Several years ago, there was a new cafe in town called “Inch” and I was to go there with this friend I was crushing on at that point in my life. This was the very first time I was going out with a male friend and alone, that too. So, let’s just say it was my very first “date”! As you can imagine, I was overjoyed at the thought of being in one of the coolest areas (CMH Road or 100 Ft road, I can’t remember!) in a cafe (OMG!) with a cool dude, all for the very first time. The cold coffee was great and the conversation, fun. All in all, a great date, we both thought. Except there was one tiny problem – While for the guy, it was just another great date, I didn’t stop there, I thought a good date only meant the beginning of something bigger like wedding talks, what kind of children we would have, where would we live, how close would I be to my favourite temple in Bangalore (Shankarmutta), etc. Obviously, that didn’t happen and I didn’t see him again for a while!

Quite naturally, I started exploring the possibility of me having been not pretty enough or interesting enough for him and also wondered if he was just one big player (read jerk) and so on! It took me several years and some role reversal* to realise that the problem really was that this guy and I had very different relationship quotients (RQ). It was my first date, while it wasn’t for him. So our expectations from that one date was naturally very different. After this realisation, it turned out my date wasn’t such a jerk after all (given that, we continue to still be friends!) and there was really no reason for my confidence to plummet by his actions (more like the lack of it in this case). At that point in our lives, our RQs were very different  – Mine was far lower or less evolved than his!

To illustrate the importance of matching RQs, let me use a two-by-two matrix to explain general cases (of course there are exceptions, so don’t beat me up about this!) –Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 12.38.02 PM

Today, it might be quite impossible to really “match” RQs of both parties, but I would still flag this matrix so people are better prepared before they get into a relationship because expectations management is one of the first steps to making any relationship work (personal or professional). So, if you are an inexperienced newbie on the block, know that you will not be picking wedding venues after your first date and if you are a pro, know that the other party might be making wedding plans during your first date and the more you lead them on, the closer you will be to your honeymoon! 😉

When I used to run The Mad Marriage Broker Aunties, in the sign up form (which was private), we allowed people to express what sort of a relationship they were looking for – casual, serious, etc which gave us a way to get around the problem of preparing clients for each others’ RQs. However, most online dating websites discounts the importance of this. OKCupid is one of the few dating websites that tries to assess people’s RQ while making dating decisions and hence, provides a feature that lets you display your intentions on being on their website quite explicitly. When there’s a need to state something explicitly, you can be sure the accuracy of such information would be quite low. Nonetheless, be aware of the concept of Relationship Quotient (RQ) (and the fact that Priyanka Bharadwaj coined the term. Ahem!) and how it is important to assess this thoroughly and be prepared for any differences before you get into a new relationship!

Role reversal* – When it wasn’t my first date but it was for the guy or when I was being the “jerk” even though I was trying very hard not to.

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