She likes cricket, hates Himesh Reshammiya and looks great in a pair of jeans. Cool facts that attracted you. But if you're thinking of keeping her around for the long term, you need a real measure of her mettle. We call this the gauntlet. You call it long-term relationship insurance.



The trait: Responsibility

The test: Play the blame game Next time she rear-ends someone during rush hour or spills coffee on her lap, listen to her analysis. "Successful couples focus on positives," says Dr Vineeta Jha, psychologist at Umkal Hospitals, Gurgaon. Decipher whether she is the eternal victim or does she accept some responsibility.

The trait: Patience

The test: Talk about work The story of the time she made an intern cry may have made you laugh, but all that attitude won't stay cooped up at the office. "If she tears apart a co-worker for no reason, watch out. Her attitude at work will show what she's like under pressure," says John Van Epp, PhD, author of How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk.

The trait: Empathy
The test: Take her shopping Malls are buffets of human interaction: peeved customers, airhead clerks, moms with kids-all of them begging for vitriolic colour commentary. "You want to see empathy for the stressed and clueless. If she thinks most situations and solutions are clear-cut, expect the same absolutism with you," says Dr Jha.

The trait: Adaptability

The test: Make last-minute plans Sure, you were planning to see a chick flick, but now the only film not sold out is Ram Gopal Verma Ki Dhool. Relationships change constantly, so see if she can roll with it. Another time, show up 15 minutes late. She should be able to adapt to the situation, says Dr Jha. If she does not, she will have no problem finding ways in which you disappoint her.

The trait: Flexibility
The test: Cook dinner at her place If she's a control freak who can't cede dominion over her kitchen, she'll have a hard time letting you take the reins elsewhere in life. Even if she's a gourmet, she should still willingly accept your different, yet still effective, way of chopping carrots, says Pat Love, EdD, author of The Truth About Love.

The trait: Confidence
The test: Deprive her of the spotlight Take her to a friend's party, then watch her mingle. Does she seek constant male attention? Could be needy, feels Dr Jha. Dodges women? Not a good sign. Women "deliver necessary honesty" to other women, says Love. Also, she knows that your female friends will offer a more realistic review of her.