Concerned about your romantic relationship, or do think it’s in great shape? Find out where you stand with this quiz, constructed by Mammy.
1. How often do you and your partner participate in community service, charity events, etc.?
c) A few times a year
d) Once per year or less
2. Have others been hurt by your relationship with your current partner (e.g., cheating, fights or arguments with friends or family members about your partner)? a) Nope, nobody I can think of. Everyone in my life loves my partner as much as I do.
b) I’ve been hurt by my friends failing to understand my relationship- I’ve had to cut down on my contact with a few friends who kept telling me things like “I could do better”.
c) A few friends have expressed concerns, and I’ve discussed these with them.
d) One or more third parties have been hurt by events or decisions in our relationship.
3. When I want time alone, my partner:
a) Is happy to leave me to my own devices. S/he gives me a kiss and tells me to enjoy myself.
b) Not an issue- I don’t really want time alone.
c) Expresses concern that I’m upset and repeatedly asks if I there’s anything I want to talk about.
d) Asks me if everything is ok and if there’s anything I want to talk about, then lets me to do my thing.
4. How much does your partner support your career goals?a) S/he doesn’t care much about my work
b) S/he is sure to ask me how work is every day, and I give her/him a breakdown of what transpired and the office gossip.
c) S/he asks me detailed questions about my work frequently, and I get the sense that s/he really knows what my job is all about and where I’d like to go with it.
5. How do you support your partner’s career goals?
a) I ask him/her how work was at the end of each day.
b) I’m just not really interested in his/her job- we have more exciting things to talk about and do together.
c) I ask him/her how satisfied s/he is at the job, and where s/he sees her/himself in a few years.
6. Since the two of you have gotten together,
a) We’ve both gained significant weight and/or gotten out of shape
b) We’ve put on a few pounds, which isn’t such a surprise since we’ve gotten older
c) We’ve pretty much maintained our physiques since when we met
d) We’ve become healthier than when we first met
7. When your partner wants to spend time with his/her friends, you:
a) Get upset, anxious, and/or worried, and can’t focus until s/he comes home
b) Wonder if you did something to upset him/her, and hope s/he’s not mad at you
c) Tell him to enjoy himself, and are glad to have some time to yourself as well.
d) Pretty much always go along, and your partner usually accompanies you when you make plans with your friends
8. Which best describes this past week with your partner?
a) We did a few different activities together, some that s/he chose but I wasn’t crazy about, and some that I picked out that my partner wasn’t crazy about. We make compromises for each other.
b) We partook in a variety of activities that we both enjoy.
c) We were both so busy that we had little time to spend together. We ate dinner together at least a few nights.
d) We’re long distance so we didn’t see each other. However, we spoke on the phone every day.
e) We’re long distance. We spoke on the phone daily and had at least one long-distance “date”.
9. How would you rate the ability of you and your partner to conjointly solve relationship problems?
10. To what extent do you and your partner keep to yourselves vs. integrating into the larger community?
a) We’ve attended a few block parties/local art fairs/book fairs/parades
b) My partner doesn’t care for these types of events so we find other ways to have fun.
c) We mostly do our own thing
d) We’re all about checking out the community events section of the newspaper and getting to know others in our neighborhood.
For your response, give yourself the corresponding number of points:
1. a (2), b (2), c (1), d (0)
2. a (1)*, b (0)*, c (2), d (0)
3. a (2), b (0), c (1), d (2)
4. a (0), b (1), c (2)
5. a (1), b (0)*, d (2)
6. a (0), b (1)*, c (2), d (2)
7. a (0), b (1), c (2), d (0)
8. a (1), b(2), c (0), d (1), e (2)
9. a (0), b (1), c (2), d (1)*
10. a (1), b (0), c (0), d (2)
What your score means:
Congrats! You’ve mastered the art of a healthy relationship- not an easy task! A healthy couple relationship is one in which both partners contribute to the well being of the relationship. This means that both partners have formed an effective partnership- reaching decisions and resolving problems effectively, communicating constructively, and engaging as a couple in a variety of mutually rewarding and engaging activities. In addition, a healthy relationship is one that contributes to the growth, well-being, and development of each partner, both on day-to-day and long-term bases. The relationship is responsive to each individual’s needs, such as the need to function autonomously, to spend time alone or with friends without the partner. In addition, healthy relationships facilitate occupational growth and development, and physical health. During times of personal distress, partners provide support to one another either instrumentally, through helping out with responsibilities, or emotionally, through listening empathically to concerns. Finally, in healthy relationships, the partners relate to their physical and social environments in an adaptive manner. The couple gives back to the community through involvement in social or environmental causes.
9-14: Got the Sniffles
Your relationship has strengths and weaknesses. You’re probably satisfied with the status quo but have some things that you’d like to change. Maybe the two of you are busy with work and don’t spend much time together. Or, maybe you spend a great deal of time together and don’t engage in activities that foster your growth as individuals. Read the description of what contributes to couple health above, and try to incorporate some of the ideas into your relationship.
0-8: Serious Illness
If you’re here, Mammies are concerned about you. Based on your responses, you and your partner interact in a way that is detrimental to both of you as individuals, and to the relationship as a unit. Maladaptive relationships involve poor communication, ineffective problem solving, high levels of negative behavior, and low levels of positive behavior. Also, an unhealthy relationship does not contribute to the growth or development of the partners as individuals, and can actually be destructive to one or both partners. Research shows that psychological and physical problems can actually be worsened in destructive relationships. As well, in unhealthy relationships, partners interact in a way that is destructive to other individuals or to the broader society- by ignoring friends who are concerned that the couple spends too much or too little quality time together, or by getting so focused on the relationship that they fail to interact with and contribute to their community. Please try to break these maladaptive patterns by reading the above description of what is involved in a healthy relationship, and try to bring some of those concepts to your relationship. Or, if you feel that your partner simply is not right for you, talk to some supportive friends and muster up the courage to break it off. Whatever route you decide to go, if you’re feeling really distressed, you should consider finding a therapist for additional support.
*Idealizing subscale.Questions 2, 5, 6, 9, 10. If you selected more than one response with a star in the scoring key, you might want to re-evaluate things…Endorsing several of these questions indicates that you tend to idealize your partner and your relationship, and may fail to address your own true needs. It’s great to prioritize your relationship, and in fact this is a cornerstone of a healthy relationship. However, there’s a thin line between a healthy relationship and one in which one or both partners have gotten caught up in the romance and forgotten who they are as individuals. You must remember, you are one half of the relationship, and for it to be healthy, you need to be healthy. Redefine your personal needs by thinking about what you would want for yourself if you were not in a relationship, and what you wish your partner did more of/less of. Also, it would probably benefit you personally, and your relationship in the long run, if you took up a hobby independent of your partner. Share your thoughts with your partner. See our posts on communication skills for help with having such a conversation.
Questions and descriptions based on:
Baucom, D. H., Epstein, N., & LaTaillade, J. J. (2002). Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy. In Gurman & Jacobson (eds.). Clinical Handbook of Couple Therapy. The Guilford Press: New York.