thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Keep Hoping Machine Running ([personal profile] thefourthvine) wrote2012-05-28 11:16 pm

Fannish Psychological Testing

Recently, Best Beloved and I had the pleasure of being test subjects for [personal profile] rachelmanija. She needed a local couple that had been together at least six months to take a psychological assessment tool, and, well, we have indeed been together for more than six months, which apparently makes us something of a rarity in the greater Los Angeles area. I'm not depressed about that at all.

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?
Us: Sorry.
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.
Us: Sorry.
Me: Oh, god, 81.
Best Beloved: I don't even know. Could go either way. I'm putting false.

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
  1. If I were transported to another universe, I would immediately try to find my partner's analogue. (T/F)

  2. If it was an evil mirror universe, I would still try to find my partner's analogue. (T/F)

  3. 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)

  4. My partner and I are capable of having complete conversations using only eyebrows, shoulder punches, or awkward, shuffling silences. (T/F)

  5. Other people have sometimes accused my partner and I of being telepathic. (T/F)

  6. 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)

  7. I have brought my partner back from the dead, or my partner has brought me back from the dead. (T/F)

  8. 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)

  9. I have remolded reality to protect my relationship. (T/F)

  10. Our souls, or a representation of our souls, have merged. (T/F)

  11. My partner's soul is as much my responsibility as my own. (T/F)

  12. 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)

  13. 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)

  14. 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)

  15. Basically the entire universe has declared that it is my destiny to be with my partner. (T/F)

  16. I am fairly sure that if I ever leave my partner, the universe will end. (T/F)

  17. My partner was at some point literally the only boy/girl/other in the world, and neither of us minded. (T/F)

  18. If one of us was transformed into a vampire, that person would immediately transform the other. (T/F)
(Scoring note: One point for every true. Anyone who scores more than 14 on this survey should probably take a different test. One that measures how well in touch you are with reality.)

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.")
paxpinnae: the philadelphia flyers logo (flyers)

[personal profile] paxpinnae 2012-05-29 06:51 am (UTC)(link)
HAHAHAHAHA This is the best, and proves my longstanding theory that science fiction is a good way to plan for the future, but a terrible way to plan for relationships.

Um, on a tangentially related note, there's a more-or-less linear causal relationship between you starting to recommend hockey RPF and me currently dating a feminist rocket scientist who bakes. (He's a Pens fan, but nobody's perfect.) So, if you're interested in fic, primers, or firstborn children, now's a good time to hit me up for one of those.
avendya: blue-green picture of a woman's face (Default)

[personal profile] avendya 2012-05-29 08:06 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, where did you come up with a feminist rocket scientist who bakes?

(All right, I am perfectly happy with my feminist biologist who... all right, should not be allowed to cook, but he's better than I am in the kitchen. But it's the principle of the thing.)
Edited 2012-05-29 09:23 (UTC)

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rachelmanija: (Engaged!)

[personal profile] rachelmanija 2012-05-29 06:55 am (UTC)(link)
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.

At one point I opened my mouth to explain that that was all I was allowed to say, lest you think I was an android, but then I worried that that would also invalidate the test, so I closed it again.

By the way, you didn't mention that this was our first time meeting in person, which was the most hilarious part as far as I was concerned. "Hi, great to meet you in person after chatting online for at least a year, have a heteronormative relationship test!"

2. If it was an evil mirror universe, I would still try to find my partner's analogue. (T/F)

2A. If it was an evil mirror universe, I would especially try to find my partner's analogue. (T/F)(T answer suggests partner would like more kinkiness in the relationship.)
soc_puppet: A red heart with a humanoid tentacle monster to the left and a stick-figure to the right (Tentacle monster ♥ human)

[personal profile] soc_puppet 2012-05-29 01:35 pm (UTC)(link)
2A. If it was an evil mirror universe, I would especially try to find my partner's analogue. (T/F)(T answer suggests partner would like more kinkiness in the relationship.)

I. Yeah, that is, in fact, exactly where my brain went with that. Clearly, if I ever get around to one of those "romantic/sexual relationship" things, I will need some kink to go with it.

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rheanna: pebbles (Default)

[personal profile] rheanna 2012-05-29 06:57 am (UTC)(link)
5(b) My partner and I actually ARE telepathic. (T/F)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2012-05-29 07:06 am (UTC)(link)
Normally my partner and I constantly pass the broccoli test without even trying, so when we had a major telepathic fail last week it was terribly upsetting. (It involved the last step in baking a lemon cake.) (The cake survived, but it was a close call.) (It was still delicious though.)

Also, we work together, so the conversations conducted entirely through eyebrows and shuffling are entirely necessary for our sanity (and probably that of our co-workers...)
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)

[personal profile] st_aurafina 2012-05-29 08:54 am (UTC)(link)
I still feel weird about the lemon cake. Telepathic dysphoria, very nasty.

