What D’s Perfect Relationship Looks Like, According to Science

Get comfy everyone, maybe even grab a snack, because this post is loooong.

To maximize blogging dating potential, I’m on a few different sites (all free ones because I’m cheap). One of them offered a “relationship needs assessment.” As far as I can tell, they don’t use the results to actually match you with other people on the site who meet your relationship needs, it’s basically just a psych assessment by a computer algorithm based on 100 statements and my responses of “Not at all Like Me”, “Somewhat Unlike Me”, “Somewhat Like Me”, or “Much Like Me”. A few samples:

I feel loved when my partner celebrates my birthday with a gift. DUH! Who doesn’t?
I worry that my romantic partners will not care about me as much as I care about them. Sounds like something I should be talking to a therapist about,  not a dating website.
As a sexual partner, I try to be neat. I don’t even know what this means, but I’m pretty sure being neat is pretty far down on the list of things I’m thinking about…
Love comes but once in a lifetime. Santa and the Easter Bunny are real too.
I feel loved when my partner helps me out with chores. I guess I feel loved, but mostly I just feel annoyed we’re doing chores.
 

Obviously I sat down and filled that shit out. The results were broken down into nine categories. As with most things like this, my results were a mix of accurate and hilariously inaccurate. Behold:

Interdependence: how much you need dependency or a “couple identity” with your partner.

We started off pretty accurate. It said that I need someone who reciprocates a strong feeling of attachment to a partner, but who also respects and copes well with the fact that I like some independence (or as they called it, “physical and psychological space at times”). Truth. Both because I think it’s important and healthy to have a separate identity from your partner, and because if I spend too much time with just one person, even someone I love, I tend to want to throw them off a cliff. I once spent a week with my two best friends at a beach house in Rhode Island, and I still go into a blind rage at the mention of Block Island. What should have been a minor disagreement (that I was unfortunately on the wrong end of) turned into a huge fight, and the underlying issue was 80% cabin fever on my part (and 20% my hatred of being wrong). They’re both laughing as they read this (luckily they’re still friends with me). It was ten years ago, and I’m still not laughing. Block Island was very lovely, but I legitimately hate that place. I hate an island that I visited for one day. So a bit of independence in a relationship can only be a good thing for me.

Intimacy: how much you need emotional closeness with your partner.

Allegedly, I am very comfortable with being intimate and vulnerable with a partner and people like me have big hearts and an impressive openness to our partners, including extending trust. Not to get too serious or all therapy session on you, but this is pretty off, at least as far as trust goes. I’m definitely not comfortable being vulnerable or extending trust, for a variety of reasons which aren’t very interesting. I’m working on it. The results also said that I am willing to act on the belief that my partner’s feelings are equally as strong/important as mine, and though I’m not perfect I do try never to belittle or invalidate other peoples’ feelings just because I don’t agree with those feelings. We broke even here.

Self-Efficacy: your self-image, stability of mood and level of motivation.

This one is my favorite. My answers apparently gave the impression that I am “patient”, “calm, cool and collected most of the time”, “likely do not overreact to circumstances as others might do”, and am “able to maintain a balanced perspective on situations.” Excuse me while I go change because I peed myself laughing. Recent examples of my calm, cool, collected, balanced perspective include: 1) texting two EMTs and an orthopedic surgeon (?) because my eye was twitching “weird” and I was convinced that I had an unruptured brain aneurysm that was pressing on my optic nerve and WHAT SHOULD I DO?; 2) spending the better part of an hour researching causes of throat cancer because my throat was scratchy and they had discovered some mold in the drywall and insulation of my office; 3) drafting an (unenforceable) last will and testament every time I get a sinus infection; 4) laying down in the hallway of my apartment building, crying because there was a bird in my apartment; and 5) throwing away an otherwise perfectly good garbage can because the bag had leaked leaving the bottom of the can gross, and buying a new garbage can was more appealing than the more responsible act of simply cleaning out the old one. And that’s all within the last year four months. I’m 28, that’s just a drop in my very composed bucket… I call shenanigans on this test.

