Monday, June 29, 2009

Smarter Romance Assessments

These assessment tools can be used independently or they can be used in combination. The more you include in your own assessment "package" the more practical information you will receive. There is no cost to you for the first two assessments you find listed below. You can receive one or both of them from Smarter Romance Tools. Keep in mind that these are tools routinely used in research. Simple scoring instructions are included with each instrument, respectively. Their use can give couples some really timely and helpful insights--some interesting and helpful topics for your discussion and skill-building efforts together.

When you request and then complete these assessments, if you want to get some feedback from Smarter Romance staff about your results, you can contact me at For a fee ($39.95, but now 30% Holiday discount!), I will review your information and promptly email my observations, related discussion, and some helpful suggestions. You will need to fax your completed tools (1-303-279-0290), or scan and email them to that same address (above).



As a couple--do the two of you perceive your closeness differently?

Real closeness is a good measure of couples' potential durability--it predicts a relationship's capacity to satisfy and be fulfilling for both partners. It can also offer a modest prediction about whether a relationship has the stuff to be lasting. How you pictorially represent your closeness can provide an intriguing glimpse into the way you may "act it out" in and/or through your relationship over time.

If you want the IOS, email your request to .

2. Relationship Closeness Inventory (RCI)

This is another measure of your relationship's closeness. It is more complex and will take a little more time to complete. Compared to the IOS, it can provide a slightly different perspective on the quality of your relationship's closeness. It is a good tool used in combination with other tools comparing your relationship's closeness. The information it can give you will help you more objectively compare and discuss the way you two "do closeness." Some people are comparatively good at communicating and discussing their sense of closeness with one other. Many of us are not so good at it. These tools can help.

If you want the RCI, email your request to

3. Team Personality & Behavioral Review (TPBR)

The TPBR describes a couple-team's potential capacity to work together. It underscores differences and similarities in partners' styles and then it describes and characterizes the emotional needs behind partners' behavior. This assessment process also gauges the intensity of the needs behind each partner's behavior. Couples receive a packet describing the styles reviewed in the assessment, a profile of their specific couple-team results, and a 30-minute conference call to review and discuss the results. Couples cost: $129.00

If you want the TPBR, just email your request to

4. The Marital Mirror (MM) for couples

This assessment is the most complex of the three. It is designed for couples who are now, or who think they may soon be considering marriage. Some may be engaged already. It is one of the most extensive assessment instruments available. Packed into its final report is the kind and quality of information a couple would typically receive through (approximately) 10 sessions of formal premarital evaluation and education!

The Marital Mirror measures a couple's readiness and likelihood of success at responding to marriage's challenges. Along with some of the general information described above, the Marital Mirror will include the following elements in its final report:
  1. A personality assessment including a description of the emotional needs each of you bring to the relationship;
  2. A description and discussion of some of your strengths and weaknesses individually and as a couple-team;
  3. A description and discussion of the most likely methods you may be using, individually and together, to meet your emotional needs and how this may be influencing your relationship;
  4. A customized description of some "behind the scenes" challenges you may already be experiencing or that you may soon face as a couple-team;
  5. A 30 minute conference call to you both, as a couple-team, with a Smarter Romance staff member who will review and discuss some of your Marital Mirror results;
  6. As a couple, the Marital Mirror will give you a letter grade (A, B, C, etc.) for your present quality of preparedness for the challenges ahead, should you soon choose to marry;
  7. A brief, descriptive, verbal statement of your likeliness for marital success.
  8. A simple graph depicting you present anticipated potential for success compared to other couples.
  9. Considering your Marital Mirror results as a couple-team, you will receive a timely description of some helpful skills you are encouraged to grow as a team and a description of some readily available resources and/or people to help you do that; and...
  10. A 10-15 minute phone follow-up discussion, if you desire, for your mentor or coach.
Couples cost: ($250, get a printable brochure:

Many couples are being encouraged to get premarital education or counseling before they get married. Counselors, coaches, and clergy have found that when teammates respond constructively (i.e., follow-through with the Marital Mirror's recommendations) they may be able to dramatically decrease or even eliminate the need for any more costly and/or time-consuming premarital education. (Discuss this with your minister or counselor before you take the assessment.)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Book: Smarter Romance

The world has gone crazy with dating and courtship.

We’ve got dating services, dating bars, dating web sites, “three minute dating,” “rocket dating,” “S-P-E-E-D" dating, dating by age, dating seniors, dating reviews, executive dating, blue-collar dating, dating games, "Dating in the Dark," dating Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, Buddhist, even Nudist. You can even find dating sweepstakes. There’s Irish dating, British dating, dating Asians, Swedish dating, dating Canadian,…dating, dating, and more dating! A person doesn’t need to look very far to find all kinds of people, programs, and services prepared to help you discover YOUR very best dating style, help you connect it with your best dating places, find just the right partner, and enjoy some of the very best experiences of your entire life.

But along with the good intentioned craziness about dating and courtship, we’ve experienced much disillusionment, national confusion, and heartache. Coincidentally, consider for example that the number of unwed pregnancies and unwed mothers raising children alone today in the United States is unprecedented in our history. It is the one single factor contributing specifically to poverty in the United States. I believe we have had more divorces, more fatherless sons and daughters, more costly litigation, and more clogged courts and dockets in the past fifty years due to romances gone bad than in the previous combined 250 years of this nation’s history. That’s completely nuts!

Smarter Romance is about introducing some very helpful common sense to the dating and courtship scene and its experiences. Yes, and it’s also about helping you connect with your best dating places, finding just the right person, and enjoying the best experiences in your life, but in a way that by-passes the confusion, disillusionment, and future pain. It’s about you being yourself and having fun. It’s about you actually finding yourself becoming increasingly wiser throughout your dating and courtship adventures—it’s about YOU having and enjoying a Smarter Romance.

Order your copy of Smarter Romance ($21.95, a manuscript format, plus shipping; email PDF, $15) at