Thursday, May 26, 2011

For Better

Not an avid reader, I’m making a conscious effort to consume* more literature and am in the middle of Tara Parker Pope’s book, For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage.  Always fascinated by the dynamics of an intimate relationship, scientific research, psychology, and continually striving to a) progress toward the elusive self actualization and b) be a better partner, spouse, friend – this looked like a fit read for me.

The first few chapters of the book are quite interesting and focus on social trends, relationship myths, and the biochemistry of attraction. Throughout, Parker-Pope presents self assessment quizzes including “Measuring Passion” and the “Love Scale Quiz.” The latter, created by Dr. Hatkoff, consists of 50 True/False questions that can help you determine which "Love Styles" are dominant in your approach to relationships.

This is helpful to know, because according to Parker-Pope, typically, in a relationship, we judge our lover's* action based on our own preferred love styles; however, this can lead to misunderstandings and resentment if your lover's tendencies do not align with your own. Understanding the love style of your partner can be a crucial aspect of relational satisfaction because it can help you to properly evaluate the meaning and the intent of your lover's actions. And, it is only after you understand the intent of your lover that can you truly understand how they feel about you.

The Love Scale quiz measures your tendency towards the following six Love Styles:
·         Romantic - Marked by passion and sexual attraction.
·         Best Friends - Marked by feelings of deep affection and caring.
·         Logical - When practical issues like money, religion, and values influence feelings.
·         Playful - Marked by the excitement of flirtatious and challenging interactions.
·         Possessive - Marked by feelings of jealousy and obsession.
·         Unselfish - Marked by nurturing, kindness, and sacrifice.

You can take the quiz here.

According to the quiz, my 3 most dominant love styles are:
·         Possessive (6 True)
·         Unselfish (6 True)
·         Romantic (5 True)
o   Logical (4 True)
o   Playful (3 True)
o   Best Friends (2 True)

While I’m not entirely surprised (I do have a tendency to be possessive), I would have expected playful or best friends to be higher up.  And while I recognize that they can co-exist, I feel that possessive and unselfish are a little contradictory. If one is being possessive, isn’t that a form of selfishness in and of itself?

Did you take the quiz? And, if so, what are your most dominant love styles?

*You may note that I said “consume” not “read,” as this is an audio book from Audible.
*For the record, I strongly dislike the word lover. Ugh.

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