Quiz: Are you a good partner?

Quiz: Are you a good partner?

Author: Canadian Living


Quiz: Are you a good partner?

You're caring and compassionate, you like to have fun, you've even been known to shower a gift or two on your spouse. While all those things might make you a good person and a great catch, it doesn't necessarily mean you're a good partner – especially if you're the only one in the relationship having fun, or you only offer gifts after a big, unresolved argument. What does it take to be a good partner? Try our quiz to find out.

1. You and your spouse argue over (enter topic here) and don't resolve it before bedtime. You:
Say good night, even though you're still upset
b) Sleep in another room
c) Stew and don't get any sleep
d) Wait until your partner is almost asleep and bring up the argument again

What you should do:
a) Say good night, even though you're still upset
That advice your mom gave on your wedding day still rings true – don't go to bed angry. Anger eats a person up, no doubt, and when it festers, discussing the initial problem becomes harder. You don't have to resolve the issue right away – you can sleep on it – but you do have to let your partner know that you still love him or her.

2. You train with your partner for a marathon. He qualifies, you don't. You:
Wallow in self-pity
b) Ask him to wait until you both qualify
c) Cheer him on
d) Sabotage his efforts

What you should do:
c) Cheer him on
Guess what? Marriage isn't a contest. Sure, you may sometimes be a bit jealous of your partner's success, and you shouldn't deny your feelings, but you also have to remember that your partner's drive is probably what attracted you to him or her to begin with. "There is no trophy for bettering your partner," writes David Niven, author of The 100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships. "The real prize goes to those who refuse to compete with their partner. That prize is contentment and a more satisfying relationship."

3. You are most like:
Lorelai with Christopher on Gilmore Girls: What you say goes
b) Laura with Rob on The Dick Van Dyke Show: You talk things out
c) Archie with Edith on All in the Family: You're right, everyone else is wrong
d) Marie with Frank on Everybody Loves Raymond: You're good, he's evil

Who's got it right?
b) Laura with Rob on The Dick Van Dyke Show: You talk things out.
Whatever happened to those loving TV couples? Whether art imitates life or life imitates art, one thing is clear – Laura and Rob had an understanding and inspirational marriage. Why? Because whenever they had a disagreement, they sought a resolution and then laughed about it. They were never out to win, to be proven right or to be the "good" one. As psychotherapist David Richo writes in his book How To Be An Adult in Relationships, "We are not working individually for the ascendancy of our own positions. We work together for the health and happiness of the relationship."

4. After a disagreement, your partner feels:
b) Disappointed
c) Respected
d) Stabbed in the back

Your partner should feel:
c) Respected
If you think back to all those disagreements, chances are it's not the topic you remember but how you felt afterward. If you want to maintain a loving, long-term relationship, you have to respect your partner's opinion. You don't have to agree with it, but you do have to listen and try to understand. Arguments come and go, but feelings last forever.

5. After a long day at work, you:
Work more at home
b) Go for drinks with colleagues
c) Hang with your kids, BlackBerry in hand
d) Recap your day and listen to that of your partner's

Partners that are good communicators usually:
d) Recap the day and listen to that of their partner's
A relationship requires two people. If one of those people is continually lonely because the other works long hours, goes out with friends more often than not or is physically present but mentally away, then there is no relationship, only two beings living in the same home. If you're causing your partner to feel alone, it's time to reexamine your relationship and the meaning of commitment.

Page 1 of 2 – Find five more questions that can help you guage how great of a partner you are on page 2.

6. When you get stressed you tend to:
Talk it out with your partner
b) Take it out on your partner
c) Go to the pub
d) Go for a run

You should try to:
a) Talk it out with your partner
Stress can be triggered by any number of issues. But you don't have to deal with it alone. Talking to your partner should be your first tactic – he or she may have a solution you haven't thought about or be able put the situation into perspective. If you can't speak to your partner, try some outside help. If you need some time alone, that's fine, too, as long as you're not running away from the problem – and toward the bottle.

7. One of your kids has been throwing up at school and needs to be picked up. You:
Call your partner so he or she can take the sick day from work
b) Call your mom – again
c) Call a taxi to pick up your child
d) Remember that it's your turn to deal with emergencies and head to the school

The fair thing to do is:
d) Remember that it's your turn to deal with emergencies and head to the school
"One of the most common sources of conflict in a marriage is that both partners assume that a given task will be done by the other person," writes Greg Baer, author of Real Love in Marriage. "When that expectation isn't filled, disappointment and irritation inevitably follow." Both partners must be equally committed to a relationship – and that includes picking up the kids, preparing meals and folding the laundry. Figure out a schedule and a division of labour that suits you both.

8. You've both been working crazy hours and finally have a chance to spend some time together. You:
Watch TV while your partner reads a book -- in the same room, of course
b) Tag along with whatever your partner wants to do
c) Hit the movie theatre to catch the movie you've both been dying to see
d) Clean the house – together

Next time, try to:
c) Hit the movie theatre to catch the movie you've both been dying to see
As mentioned, spending time together fosters a positive relationship. Now, the question is, what do you do during that together time? Something that interests you both. "It is so important that people look for, or develop, common interests in their relationships," writes Niven. "Common interests encourage positive communication and fun, and they strengthen the sense of connection between partners."

9. A strong relationship needs:
Friends to turn to for advice
b) A sense of humour
c) A fairy-tale model
d) A stiff drink

Which of these should top your list?
b) A sense of humour
Of course you value your friends' advice, but remember that the advice is based on their experiences, not yours. Fairy tales may have some value in the search for love, but they don't tend to show you what happens after the guy and the girl hook up – you know, how to deal with those 2 a.m. feedings, who's going to take out the garbage and, most importantly, what to do when you feel the relationship is crumbling. And drinking, well, you know heavy alcohol consumption reduces the chances of maintaining a healthy relationship. But a little bit of humour goes a long way in diffusing tense situations and brightening an otherwise dreary day.

10. Your relationship's theme song could be:
Black Eyed Peas – "Shut up"
b) Elton John – "Saturday night's all right for fighting"
c) Evanescence – "Call me when you're sober"
d) Nat King Cole – "Our love is here to stay"

So what's the best pick for a couple in love?
d) Nat King Cole's "Our love is here to stay"
Roman poet Virgil knew what he was talking about: Love really does conquer all!

Read about the 10 ways to make your love unforgettable.

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Quiz: Are you a good partner?