For Better: The Love Scale Quiz Designed By Dr. Hatkoff
Posted July 5, 2010 at 1:41 PM by Ben Nadel
Right now, I am in the middle of reading the book, "For Better: The Science Of A Good Marriage," by Tara Parker-Pope. While I am not yet married, I am completely fascinated by the dynamics of intimate relationships and I am always looking for ways to improve both the relationships that I do have currently as well as the ones that I shall have in the future. The first few chapters of the book are very interesting, focusing on social trends, relationship myths, and the biochemistry of attraction. At the end of Chapter 3, Parker-Pope presents a Love Scale Quiz designed by Dr. Hatkoff. The quiz consists of 50 True/False questions that can help you determine which "Love Styles" are dominant in your approach to relationships.
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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.
Not only was I curious to find out what my particular love style tendencies are, I thought this would be a fun thing to build in ColdFusion. As such, I took the 50 True/False questions outlined in the "For Better" book and created a ColdFusion-powered quiz that you can take for yourself:
After building the quiz in ColdFusion, I took it myself and got the following results:
- Romantic (4 True) - Marked by passion and sexual attraction.
- Logical (4 True) - When practical issues like money, religion, and values influence feelings.
- Playful (4 True) - Marked by the excitement of flirtatious and challenging interactions.
- Unselfish (4 True)
- Possessive (3 True)
- Best Friends (2 True)
To be honest, these results feel a little unsettling. I don't seem to be dominant in any particular Love Style. In fact, I have a 4-way tie for my most dominant love style, answering True less than 50% of the time in every single category. I wonder what that means about me? When you take the test, you don't know what style any particular question belongs to; as such, I don't think I had any pre-existing bias of what styles I wanted to present.
Maybe it just means that I am level headed, bringing the good aspects of each category into my relationship behaviors? Of course, the point of the quiz is not to determine good or bad; rather, it is simply to generate understanding, both of your own love style as well as that of your lover. Because, it only through understanding that we can properly evaluate our lover's action as well as play towards their needs as dictated by their love style tendencies. In any case, "For Better" is proving to be an interesting book that I am sure I will discuss further upon its completion.
Veeeeeeeeeeeery interesting! I'm smart enough not to comment on your results *g*, but how'd you feel about my posting a link to the quiz to my FB page? I'm curious to see how my other friends score...er, you know what I mean. ;)
I keep going over this in my head and thinking about what the results mean to me. Of course, I have to keep reminding myself that the result are not so much about what they mean for me, what they mean for other people (for me). I didn't really explain this well in the blog post, but the example they give in the book is as follows:
A man and a wife are sitting in a restaurant at a dinner table. The waiter flirts with the wife. The husband, who is not a possessive person doesn't really notice or mind. The wife, who IS a possessive person assumes that the husbands lack of caring in this matter indicates that he simply does care about her - after all, if he DID care, he would be jealous and say something.
The problem here is that the two people have different Love Styles. Now, that's not a bad thing at all; the point of knowing your lover's love style tendencies means that you can play into them to provide valuable feedback. So, for example, in the above situation, had the man known that his wife was possessive, even though he himself was not, he could have teased his wife about the flirting to connect with her in a way that was meaningful to *her*.
That said, I am still curious about what my love style denotes about my personality. I was actually lower on the possessive and logical scale than I thought I might be; but, I was lower on romantic scale that I thought of myself as being.
The more I think about it, the more I think it just means that I am pretty in-touch with my emotions; and, being in touch with them, they are not wildly flowing all over the place. I think I embrace my emotions rather then becoming subservient to them.
Of course, that might be total hooey :)
As for linking, of course you can link to it. I would rather you link to this post rather than directly to the quiz so there is conversational opportunities in the comments.
Okay, that IS interesting (the example from the book)! What I really like about it is that it doesn't so much tell you that you are or are not compatible with someone else but that you can adjust your own response and thinking to be a better partner. Yeah, I scored significantly higher in the "unselfish" category... ;)(Oh, but I scored WAY higher in the jealous category than I would have thought- totally freaked myself out!)
