Before you partner with someone in marriage do yourself a favor and take them to Las Vegas!

Trust me on this….if you want to make a good decision in marriage be sure to partner with someone who has good impulse control. Problems with infidelity, money management, over indulging in food and drink, anger issues, bad parenting, and so forth are all predictive from how one manages their impulses. And perhaps the best place on the planet to test your partner’s impulse control is in Las Vegas! So before saying "I do" take a field trip and do some research in Vegas with your partner. Watch them closely there. 

In my view, Las Vegas is America on steroids! Everything is big, bold, and will test your impulses when it comes to money, food, drink, sex, sleep, and so forth. How your partner deals with being in Las Vegas for a few days will likely give you a good feel for their impulse control in general. If they have problems making good choices there then they will likely have troubles making good choices back home too. Las Vegas is a projective test...a big inkblot. 

When it comes to long term relationships one really has to think carefully about what kind of person you want to be with for decades. Sadly, too often young people make judgments based on physical appearance and other fleeting characteristics that don’t matter so much a few decades after saying “I do.” Often what destroys marriages involves problems in behavior that were known but perhaps ignored early in the relationship. These behaviors and tendencies typically have to do with impulse control issues such as spending too much money, drinking too much booze, anger outbursts, and infidelity.

Add a good moral compass with good impulse control and you may have a real winner when it comes to a partner. Also add a little humility, a good work ethic, and a sense of humor and you've got gold! So if you take your intended to Las Vegas for a few days before saying " I do" you’ll likely know if your partner is someone you want to be with for the long term. You’ll likely see if they have good impulse control AND a good moral compass too.  If they fail the Vegas test, you might want to consider finding a different partner. Just saying.....

So what do you think?

Copyright 2013 Thomas G. Plante, PhD, ABPP 

Please check out my web site at and follow me on Twitter @ThomasPlante

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