ADVICE: How do I know if someone is right for me?


Maddie Barron

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By Maddie Barron and Maddie Khaw

Dear Maddies,

I’m struggling with a new relationship, as I’m feeling some anxiety about whether this is the right person for me or not. How do you know if it’s right? 


Unsure Umar 


Dear Umar, 

New relationships are daunting. There’s a horrible pit in your stomach at all times, hoping that you’re saying the right things, that you’re being the right amount of “cool girl,” that you’re still relevant. It’s the worst feeling ever. I wish everyone could instantly just trust that I’m super cool to be around. I say all this advice gently, because I am constantly toeing the line between ingenue and incel. 

What I’ve learned from psychotherapy and reading books with pretty covers on them is that I am a person who is not capable of not being myself. What I mean by this is the following: I am immediately my most genuine self at the get-go because I want people to decide if they like me straight away. There’s no pretending with me. 

This method is always successful in its methodology in that I always sift through people who find me “a bit much” or incompatible. My advice is the same from the American Girl Doll books: be yourself. I feel like a filthy little sellout suggesting that, but if you’re in a room with someone and aren’t hyper aware of yourself, or trying to curate a likable, faux self-image, then that person might be good for you at the moment. I also place emphasis on that. Don’t be concerned if the person is right for you in the grand scheme of things. Is the person right for you right now? 

I’ve also used AI to curate the five most important questions to ask a significant other before committing to them. 

  1. Isn’t it super rad to treat your mother well? 
  2. What porn categories do you watch? 
  3. If someone wasn’t around, would you put your cart in the cart return zone? 
  4. Would you do a blood oath with me?
  5. Can I save your calcified heart after you tragically die at sea, à la Mary Shelley

With peace and love, 

Maddie B. 


Dear Umar, 

I recommend a series of screening tests. Hit your potential partner with some quiz questions to get straight to the heart of who they are, how they work, and what they like. This is the simplest way to determine whether they are right for you. 

If you’re not sure where to start with such tests, I recommend Buzzfeed quizzes. Yes, those quizzes you pored over at middle school sleepovers and completed during history class in high school. It may seem trivial, but Buzzfeed quizzes are really a perfect way to get an accurate sense of your new relationship and its potential for success. First, determine which Hogwarts house they belong in. Then, which Gossip Girl character they are. If they’re Dan, please run away. Some other useful quizzes include this one about dog breeds, this one about love languages, or which Disney guy they’re most like.

I think the reason I recommend this strategy is because I loooove to put people in boxes. It makes everything so much easier. Slap a label on anyone—you’re a Slytherin; you’re Chuck Bass. That way, everything is either right or wrong, good or bad, yes or no. I’m a big fan of firsthand judgments and arbitrary binaries. I think we all are.

However, the logical part of me knows this is not how things work. In all seriousness, life does not operate in binaries, as much as we might tend to think it does. You can’t put people in boxes, because just like how real people don’t fit in Brandy Melville’s exclusionary one-size-fits-all bullshit, real people don’t fit in boxes. 

It’s impossible to know ahead of time if a pair of jeans from Brandy Melville will fit you. In my experience, they probably won’t. But the same goes for relationships—it’s impossible to know in advance if someone is the right fit for you. Just like a pair of jeans, you’ve got to try ‘em on first. 

I understand your anxiety, and your desire to know whether you’re making the “right” decision. As a certified control freak, I’ve definitely been there. But unfortunately, none of us can see the future. You can’t possibly know if this person is right for you without getting to know them first, and without letting them get to know you. This all requires immense vulnerability, which is objectively terrifying. But it’s the only way to truly determine whether your new relationship is a match—let your guard down, try not to worry about the future, and ground yourself in the present. Enjoy spending time with this person, get to know them a little, and show them the best and worst parts of yourself—honest Buzzfeed quiz results and all. Then you can determine what’s best for you.


Maddie K. 

Need advice? Visit the story highlight on our Instagram, @berkeleybeacon, and fill us in on all the deets through our anonymous form. Xoxo, The Maddies