The BYU Relate Institute has created real research and therapy techniques to help people determine the health of their current relationships, making it different from some popular dating advice quizzes or articles.
After taking any of the Relate Institute’s surveys, singles or couples can print out their results that include charts and graphs showing what is going well and what could use improvement.
One survey, known as “Ready,” is catered to singles who want dating advice or want to see if they are ready for marriage.
Ogden Mills, a computer science major, has taken the “Ready” questionnaire before and learned a lot of new things about himself from the results.
“It forced me to realize what my weaknesses were and (what) I need to work on,” Mills said. “It’s good to be aware of them so I can address them.”
The “Ready” survey has 172 questions and is very comprehensive, covering several areas of premarital attributes that suggest future preparedness. Personal background and individual communication techniques are among the topics covered.
“The family background was pretty interesting; I had never seen that as an aspect of relationship,” Mills said. “The communication section was cool and shows how it plays into how you address conflict.”
The hope is that people who take the survey will make goals for personal improvement that will strengthen future relationships.
“I can look back at goals and say, ‘Hey, I’m better than I used to be at that,'” Mills said.
The second survey offered is known as “Relate” and is catered for dating, engaged or married couples.
Ashlee Jasperson Fullmer, a couple educator for the Relate Institute, said the survey offers great insights.
“It’s a questionnaire they go through to give them insights on where they are now and determine how (the relationship) might pan out,” Fullmer said. “The main goal of ‘Relate’ is to get the couple talking about different areas, and it points out what needs further discussion.”
Surveys similar to “Relate” require subjects to hire a third person to interpret the results on top of the initial cost of the survey. A benefit of “Relate” is that in addition to its low costs, the results can be self-interpreted, although the institute does provide the option to get help discerning the results.
“Of all the surveys online, ‘Relate’ is the least expensive, and it is self-interpretive,” Jeffrey Larson, a member of the Relate Institute Board of Directors and a clinical trainer, said. “You don’t need a counselor to interpret it.”
Larson also said that the survey is serious and dependable.
“It’s based on solid theory and research,” Larson said. “It’s not some cutesy survey people put on the Internet.”
“Relate” helps couples recognize what aspects of a relationship could use work.
“People usually respond with surprise at their work areas,” Larson said. “(Couples) think they have good conflict resolution skills and realize they could work on it.”
The survey also allows couples to celebrate the strengths within their relationships.
“The survey validates positive aspects of the relationship, and they feel very good about that,” Larson said. “It is more of marriage enrichment than family therapy.”
The Relate Institute questionnaires can be found online at www.relate-institute.org.
“I found people are scared to take it, which makes me sad because it can really benefit them,” Fullmer said. “Not enough people are taking advantage of this opportunity to benefit the relationship.”