Did you do it? Did you win life’s little game of musical chairs this year and land yourself a certifiably viable relationship in time for Valentine’s Day? If so, they you’ve been spared the demoralizing ordeal of trying to order takeout on the 14th. You know how it goes. Inevitably, you end up struggling to avoid eye contact with some well-coiffed waitress whose blinding engagement ring and radiating pity is slowing her down as she rings up your total twice and forgets to give you napkins.
But if you’re in a reLAtionship…well then! You can sigh luxuriantly, reapply your mascara or Axe body spray, and wonder in an off-hand manner why people like that don’t just order online, or call in, for Pete’s sake?
Okay, okay, I’m being a little facetious—I’ve survived many a past V-days as a happy, single lady. But, it IS awfully nice to have a date on Valentine’s Day. If you’ve got someone to celebrate with this year, I hope you enjoy it.
HOWEVER…if after the last chocolate wrapper has fluttered into the trash can, you find yourself visited by nagging questions—How is this going? Is this the right relationship for me?—then I want you to take them seriously. In fact, I want you to ask yourself a more specific question: Will we still be together in six months?
This would be a good moment to take today’s predictive relationship quiz. It’s short—8 questions—and gives you a 6-month prognosis at the end.
So, how in the world can a quiz help you figure out if you’ll still be dating your boyfriend or girlfriend six months from today? If you’ve been following my quiz series, then you know I’m kind of into predictive relationship science. Okay—mildly obsessed is more like it.
I got started on this kick when I stumbled across a fascinating paper , cooked up by none other than my internet-friend Dr. Ben Le, professor and editor of Science of Relationships.com. In 2010, Dr. Ben and colleagues hunkered down to crunch the numbers on over thirty-thousand dating folks in the US, Europe, and Canada. When the calculation smoke had cleared, their team was looking at something pretty special: a ranked list of eight factors that make the most powerful difference in predicting whether a couple will stay together.
Drumroll please…here they are:
Pretty nifty, eh?
Well, as a couples counselor, married lady, and curious person with a pulse, I immediately “wanted one.” That is, I wanted to funnel all that predictive know-how into something practical, into something I could use to evaluate actual relationships on the ground.
Thus dawned my season of predictive quiz-making. Today, I’m giving you a sneak peek at the fourth one. It helps you measure how much “inclusion of other in the self”—essentially intimacy—you’ve got going on in your own relationship.
It’s just a sneak peek, because I’m writing about the predictive power of intimacy on Science of Relationships later this month. So you’ll have to wait until then to find out why and how intimacy makes the difference that it does.
I know this wait will be difficult, and long. And somewhat draining. So tide yourself over by taking the quiz, following the blog (right side-bar), and sticking around!
Need relationship help? I am a licensed counselor with a passion for great relationships. I offer caring, practical, research-based help, both online or over the phone, for just $49/session. Click here or visit the “Get Relationship Help” page above for more details.
 Le, B., Dove, N., Agnew, C., Korn, M., Mutso, A. (2010). Predicting nonmarital relationship dissolution: A meta-analytic synthesis. Personal Relationships, 17, 377-390.