I do think your assessment of your own responses is probably pretty spot on: you do tend to be very even-handed about things. What I think would be an interesting experiment, and what I intend to do is to revisit the quiz and answer again in a week or so... one of my problems was that I didn't really have a specific relationship to think about in terms of how to respond to the questions, so I do fear that my responses were a bit all-over-the-place.
Will share via FB with a link to this page- thanks! :)
A friend of Wendy's here! I took the quiz and then had my husband take it. We've been married less than a year but we dated for 10 years before we were engaged. I won't be so bold as to say we're the closest to perfect couple ever, but we have never had a full-on fight (just a hurtful word, quickly apologized for, here and there).
I think the quiz is very illuminating as to how this has happened, because it seems to mystify a good number of our friends. But my top 3 were Best Friends, Possessive, Logical, in that order, and then his were Best Friends, Logical, Possessive. The way I interpret it, this means that since we perceive and express love in similar ways, we don't have to work as hard to make sure the other one fully appreciates our affection as couples where the love styles are different.
I think that makes a lot of sense; while we can use this understanding to adjust the way we act, the more overlap we have with our lover, the less adjustment we probably have to make. Just like speaking the same language as someone else, things are simply more intuitive.
In Computer Science, we think of things like that as "design patterns" - a common language that developers can use to discuss complex concepts in very simple terms. The more design patterns you both understand, the more effective your communication will be.
Perhaps using this type of scale, you can start to think about jealously less as a "negative" behavior and simply more like a different form of communication?
I'm still thinking deeply about what my score means. I'm starting to think that maybe it's a bit of a deficit. If I'm not particularly tuned into any one category of love style, is it possible that I will neither be geared towards delivering such types of communication *nor* particularly conscious of receiving it?
Of course, when I say "conscious" about receiving such communication, I don't necessarily mean that I am oblivious to it; rather, I'm wondering if the things people do for me simply won't register as all that important. I'm sure you are probably nodding at this right now ;) seeing as we've actually discussed such aspects of my behavior.
Hmmm, much to think about.
Love languages are something to considered as well http://www.amazon.com/Five-Love-Languages-Heartfelt-Commitment/dp/1881273156
Another way of characterizing different types of love was described in John Alan Lee's book Colors of Love. Here's a Psychology Today article with its own little quiz targeted to that book's taxonomy:
Off topic: What happened to your most recent posts listings on the right side of your pages?
Thanks, I'll check it out. It appears there's a men's version of the book.
Thanks, I'll check it out. As far as the comments on the left, just currently making some underlying code updates and parts of the site are not quite up-to-snuff just yet.
Been thinking about it some more and I think I am tuned into what people do. I think I'm just controlled in my reactions. Perhaps this scale doesn't really say much of anything about me? Perhaps it's just a tool for communication.
@Kimmy- How much of that do you think is a factor of you and Will being together so long and having gotten together when you both were so young? Do you think it's possible that your love styles "just" (and I know there's really no "just" aboout it :) developed in sync with each other? If you were together with someone else, do you think it would be the same? Food for thought...
@Kate - I know that book/approach! It's very sound, and it's something I've thought about a lot in terms of why my marriage didn't work out. In fact, I believe my lifelong friend, Jamie, and her husband, Steve, use it as the basis for the marriage counseling they do for their church. They got married soon after we all graduate from high school back when dinosaurs romped the earth *g*, and they've found it to be a highly successful agent for having couples in trouble look at how their partners see things. Also, though I haven't read Dr. Parker-Pope's book (yet, @Ben ;), I do have some sense that the Five Languages approach is a bit more active and works to give its followers more of a roadmap to improvement as opposed to just noting trends. But I could be off-base with that.
