Relationships don’t seem to be my strong suit. But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on them. I’m totally open to the possibility that there will yet be someone who will share my heart, life, and bed. Still, having done a few laps around the relationship track, I suspect there are a few things I could do to make myself a better partner.
Over the years, I’ve taken too many of those love, sex, and relationship quizzes to count. Most of them were like, yeah, right, tell me something I didn’t know. Because you take the quiz, get reminded about all your shortcomings, and then they just leave you hanging. That’s like being beaten with an ugly stick for being ugly, and then being told to stop being ugly.
A Quiz With More
A sucker for yet another self-help book, I couldn’t resist the title. “Love, Sex, and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship.” Staying warm is good. Love, sex . . . both on my priority list. And you’re going to help me create a vital relationship? I’m in. I’m sooo in.
The author, Neil Rosenthal, starts off with a quiz of his own. But then he goes on to give a short course — — I’d call it Love, Sex, and Passion 101. Below are the questions, and you can take the live quiz and get it scored here.
If you were to give yourself a grade for how effective, how responsive and how loving you behave in your relationship, what would that grade be?
Let’s break the above question down into smaller segments. On an A B C D F scale, decide what grade you would give yourself in the following categories.
- How affectionate are you?
- How romantic?
- How sexy?
- How generous
- How trusting?
- How kind are you?
- How much fun are you to be around?
- How emotionally present are you around your mate?
- How physically present are you around your mate?
- How sensitive and compassionate are you to your mate’s feelings?
- How good a listener are you with your partner?
- How emotionally nurturing are you?
- How physically nurturing?
- How financially nurturing?
- How much of a friend are you to your intimate partner?
- How in control of your negative emotions are you, such as anger, volatility, insecurity, jealousy, anxiety, fear and mistrust?
- Showing your mate that you value him/her.
- Halfway done . . .
- How affectionate and physically tender are you?
- How affectionate and physically tender are you without ulterior motives?
- How responsive and accommodating are you to what your partner says s/he wants or needs?
- How financially responsible and accountable are you?
- How respectful are you of your partner?
- Overall, how much effort do you give to your relationship?
- Your level of commitment.
- Your flexibility and receptivity to other ways of seeing or doing things.
- Your willingness to address difficult issues or deal with conflicts proactively.
- Your willingness and ability to engage in a disagreement wisely and effectively
- Your overall attitude in the relationship.
- Your sense of humor.
- The division of chores, roles, responsibilities, duties.
- Behaving, thinking and planning as a couple rather than as two individuals.
- The time, attention, effort, skill and patience you bring to parenting.
- How you operate as a team player in the relationship.
- Your ability and willingness to make up after a fight or a disagreement.
I scored. Or not.
I took the quiz, and got a solid B. Pretty much like all through school and life. Hey, what can I say, I’m a solid B kind of person. But I did learn a great deal about things I can do to improve as I went beyond the quiz into the book. Who knows, I might be able to make it to the teacher’s pet, A list yet.
If you want to learn about yourself and your way of doing relationships, it’s a worthwhile read. You can find it here.
About the Book’s Author, Neil Rosenthal
Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Denver/Boulder, Colorado, specializing in how people strengthen their intimate relationships. He is a nationally and internationally syndicated newspaper columnist. His column “Relationships” appears every week in The Denver Post, the Vail Daily, the Wellington (New Zealand) Dominion-Post, The Resident in Connecticut, the Daily Times-Call in Longmont, Colorado, as well as a variety of other newspapers around the world. The “Relationships” column is in it’s 24th year, having run in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Oregonian in Portland, the San Diego Union Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News, the London (Ontario) Free Press and a large variety of other newspapers in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Recently, Neil released his first book, Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Keeping the Flame Alive published by Flagstaff Mountain Press. Learn more about the #1 best seller here.
Regularly interviewed by the media, Rosenthal has appeared as an expert on ABC, NBC, Fox TV and Radio New Zealand. He has been listed in The Directory of Distinguished Americans, Who’s Who, Men of Achievement, Personalities of the Americas, and Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America. Neil Rosenthal taught at the University of Colorado in Boulder for 13 years, and has been a three-time president of the Colorado Association for Humanistic Psychology. He founded the Denver Free University in 1969, which became the largest adult education institution in the United States during the 1970’s and 80’s. He was student body president at The University of Denver from 1969–1970. Neil is a former elementary school teacher, and lives in the mountains outside Boulder.