But it was good cake.
stasia: (Default)

[personal profile] stasia 2012-05-29 07:12 am (UTC)(link)
"Hey! When I say 'relationship,' I don't mean you." NOT THAT GREAT, I'm guessing.

This can happen even in hetersexual gender-normative relationships. (Admittedly, it's potentially less devastating, but still, it's amazing to me how badly some therapists can fuck up.)

My ex - um, my ex-but-one? Whatever. The guy I was with before I was with my ex-husband, that guy is Merrie's father. As we were breaking up, we went to a relationship therapist. I thought we were there to work on, you know, our relationship, the thing we were going to have to continue because we had a kid in common.

Turns out he thought we were there to work on getting back together.

Which, okay, isn't such a big surprise. What was a surprise was when the therapist found out that I wasn't interested in getting back together, she said that we didn't have a relationship and we were ineligible for relationship therapy. She flat out refused to work with us as a non-romantic but co-parenting couple.

That didn't exist, as far as she was concerned.

I was blown away and, in retrospect, I should have done a lot more yelling about it. I'd assumed relationship meant, um, anything that two consenting adults had together which needed therapeutic help.

I can only imagine how much worse it would be to have something which is a part of my personal identity be invisible or rejected by a therapist. Phew!

I can only hope that the profession is getting better and more aware.


Oh, and the Fandom Psychological Test? Pure excellence.
ceares: cookie all grown up (Default)

[personal profile] ceares 2012-05-29 08:24 am (UTC)(link)
interesting(and sucky)and from a fannish perspective, there's a new show called Common Law in which two work partners(cops) are ordered into couples therapy by their boss. They are the only non romantic couple in the group, but the issues like trust, communication etc... still apply. It's too bad your therapist couldn't think outside of the envelope.

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shadowvalkyrie: (Saving Universes)

[personal profile] shadowvalkyrie 2012-05-29 07:13 am (UTC)(link)
See, this clearly shows that boredom is not only what's wrong with RL relationship surveys, it's what's wrong with RL relationships! ;)
isilya: (Default)

[personal profile] isilya 2012-05-29 07:17 am (UTC)(link)
I really enjoy couple's telepathy. When I was on holiday in a rural area with no cell reception, my bestie's partner ducked out to the store to grab some groceries.

"GET BUTTER," his spouse shouted at him telepathically.


He put the butter down.

He was soundly mocked when he got back minus the butter. That is the last time he ever doubted couple's telepathy.
Edited 2012-05-29 07:18 (UTC)
morgandawn: (Default)

[personal profile] morgandawn 2012-05-29 03:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Heee! A futuristic version of
puckling: (Imagination <3s Intelligence)

[personal profile] puckling 2012-05-29 07:37 am (UTC)(link)
I now want to sit down and make aaaaaaaaall the fictional couples take these. All of them.
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)

[personal profile] lea_hazel 2012-05-29 07:56 am (UTC)(link)
I feel like being willing to commit high treason should be an item. Also, betraying a sacred oath. Probably something about descending to Hades, come to think of it. Oh, and recognizing your partner through a body-snatching/involuntary shapeshifting hex.

This is fun.

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ceares: cookie all grown up (Default)

[personal profile] ceares 2012-05-29 08:18 am (UTC)(link)
being partnerless, I just enjoyed the questions purely from a fannish pov and giggled at how often I just nodded and went, yep, 'so and so'. These are actually all the wacky things I love about my pairings.
shadowvalkyrie: (Saving Universes)

[personal profile] shadowvalkyrie 2012-05-29 08:35 am (UTC)(link)
being partnerless

You too? Actually, I'm starting to suspect these sorts of questions are one main reason I am single in the first place. RL relationships seem so boring in comparison. ("Move in together? But we aren't even in the giant-robot-fighting stage of our relationship! What do you mean I should marry you? Did you raise my soul from Hell recently? Thought so.") Hell, most of them don't even fulfil the minimum shipping criterion of, "We constantly get into buddy-cop-style hijinks together (T/F)". Where's the drama necessary for True Love (TM) if the worst you ever have to worry about is whose turn it is to do the dishes? That'd be like being stranded in a fluffy domestic happily-ever-after AU. Godawful. ;)

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shadowvalkyrie: (Saving Universes)

[personal profile] shadowvalkyrie 2012-05-29 08:23 am (UTC)(link)
Great, now I catch myself every five minutes at making up more of these to fit all my fandoms. *facepalms*
vass: Victor matters more to Gar than girls. (Vic/Gar is love)

[personal profile] vass 2012-05-29 10:03 am (UTC)(link)
When I was an eleven-year-old reading teenage girl magazines, I always used to fill out the relationship quizzes the way I'd fill them out for my ideal boyfriend (since I didn't have a boyfriend, and hadn't yet figured out that I didn't want one.)

