-confidence to make it a success. It is likely that you have insight into your “No” answers and will work towards resolving them somehow.

More in Life

UX designers shape our interaction with the environment through technology

When George Papazian began teaching at Emily Carr University of Art + Design a few years ago, the term UX designer was still relatively new. Now, he is the lead instructor for the interaction design...

Take a vacation, save the planet

Green, eco and sustainable travel are growing six times faster than traditional travel.

Bread and butter pudding: warming comfort food

A great way to use leftover bread
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.