Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Dating and Relationship Integrity Quiz

Are you expressing integrity in your dating and relationships?

Even if you *think* you're expressing integrity in your relationships, you might not be. How can you know? Take the following quiz I created this week, then review my comments below on how to improve your actions in integrity to better improve the love you wish to enjoy:

The Relationship Integrity Quiz

1. If you have any misgivings about your relationship, you:

a. Continue to put forth a face that you're committed in the relationship to your partner and sweep the concern under the rug, hoping it will go away with time.
b. End the relationship. Misgivings are a sure sign that the relationship will fail.
c. Ask your partner to "talk" and express the concerns you have openly.
d. Tell your friends about it, but leave your partner in the dark.

2. When your partner brings up a concern, do you

a. Listen, then immediately change to please them.
b. Ignore them. They are always whining about something or another.
c. Hear them, validate what they've said (clarify to ensure you understand), and then come to an agreement about small steps that each partner might take to help better meet their needs in the area they brought up.
d. Deflect the concern back onto them and immediately point out something in them that annoys you, too.

3. You've noticed that you've gone 2 weeks without having sex or expressing a prolonged intimacy (and nothing is going on with your health that would have precluded this). You:

a. Laugh it off. Oh, sex, it's just a small part of dating or being married.
b. Express concern and tell your partner to put up or get out.
c. Discuss the situation with your partner. Ask them if they can think of reasons why expressing physical intimacy might have slipped to the back burner, and proactively find ways to create time to be more intimate.
d. 2 weeks? That's all? Try two months, 2 years, or 2 decades, baby!

4. Your partner asks for a certain type of attention. You respond by:

a. Yawn. They always want that gushy stuff. I've got more serious things to do with life like provide for the family, man!
b. Tell them that you always give them that, why are they complaining?
c. Listen, then make a note to start to show appreciation and attention in the way they requested. You follow-up in two weeks to see if they've noticed the ways you're now showing appreciation for them.
d. Tell them that they need to show you attention, too. Maybe then you could give them what they want. Why don't they do (xyz...) for you? Sheez!

5. Your partner says that they are irritated because you're talking over them. You respond by:

a. Interrupting and telling them they don't know what they're talking about.
b. Ignoring them. What they say isn't really that important, anyway.
c. Listening, apologizing, then making a point to let them speak and hearing them out before putting your thoughts out there into the conversation.
d. Laugh it off. They just don't know a poet when they hear one!

6. You're trying to include your partner in various aspects of your life dreams: family, interests, friends, work, and so forth. They demonstrate either a lack of interest or the experience is even negative. You:

a. Tell them that if they love you they have to love....(xyz interest/dream)
b. Dump them! They ought to accept and love the same stuff you do, after all.
c. Talk about the concern and determine if there is a reason they expressed a negative or lack of interest in the dream you want to realize. Discuss options of doing small things in the future to make the situation more enjoyable for both of you.
d. Blow it off. They like some things, but you'll just do your own thing anyway! That's why there's shopping, sports, poker night, and girl's night out, baby!

7. Your partner crossed you in public on an issue that there was no apparent reason for them to not back you on. You:

a. Tell them they are rude and yell at them.
b. End the relationship. How dare they!
c. Discuss the concern. Find out why they crossed you. Discuss ways to make sure they show respect for you in the future, and how you can both better respect each other.
d. Ignore them or point out how they crossed you just 5 minutes earlier. So they beat you to it, so what?

8. If you've expressed that you are dating each other exclusively or in a committed relationship, and you find your partner has a voice mail, a note, or other suspicious behavior going on, you:

a. Blow up! How could they cheat on you!
b. Dump them. There's no place for infidelity in any relationship.
c. Ask them what is going on with the message, note, or activity. Discuss what they are looking for in the present relationship that might be missing or could be improved. Then, take actions to give more of that. Follow-up with them in two weeks to find out if things are better so that they don't feel the need to encourage outside distractions.
d. Flirt with someone else as soon as they leave. That will teach them!