@Ben- First of all, my cat hates you more than usual because when I read, "I'm sure you are probably nodding at this right now ;)" I was, in fact, nodding vigorously and then laughed even more vigorously, and he got bounced off!:)
Secondly, when I looked at the questions that pointed to my having the "jealous" type of style,what tipped the scales that way were questions about my strongly negative reaction to conflict in a relationship ("When my lover and I quarrel, I feel sick..." or something to that effect). But I know that my reaction is not about jealousy but is more in keeping with my dominant style, "unselfishness." I get more upset about the fact that *I* might have done something to upset my SO or to derail our relationship than about what other cause (i.e. another person) might be at the root of the problem. I answered "false" to the only questions blatantly about jealousy... think we're going to have to continue to agree to disagree on this issue, but keep trying. ;)
Third, I do think you were on to something with the question, "If I'm not particularly tuned into any one category of love style, is it possible that I will neither be geared towards delivering such types of communication *nor* particularly conscious of receiving it?" If you consider all things equally, with no prejudice of your own nor ability to perceive as superior/better suited a style in others, you're simply not going to be able to deliver or receive love effectively in the long run, I think. You'll either judge them all equally satisfying or reject them all equally, and in the end you end up in the same lonely place.
Finally, I think I know why you didn't score higher in the "romance" category (I know that's bugging you), and you actually touched on it yourself. You *are* very controlled in your reactions, to be sure. And that's indicative, I think, of the underlying issue. You look to science, to numbers, to some sort of logical explanation for love (I also was shocked your logical score wasn't higher :). And all of those things definitely contribute, as do having overlapping passions and being a good conversationalist and wanting to hold hands, etc. But the thing you tend to discount is the ineffable, magical quality of love, the thing that has no real basis, no definition, no rational explanation. Like it or not, it's there (or isn't), you can't control it, you can't summon it, and you can't manufacture it, but it is an essential aspect to a healthy, succcessful, fulfilling romantic relationship or marriage.
Oh, and I miss the comments on the side, too. :)
Interesting . . . I took the quiz and it turns out that I'm Unselfish, Best Friends, and Logical.
I believe to be in a good relationship, you have to be friends with your lover. How else could you get along with them for the rest of your life? Good friends know how to argue and make up, and accept that which they cannot change. And one does have to think through the implications of the relationship. What if one of you had health issues that caused you to not earn income for a period of time? How would you handle this situation as partners? Sometimes one has to give up something so that your lover can get to where she needs to be at that stage in her life, and then she will do the same for you likewise.
I've been married for just 3 weeks at the time of taking the test and got...
Best Friends (6 True)
Unselfish (5 True)
Playful (4 True)
Further breakdown: Possessive (3 True), Logical (2 True), Romantic (1 True)
I'll have to see what "the Mrs" gets later.
@Ben: She'd probably argue that the "relationship*s* you currently have" may improve it were just a relationship - singular :p
@Wendy, I actually don't think it's the case that our love styles developed together, but I guess there's no way to know for sure. I think we had a good foundation of similar communication styles. Since we had that, I don't think either of us bothered trying much with the others.
I don't know if it would be the same with someone else; I like to think that I'm smart enough to learn in a good relationship and toss a bad one. Let's hope I never have to find out.
I know, I know, there are never enough unicorns and fairy dust in my outlook - that's just who I am :) Though, it's quite fascinating: in the book, Parker-Pope talks about the Prairie Vole. Apparently, this species of vole is one of the very few animals in nature that seems to have *both* monogamy (pair bonding) *and* fidelity (single sex partner). It has two closely related Vole species that have neither.
What they found was that if they hormonoally altered the Prairie Vole (I think giving it some sort of vasopressin inhibitor - I can't remember which was which), the Prairie Vole started to act just like its relatives, neither pair bonding nor maintaining fidelity. So it seems that this one species entire sense of romance and chivalry was defined by a single chemical. It's quite stunning.
It's all super super interesting. The human mind feels like the mystery of mysteries and as we break its components down, it's completely exhilarating. There ARE unicorns and fairy dust - but they take the form of complex feedback cycles and chemical interaction. It is magical, just not quite in the way you describe.
As far as ME, I think of myself as very romantic; but, at the same time, it's not a burning desire. When I think about romance, it actually feels like a game to me. I think about how I can best navigate a situation. This is not to say that I don't have urges to be romantic - I most certainly do; but, how I act on those urges feels like a game rather than an instinct.