Relationship Readiness: how prepared you are emotionally, psychologically and pragmatically for a committed relationship.

I have a good foundation and appear pretty much ready and willing to find a committed relationship. Go me! But maybe I got this result only because I tricked the test into thinking I have a balanced perspective and am generally calm, cool and collected. Whatever, I’m going to take this as a sign that I’m navigating being a grown up somewhat well, which was actually pretty unclear to me based on things like #s 4 and 5 above. Since I’m such an emotionally mature person, they told me that I need someone who is also awesome at life and wants a relationship, rather than needs one to feel personally fulfilled. Accurate. I don’t ever want to be something someone needs. I want to be something they want, but can survive without. Maybe we’re getting back on track…

Communication: your approach to interpersonal interactions and level of emotional intelligence.

Breaking News: I need someone who will not put up emotional barriers as to their thoughts and feelings, but will communicate with me. Correct – I do need that. In fact, I’m pretty sure every healthy relationship needs that.

Conflict Resolution: your stress management and problem solving skills.

I scored in the range of people who do not “consistently consider the Proper Atmosphere when addressing relationship problems.” More specifically, I neither consistently arrange for a mutually acceptable time and setting, nor choose my opening statement carefully to establish positive yet realistic expectations. So I need someone who is actually calm, cool and collected and is willing to address issues spontaneously (read, when I decide it’s time to address them). Perhaps I was a little premature calling shenanigans…

Sexuality: your needs (frequency, boundaries, expressions) related to physical intimacy.

My sexual needs are apparently “best described as fairly conservative compared to most other people, yet you are no prude.” I need someone who sees sex as romantic and fun and especially who will like to be submissive to my sexual desires. I’m not actually going to comment on this assessment, not because it’s right or wrong, but because I’m virtually incapable of talking about anything sexual. But I felt like I’d be somehow deceiving all you readers if I omitted this part, so there you have it.

Attitudes Toward Love: your level of needs for romantic love and friendship love.

I was informed that there are two types of love: romantic love and companionate love. Turns out I’m a hopeless romantic with a touch of realist. But it goes on to say that people in this range commonly view their partner as their soul mate. SOOOO, that “touch of realist” line was a load of crap then. Despite my deep love for The Princess Bride (Columbo! Kevin Arnold! And most of all, Westley! Dreamy Westley saying “as you wish”, which is like the most romantic thing any guy could ever say to me), there’s no such thing as destiny or soul mates. Shenanigans again (unless Ryan Gosling shows up at my door, then I’ll have no choice but to believe in both).

Preferred Expressions of Affection: your likes and dislikes for different ways a partner can express love and devotion.

My answers indicated that I need someone who expresses love with gifts. I don’t like how materialistic that makes me seem, but I also love gifts, so I can’t pretend like they’re wrong about me. My results went on to say that when it comes to my partner expressing affection, I like simple things such as them telling me how they feel, spending time with me, or remembering special occasions with a thoughtful gift. There we go with the gift thing again, but this time it sounds nicer.

So – did I learn anything new about myself or what I need from a relationship? Nope. Even though I’m no psychology expert, and have barely managed to stay alive since my parents stopped putting a roof over my head and food on the table, I am self-aware enough to already know that I need to be in a relationship with someone who 1) can communicate, 2) is calm to balance out my batshit-crazy, and 3) buys me presents. Which is pretty much the gist of that lengthy assessment. But it was entertaining enough reading all the questions and what my answers “said” about me, so it was time well spent I say. And bonus – in addition to all the above insights, I was provided with some very helpful questions that I could ask dates to determine whether or not they fit the bill of what I need. They were so awesome that I need to feature them all on their own, so look forward to that!

-D

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2 thoughts on “What D’s Perfect Relationship Looks Like, According to Science

  1. Submissive to my sexual desires? WTF kind of sex are you into D? I highly recommend adding this information to your online profile. It will increase your number of messages by 200% guaranteed.

  2. Pingback: Pic of the Week: Inspirational Messages | Stupid Cupid

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