9. Your partner expresses concern about your friends, children, or parents. You:

a. Tell them "It's my life. Complain now you might as well walk out forever!"
b. End the relationship. Your family and friends are more important than this partner, anyway.
c. Discuss the concern, hear their issue, validate their concern, and agree to take small steps towards improving the situation with them. Follow-up in two weeks to see how things are progressing.
d. My friends? My kids? My parents? Oh My God! You should see theirs!!

10. You're finding your self either giving too much money or taking money from your partner in ways you didn't originally think you would. You:

a. Keep giving (or taking). Hey, it's a dog-eat-dog world, baby.
b. End the relationship. People ought to be equal, not give or take too much.
c. Discuss what's going on with material things. Discover the root of the issue, and find small steps to improve and grow finances and possessions together as a team. Follow-up in a brief time to see how things are getting better.
d. They DO take from me. I'll just take something of theirs, silly.


Okay, so you've completed the quiz. Now, I want you to notice how I structured this quiz.

If you find your responses in the "C" category on each of these questions, then you're handling your relationship with integrity. You're clearly communicating well, resolving conflicts as good as most people, and making progress in your relationship. Right on!! The "C" answers in this quiz are the healthiest way I could think of in each situation to maximize (a) validating each other's concerns, (b) resolving conflict proactively, (c) developing more honesty, intimacy, and integrity, and (d) growing closer together over time.

If you found any or many of your answers outside the "C" category, I'll point out what each of the other categories can get you and what they mean:

"A" answers: Answers to the Integrity Quiz are one of two flavors: Passive responses that indicate you'll hope the problem will just solve itself, or Aggressive answers that cause more flame-ups. If you found yourself answering "A" often, you need to look at your communication style. If your style is Passive, then you're likely going to feel somewhat repressed over time and resentments will build up towards your partner. This is a breach of integrity. You need to come forth, listen more actively, and take more action towards healthy give-and-take in your relationship. You need to communicate more openly and say what you want. Rather than just trying things, get to the root of why you are trying and operate in a new way.

If your style is Aggressive, you need to ask if the aggression serves you and your partner? More than likely, your style is repressing your partner and creating more conflict than resolution. Aggression, out of control, is not integrity in dating or relationships. Find why you respond with anger or yelling and discover ways of communicating that validate both you and your partner and you'll build more integrity in your relationship.

"B" answers: If your answers are predominantly "B", then you have a real issue with commitment. Your first reaction to problems is to run away or dump your partner. If you're choosing this option, you're not really choosing to have integrity in your relationships, despite whatever you think. Instead, you're choosing to act like you're right, and making everyone else wrong. Instead of running away or cutting bait, why not find ways to validate, hear, learn, act proactively, and grow more integrity in commitment with your relationship? You'll find your relationship will be more healthy if you learn these skills.

"D" answers: If your answers are predominantly "D", you are acting in a way that is completely self-centered and out of integrity with your relationship. You either think you're right or have such low self-esteem that you're treating others disrespectfully and not really resolving anything. Your deflection of concerns is a mask for this. In addition, you aren't "owning" your partners concerns. In many cases, you out-and-out act out anyway just to prove you can. It is amazing your partner is still with you, frankly. If you want a healthy relationship, you might consider learning more about "C" answers and how to develop respect, trust, and real love in your relationship.

If you're finding some of your answers straying outside of "C" answers, why not take a fresh look at how you manage your relationship and see if there isn't room for improvement. Many people can have and grow the love they seek simply by committing to and taking small steps each day towards each other, resolving conflicts in a healthy way, and growing towards each other in love.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy:

The Intimacy, Love, and Dating Scale, by Jessica Haynes
What Makes A Person Great, by Scott Andrews

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1 comment:

Judy K Lee said...

I’m soooo happy through your blog posts, and waiting for the upcoming posts. Feihud Tips And Tricks

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