I have no feeling as to whether that is a good or bad thing. It might simply be my consciousness of my own emotions. If I were less connected to my feelings, it might just feel all instinctual. But, since I do a lot of introspection, it feels like a strategy.
I agree with the Friendship. I definitely feel that the best love comes from friendship.
Just to be clear, when I said "current relationships", I was speaking generically, not specifically. I'm definitely not the kind of person do date more than one person at a time (and don't even get me started on the time constraints that would impose!!!).
Oh boy...okay, first of all, neither unicorns nor fairy dust are real, and that magical quality about which I'm talking is. Just because it may or may not come from some chemical reaction or have some sort of biological basis doesn't make it any more valid. And humans, with very few exceptions, are not like Prairie Voles. Ha ha...
I don't know whether or not your level of introspection turns romance into a game. I tend to think of games as usually having a winner and a loser (and I'd like to think that in real love, there are only two winners :), and even when there is some level of luck involved there is usually very calculated strategy. Because, as you so eloquently stated, the human mind/heart IS a mystery of mysteries, all of the strategizing in the world isn't going to make someone else fall in love with you or explain, in the end, why you fall in love with someone else.
@Lola- I totally agree about the best love growing from friendship! However, I am fascinated with the exact quality that leaves some friendships as "just" friendships and turns others into the romance of a lifetime. And also, I know that there is definitely also a magical quality to my closest friendships with BOTH genders, an ineffable (is that spelled right?) feature that just can't be explained by circumstance or logic. Interesting stuff to think about!
@Kimmy- I don't worry about your ever having to think about anybody but your wonderful Will in relation to your love style, sweetie. :) So I guess my questions are kind of moot- it really doesn't matter how your love styles developed; it only really matters that they work so well together!
@David- Mazel tov! :D
Intellectually speaking, we are definitely different from the Vole. Chemically speaking, I'm not so sure about that. If that were the case, it would seem rather moot to test so many things on mice, rats, and bunnies in labs before OKing their use on humans (I have zero interest in getting into a discussion regarding animal testing).
What I was trying to say with the Unicorns and Fairy Dust comment (I'm sorry if my intonations could not be read), was that there IS magic in all of this. It's just, to me, the magic is not in the "unknowable", but rather in the revelation of the complex system of inner workings that seem to drive how we feel and act. The human body is, perhaps, the most beautiful thing ever - that's the magic. Being grounded in chemicals and electrical pathways and feedback systems doesn't make it mundane - just the opposite - it makes it mind-blowingly amazing!
As far as the game aspect of my outlook, it's not a game of "me" vs. "her"; it's a game of "me" vs. "me". In this game, I see how I can be the best version that I can figure out to be (within my own constraints of course). Strategy doesn't always have to be a zero-sum game. It's like working out - it is laden with strategy; but, it's not a battle against some third party.
* Unselfish (7 True) Marked by nurturing, kindness, and sacrifice.
* Best Friends (4 True) Marked by feelings of deep affection and caring.
* Possessive (4 True) Marked by feelings of jealousy and obsession.
(I also scored a 4 True in Playful: Marked by the excitement of flirtatious and challenging interactions.
My partner's: Unselfish (7 True): Marked by nurturing, kindness, and sacrifice.
Best Friends (6 True): Marked by feelings of deep affection and caring.
Playful (5 True): Marked by the excitement of flirtatious and challenging interactions.
However, despite the quiz saying we have similar styles, we tend to have many misunderstandings. We always chalk it up to cultural differences, as our upbringings were so dissimilar.
