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IMPLICIT THEORIES OF RELATIONSHIPS

Psychologists have found two scales that influence how we start and maintain relationships. One measures how much importance we put onto first impressions and early signs of compatibility, while the other measures how likely we are to work through problems in relationships. They are called ‘implicit theories of relationships’.

Together, these two scales can tell us if we are more likely to avoid talking about issues with our partners, look for faults where they might not exist, and ‘ghost’ our way out of relationships. Differences in these implicit attitudes can also help us understand the reasons that others’ romantic choices often seem inexplicable to us.

Go ahead and score yourself on these scales and figure out where you belong:

The Soul Mate scale

Answer the following questions on a scale of one to seven, where one is strongly disagree and seven is strongly agree.

1. Success in a romantic relationship is based mostly on whether the people are “right” for each other.

2. There is a person out there who is perfect (or close to perfect) for me.

3. In marriages, many people discover (vs. build) a deep intimate connection to their spouse.

4. It is extremely important that my spouse and I be passionately in love with each other after we are married.

5. I couldn’t marry someone unless I was passionately in love with him or her.

6. There is no such thing as “Mr. Right” or “Ms. Right”.

7. I expect my future husband or wife to be the most amazing person I have ever met.

8. People who are searching for a perfect match are wasting their time.

9. The reason most marriages fail is that people aren’t right for each other.

10. Bonds between people are usually there before you meet them.

Now for scoring. First add your answers for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10. For questions 6 and 8, you need to subtract each answer from the number 8 and use the new number as your answer for that question. For example, if you answered “6”, add a 2 to your total. Once you have your final total, divide by 10 to get your average for this scale.

The Work-it-out scale

Answer the following questions on a scale of one to seven, where one is strongly disagree and seven is strongly agree.

1. Success in a romantic relationship is based mostly on how much people try to make the relationship work.

2. In marriage, effort is more important than compatibility.

3. In a relationship, love grows (vs. love is found).

4. If people would just put in the effort, most marriages would work.

5. I could be happily married to most people, if they were reasonable.

6. The reason most marriages fail is that people don’t put in the effort.

7. How well you know someone depends on how long you have known him or her.

8. If I were to marry a random person, I would be satisfied.

9. Only over time can you really learn about your partner.

To find out your score, add together your answers and divide by 9.

The questions in this quiz are taken from the Relationship Theories Questionnaire used by Renae Franiuk, of Aurora University, Illinois, in her research into implicit theories and relationship satisfaction and longevity. Franiuk uses ‘Soulmate’ and ‘Work-it-out’ to describe the two scales.

For more information on what the scales mean watch the video https://youtu.be/zzzewZp5Kco If you’re scores are equally high in both, you are a combination which is a great place to be at.

Growth believers will overlook differences in compatibility and work towards making it work. These people thrive under challenge and hold themselves responsible for their relationship.

Destiny believers will resign to differences in compatibility as fate that is beyond their control. These people will be more likely to sustain a bad relationship because of the fixed mindset.

While this is in no way the holy grail and is to be taken with a large pinch of salt, it can be used as something to keep in mind when looking for compatibility.

Harleen Bagga Multi-disciplinary Psychotherapist, Psychologist Relationship & Happiness Coach https://www.facebook.com/Harleen.Lifecoach/

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