Several years ago, there was a new cafe in town called “Inch” and I went there on my very first date. As you can imagine, I was overjoyed at the thought of being in one of the coolest neighbourhoods in town (Indiranagar) with a person of the opposite gender, 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 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 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 after that). There was really no reason for my confidence to plummet by his actions (or the lack of it). At that point in our lives, I had a far lower RQ than this boy.
So, should two people in a relationship have similar RQ in order to make it work? I want to use a two-by-two matrix to explore the most generic cases of differential RQ in a couple (this doesn’t include exceptions).
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 key to making relationships 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.
Initially, when people signed up on Marriage Broker Auntie, we asked them about their past experiences and expectations from future relationships. This input was useful in making better matches. 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), how it may influence your relationships and how to be better prepared for any differences with your partner.