Accordingly, edited outtakes from the FPT (I feel like it needs some numbers attached, to be a proper testing instrument. The FPT-1.0?) as completed about my imaginary partner:

1. I don't know! It depends on why I'm in the AU, whether I'm likely to damage the universe by interfering, any number of factors. Possibly if and when I get into a relationship, I should discuss this with her and make contingency plans.
3. No. However, according to narrative convention I would expect us to meet anyway by a whacky coincidence.
4. Yes. Possibly I have thought too much about this possibility.
5. I think this would happen anyway - it has happened to me with my friends.
6. Yes, according to the rules of lesbian dating as codified by Alison Bechdel in Dykes to Watch Out For.
10. Do shared projects count? Cowriting fanfic, remodelling a home together, having a child?
18. There would be a lot of consultation and weighing the pros and cons and careful discussion of whether anyone's being coerced and whether we should instead work to get the supernatural person changed back instead.
The other answers were all 'no,' 'no, sorry,' or 'God, I hope not'. I guess my imagination is not very epic.

Anyway, I congratulate you on filling this gap in fandom psychometrics! I think this field merits more research.
beachlass: red flipflops by water (Default)

[personal profile] beachlass 2012-05-29 11:22 am (UTC)(link)
This was an awesome way to start my morning!
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[personal profile] out_there 2012-05-29 11:31 am (UTC)(link)
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.

Hee! Or maybe you and BB communicate too well for therapy to be truly effective. I'd take it as reassuring approval.

Oh my god, question 6! I don't know what it says about me that I think the answer should clearly be "YES!" because that's proof of true love.

(And, hmmm, it probably says enough about me that I'm completely not-in-contact with exes. They're not even mortal enemies but I wouldn't be there for them.)
soc_puppet: Words "Baseless Opinion" in orange (My two cents)

[personal profile] soc_puppet 2012-05-29 01:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I kind of feel like the "also" in 3 implies that the 'correct' answers to 1 and 2 are True? Other than that, though, this is amazing. I feel like it should be a fic meme: Take your favorite ship and write a ficlet for each of these! It would be an exercise in personal indulgence and also extreme shippyness.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)

[personal profile] melannen 2012-05-29 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I had that issue with 3 also! Specifically I was filling it out for Doctor/Master, (who score somewhere between an 11 and a 14, at least in my head) and I'm pretty sure in that situation, the Master goes looking, but the Doctor just assumes the Master's analog will find him (if he exists).

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[personal profile] kitewithfish 2012-05-29 02:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm going to go back and actually read your post in a second, but I just want to say, that reading that first title, my first thought was "Best. Crossover. Ever."
brownbetty: (Default)

[personal profile] brownbetty 2012-05-29 02:53 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm concerned that a yes on 2. would indicate that your partner is evil in this universe, and you have hopes that they're not in the mirror-verse.

[personal profile] meri 2012-05-29 05:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Since my partner (of more than six months, as well) and I both read your journal I don't know if any of my responses would be free of collusion. Just saying. Especially because we score T on the telepathy question.
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[personal profile] spatz 2012-05-29 06:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Hah! See, but your questions show *your* bias....Which, as far as I can tell, is for Spock. That's totally valid. ♥

...and now I am imagining Spock taking that test. He wouldn't have *fun*, probably, but he would have a really high score.
astolat: lady of shalott weaving in black and white (Default)

[personal profile] astolat 2012-05-29 06:16 pm (UTC)(link)
omg tfv

Can I totally take this and do it from the perspective of fictional characters? (I feel Thor and Loki CLEARLY need some relationship counseling.)
amberfox: picture from the Order of Hermes tradition book for Mage: The Awakening, subgroup House Shaea (Default)

[personal profile] amberfox 2012-05-29 06:32 pm (UTC)(link)
That was my sister's first comment when I told her about this post. Because unless your sex life is one of your therapist's issues, relationship counseling is valuable for almost anyone having communication problems.
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[personal profile] bedlamsbard 2012-05-29 08:48 pm (UTC)(link)
I started applying this to things that have actually happened in my OTP's canon. Then I got a little alarmed. HEE.
elf: Sea monkey family (Sea Monkeys)

[personal profile] elf 2012-05-29 09:48 pm (UTC)(link)
12. BTDT.

Okay, I wasn't weeping. But one of my jobs during husband's (rare, but not rare enough) hospital visits is to put myself between his sleeping self and phlebotomists who are unknowningly close to losing limbs when he wakes up to the sight of a syringe.
wyoluvr: (Default)

[personal profile] wyoluvr 2012-05-30 03:08 am (UTC)(link)
the sheer awesomeness of the fannish relationship survey made me put down my delicious microwave mug brownie (drizzled with rhubarb syrup!) to make this comment. THAT'S how awesome it is.
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[personal profile] odditycollector 2012-05-30 05:30 am (UTC)(link)
So for 16, should I be taking that as an if and only if?

...I may be spending too much time around apocalyptic canons.
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[personal profile] pineapplechild 2012-05-30 10:56 pm (UTC)(link)

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)

This is pretty much the measure I use for relationships. This probably explains why I'm single.

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