@Ben, Good point on the voles. And a world of "yes" on the disclaimer- ha ha. :)
And I apologize (again) if I was being overly sensitive about the unicorns and fairy dust remark. Sometimes your whimsical side gets lost in the shuffle and my sense of humor right alongside it! But, I think this is going to have to go into the category of "agree to disagree" for us (I swear, I'm getting us t-shirts a la the "I'm with Stupid," arrow-pointing ones with that phrase on it! :). I definitely believe that all the neuroscience/chemistry in the world is never going to fully explain the magical aspect of love OR friendship. And as much as I agree with you about the beauty of the human body and even moreso the human mind, to me part of its beauty is both our inability to fully comprehend its functions and scope AND our insatiable thirst for pursuing as much knowledge about and understanding of it as we can. A man's reach... ;)
As for the game of love (TM, Milton Bradley. Ha ha), I do think that even if the game is within yourself and even if you're striving to be the best "player" (and I don't use that in its colloquial, "playa" sense)you can be for your benefit and the benefit of your partner, it can still be too calculated at times (not speaking specifically of YOU here, of course). While I am no fan of spontaneity in general, I do think that where love is concerned, sometimes you just have to trust your gut- or in this case, your heart- and go with what you feel. If you spend too much time analyzing those feelings/urges, whether before, during or after you notice/act on them, I think you can end up second-guessing yourself right out of happiness. I know I've been guilty of that more times than I can count. :)
I think cultural differences definitely account for a lot of misunderstanding. Just the other day, on Guy Kawasaki's AllTop blog, I discovered that body language is not even universal:
This was kind of shocking to me. I had heard that facial expressions are fairly universal; but, I had just assumed that body language, in general, was a natural behavior, not a learned one. I'm still kind of shocked about this.
@ Ben, I'm actually not surprised at the fact that body language is viewed differently in other countries. I remember having a similar discussion not too long ago about that. I still remained surprised at how words can mean different things, right here in the US, based on the state and their lingo.
Language is something that I can understand being diverse since it is a "learned" skill. And, I guess it turns out, body language is also a "learned" skill; but there's something about it that just seems so much more innate. Of course, my assumption is clearly wrong :)
Going to definitely buy this book (using your link, hope you get credit). I've been married 10 of my 30 years of being alive. I always feel like I'm on cruise control because I married my best friend and things mostly come easy. I'd like to read this book to (hopefully) get into the nitty gritty of why that is (maybe I can make things better)..
Thank you much for posting your thoughts, I always leave here feeling inspired. Whether to write code, to get fit or, now, to better relationships.
Fascinating stuff here. I just wanted to chime in to second the Five Love Languages book. Been married almost 20 years now, and a few years ago that book really opened both our eyes to better understand some of those few areas where we used to have some tension. It really is a good thing to start trying to understand the differences in perceptions between any two people.
Helpful in management as well as in love, as you can see from the number of companies that use personality tests in various HR contexts.
Awesome my man. I hope you enjoy it. I am really liking it. The last half of the book seems to be about the science of good parenting; so it views relationships all in the context of having kids at home.
Thanks for the further recommendation. It's definitely on my list of books to check out.
@ben, I should say the site has become an entertainment portal other than CF fun :)
BTW, My results were somewhat totally different to yours :P
I'm glad your liking the variety of points of view that I might provide :)
Thanks for the Five Love Languages recommendation. I read it this weekend and quite enjoyed it.
My ex and I broke up two months ago. I regretted breaking up with him and apologized a few days after the breakup but he wouldn't take me back. One month later,i got into a relationship with another guy(who was a friend of mine)and changed my status on fb. He then blocked me. I broke up with that other guy almost one week after Because I felt like I had feelings to my ex still and I messaged him saying I broke up with my new boyfriend because I still had feelings for him,but he did not reply and I stopped contacting him ever since. Just two days ago,he unblocked me(he had me blocked for nearly 20 days)and I messaged him on fb asking how he is doing and all. He was talking to me in short sentences and in a very formal way. The last thing we messaged was me asking how his work was and he hasn't replied after I messaged him asking him out for a movie and he said he was busy that night. So I messaged "i just wanted to see that movie and wanted to ask you if you wanted to come along. But its ok" he did not reply :(so i messaged him tonight saying i miss talking to him and he did not reply. i cry all day all night i told my friend Tinaya what should i do she told me there is a man on internet helping and building people relationship she gave me his email and i contact Dr Eromusela, email@example.com and explain every thing that happen to him and Dr told me not to worry that every thing is going to be fine that he is going to cast a love spell that will renew the relationship after the casting of the spell i saw a text message on my fb saying that he still love me. thank be to firstname.lastname@example.org for building and renewing my relationship you can contact his e-mail over there.