We filled out the instrument side by side, as instructed, which was a problem because, uh, Best Beloved and I are used to sharing our opinions. (And also asking for clarification. Given that when you're administering these tests, you can't say anything but "Just do the best you can" and "Pick whichever one seems most appropriate" without invalidating them, we are probably the worst subjects ever. Rachel used those sentences a lot. And the thing is, I knew she couldn't clarify, and yet I still wanted her to, which is a problem I have had with psychological tests since, basically, ever. I would just like everything to be clear, okay?) And we had a lot of opinions about that test. So it sort of went like this:
Me, to Best Beloved: Number 26. I mean, not on purpose, but -
Best Beloved: I know! I guess - false?
Rachel: Maybe try to collude a little less?
Best Beloved: 44, though. I can't just do yes or no on that one!
Me: Well, I put true, because it's more true than false, but yeah, I need a scale.
Rachel: You're colluding again.
Me: Oh, god, 81.
Best Beloved: I don't even know. Could go either way. I'm putting false.
Rachel: STOP COLLUDING.
I gather from this that relationship therapists have to spend a lot of time telling their clients to stop talking to each other, which is not how I envisioned it prior to this experience.
But my major take-home from all this was that, frankly, the instrument sucked. It was unclear, it had questions that were absolutes, and it had questions that made me want to write lengthy essays as opposed to circling true or false. (Also, it was hugely biased in favor of heterosexual, monogamous, gendernormative couples, which was no big deal in our case since we were basically taking it for kicks, but makes it much less useful in practice. If you're not straight, or not monogamous, or genderqueer, or in any way not in line with the cultural norm, then finding a relationship therapist is probably fraught with extra stress - like, not only do you have to go in there and deal with your shit, but you also have to go in there and hope the therapist takes your relationship seriously, which has got to just massively suck. And how great would it be, feeling that way, already nervous for all kinds of reasons, to sit down and take this very biased survey that says, "Hey! When I say 'relationship,' I don't mean you." NOT THAT GREAT, I'm guessing.)
Also, the test was just boring. I'm sorry, but people who already have problems should not be subjected to lengthy tests that are roughly as interesting as an eight-part documentary on dryer lint. I could not help it; I was compelled to write some more fannishly oriented questions. So, here you go:
The Fannish Relationship Survey
- If I were transported to another universe, I would immediately try to find my partner's analogue. (T/F)
- If it was an evil mirror universe, I would still try to find my partner's analogue. (T/F)
- I would also expect my partner's analogue to find me, even if said analogue had no way of knowing I was there. (T/F)
- My partner and I are capable of having complete conversations using only eyebrows, shoulder punches, or awkward, shuffling silences. (T/F)
- Other people have sometimes accused my partner and I of being telepathic. (T/F)
- If my partner or I were to turn evil, so that we had to spend the next fifty years as mortal enemies, I would still expect us to be there for each other in times of personal crisis. (T/F)
- I have brought my partner back from the dead, or my partner has brought me back from the dead. (T/F)
- I have sacrificed my life, my sanity, or other people's lives to bring my partner back from the dead, or vice versa. (T/F)
- I have remolded reality to protect my relationship. (T/F)
- Our souls, or a representation of our souls, have merged. (T/F)
- My partner's soul is as much my responsibility as my own. (T/F)
- If my partner is ever grievously injured, I will violate hospital protocols, not to mention health and safety regulations, to keep a weeping bedside vigil, even during lifesaving surgery. (T/F)
- If I am ever grievously injured, my partner is likely to quit, go catatonic, go berserk, or otherwise become a less than functional member of society. (T/F)
- At least one improbable being (mystical creature, copy of me from another dimension, minor deity, etc.) has declared that it is my destiny to be with my partner. (T/F)
- Basically the entire universe has declared that it is my destiny to be with my partner. (T/F)
- I am fairly sure that if I ever leave my partner, the universe will end. (T/F)
- My partner was at some point literally the only boy/girl/other in the world, and neither of us minded. (T/F)
- If one of us was transformed into a vampire, that person would immediately transform the other. (T/F)
See? Now there is a test that I would enjoy taking. Although I admit most of the pleasure would come from working with BB to identify all the couples references, which would mean Rachel would have to spend even more time telling us to stop talking to each other. (Eventually, she'd probably have to threaten to put us in separate rooms. The motto of psychological testing is, and always has been, "Stop having fun or I will turn this session around and no one will get any therapy.")
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comments.