What's your Relationship Quotient (RQ)?

Published by Priyanka on

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 neighbourhoods in town (CMH Road or 100 Ft road, I can’t remember!) in a cafe with a cool dude (OMG), 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, it meant a lot more for me. Since it was my first time, I thought a good date meant the beginning of something bigger like a wedding in the future, talk about what we’d name our kids, where we’d live, how close I’d be living to my favourite temple and what not. Obviously, we didn’t talk about any of that, and I didn’t see him again for a while either.

Quite naturally, I wondered if it’s because I wasn’t pretty enough or interesting enough for him. I also wondered if he was just one big player (read jerk) and what have you. It took me several years and role reversal* to realise that the problem really was that we had different relationship quotients (RQ).

It was my first date, while it wasn’t his. So our expectations from that date was naturally very different. After this realisation, it turned out that my date wasn’t such a jerk after all (given that, we continued to be just friends for a while). 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, I had a far lower RQ than this boy.

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! šŸ˜‰

In the sign up form of Marriage Broker Auntie (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 discount 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 that the accuracy of such information is 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 .

1 Comment

Power balance in matching markets – Life of Pri · April 3, 2016 at 1:53 pm

[…] So, how is it that we end up in this position of lower power or state of longing for something to happen? I remember, in late 2011, I was walking around the alleys of Grand Bazaar in Istanbul determinedĀ to buy a set of whirling dervish dolls at a certain price. I spent hours bargaining with several shopkeepers, tried all my threatening tactics, etc only to not be given much attention by any of them. In retrospect, I realise that I wanted to make the sale happen more than them because I knew that I had limited opportunities and time in that market compared to any of the sellers.Ā Ā So, whenever we see greater benefit/ have limited time in making a partnership decision than the other party, we tend to fall into a position of lower negotiating power. This is independent of how good your negotiating skills are that can be attributed to your Relationship Quotient (RQ). […]

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