This isn's exactly an NBI questioning, but a lie detector or polygraph machine would certainly come in handy. Strapping your guy to a chair while shining klieg lights on his face is definitely a bonus. So why the good cop-bad cop, interrogation room routine? Well, it's the only way for you to get a guy to tell the truth, especially when you nail him with this essential checklist of questions you've got to ask before you even consider him as boyfriend material.
- "What's your fave movie/band/Katy Perry music video?"
Ask It When: You're just getting to know the guy. It's important to establish right from the start whether this dude is going to be any fun to hang out with or not. Butter may melt off those pecs and abs, but if what you've got in common is exactly zilch, then that's just a drag. He likes clubbing, you like gigs in seedy dives with the prehistoric amp in danger of shorting out. He likes reading books, you like kicking balls (and kicking butt) in a futsal match. And if he doesn't like Katy Perry, he's just not the deal because that girl is seriously awesome. (See wrong answer below.)
Wrong Answer: "I like Katy Perry's boobs."
- So, where do you guys hang out?
Ask It When: You HAVE TO stalk him. Err, I mean, get to know his friends better. If you're a sharp, snappy conversationalist, you can use this question to segue into a chat about his group of friends. For sure, he'll have a lot of interesting stories to tell you about road trips they've gone on, projects they've done, and pranks they've pulled on their teachers (or each other!). It may not be fair to judge a guy by the company he keeps, but it's certainly a good character indicator, like one of those paper-strip things you use in Chem Lab to find out if that harmless-looking vial of water is actually acid.
Wrong Answer: "Sa kanto lang, diyan sa may bandang Quezon Circle."
- What's the ultimate deal breaker for you?
Ask It When: You feel really flirty—and it's fishing season. The deal breaker? So mysterious, so unexplainable, so irrational! What is the one thing that forces a person to instantly discard any possibility of romance, and what's the big deal about it? It's your job to find out! Hairy arms, jeje-speak, Glee fanaticism, still-existing Friendster account. Every guy has his own peculiar anti-fetish. It's up to you to judge whether the shallowness of HIS deal breaker turns out to be YOUR deal breaker, as well—at least for this particular loser. On the other hand, his deal breaker could actually be charming and odd and harmless, which, strangely enough, makes him even more attractive in your eyes.
Wrong Answer: "I don't have a deal breaker. All girls are cool in my book." (LIAR BUZZER!)
- What's your family like?
Ask It When: You think there's a chance the two of you can have a future together. This is actually a bit of a cheat. It's NOT one question, but rather a series of questions that you build upon. Family is a topic that's generally kept close to the chest. Sure, guys may drop a few vignettes here and there, but these are mostly light, funny stories—we keep the heavier, more meaningful stuff safely hidden out of view. But to the right person who asks the right questions (and girl, it could be you!), we'll reveal the whole complicated tapestry of our family life—highs, lows, and everything in between—because we feel you'll understand.
Wrong Answer: "They're cool. I just saw my grandkid the other week!"
- How long was your longest relationship?
Ask It When: You're getting close, but you're still feeling careful. What will you get out of this question? That sordid tale we call his love history. Reading between the lines of his answer—which will definitely be delivered with a lot of hemming and hawing—you'll be able to deduce his dating style, his romantic tics, and whether he's a player or a keeper. A fast and loose string of girlfriends should set your alarms off, while a guy who hasn't had a girlfriend yet is awww-shucks cute. Unless he's more than 20 years old, in which case, maybe you should start checking if he wears deodorant. Warning: His answer to this question, particularly if he's trying to impress you, may not be 100% accurate.
Wrong Answer: "This long." (Holds hands up yea distance apart, with lascivious wink.)
- Why did your last relationship end?
Ask It When: You've gone out on a couple of dates. This is functionally similar to the "longest relationship" question, but laser-beam sighted for pinpoint accuracy. Your goal with this question is to identify any relationship hang-ups he still has from his most recent break-up. He'll say it doesn't matter, but believe us, it does. Baggage isn't that easy to throw away from emotional train wrecks, and it's better he bares it all for you now, rather than finding out he still has commitment problems or he can't get over his last girl, while in the middle of your first month as a couple.
Wrong Answer: "Why… did… it… end? I never said it ended."
- So, where is this going?
Ask It When: You're sort of going steady. It's not something to be proud of (well, at least not in front of you gals), but us guys? We're phenomenal at indecision. What can we say? We're the lords of labo. But you girls don't deserve that. You've been hanging out, you've been dating, you've long crossed the just-friends line. So is he in it for the commitment or the good time? Now that old-style ligaw has gone the way of the dodo, intentions aren't as clear. Steel your breath for an answer that quite possibly may not be the one you hoped for. Sorry.
Wrong Answer: "'Di ba we're going nga to Serendra for our date?"
*This article was originally published in the January-February 2011 issue of Candy Magazine.