Frequently Asked Questions
Our team spent months working with dozens of relationship experts. We wanted to identify the foundational elements of a happy and healthy relationship. Sure it's a well researched topic, and we know it takes more than chemistry, but we wanted to find out for ourselves from the mouths of people who know best...people in happy relationships.
We started with happily married couples - those married 10, 20, 30...50, and in some cases 60 years. From there we met with Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Clinical Social Workers, Certified Sex Therapists (CSTs), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSWs), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), and Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) - collectively spending hundreds of hours interviewing them to learn about their experiences, and to harvest a foundational set of questions that would help people better understand their romantic relationships.
Next, we took all that research and packaged it into 7 to 10 question quizzes group by category, which fall under two broad quiz types.
The "Marriage Material Bundle" quizzes have been validated by professionals and span across a set of categories (Family & Friends Values, Intimacy, etc.) believed to provide a holistic view of your relationship.
The "Just for Fun" quizzes are there just for fun. They include the Hot/Crazy Quiz, the Hot/Crazy...I mean Lazy Quiz, and a 60 Second Relationship Healthcheck. Now, a lot of the same science behind the Marriage Material Bundle quizzes is also embedded in the the 60 Second Relationship Healthcheck, but with fewer questions, it's only intended to be a gut check - a starting point in exploring your relationship more deeply.
It's safe to say the team behind Marriage Material is an analytical group. In fact, one of the creators even used an early version of the app when deciding to propose. 2 1/2 kids and a white picket fence later, he still stands behind the percentages and process.
However, to provide quality results to the masses, we worked with accomplished computer engineers and mathematicians, to validate our algorithm and calculations. Here's how it works.
Firstly, before you even answer a question, we assume you and your partner have a 50% compatibly score, which we call your MMI (Marriage Material Index). We tested other starting points, such as starting as 0% compatible and building up your compatibility score based on your answers, but in our research, this proved to be the most reasonable approach.
Secondly, we present a set of questions, transposed into agreement statements. Using a Likert Scale, you provide a rating. The more you agree with a statement, the more your compatibility will increase, and more you disagree, the more your compatibility will decrease. If you're neutral on a question, it doesn't increase or decrease your compatibility, and if you skip a question we don't factor it into the calculation at all.
Thirdly, we capture an importance factor, which determines the magnitude (or weight) in which your answer impacts your overall quiz score. The more important the question is to you, the greater the impact on your total score. The less important, the smaller the impact.
The importance factor is key from both a practical and mathematical standpoint. Practically, by walking through the "how important is this to me" process, you're increasing your self awareness and consequently, identifying your legitimate needs versus your nice to have's. Mathematically, the scale is not linear, so if you "Agree" with a question that you specify as "Very" important, it will have 100 times the impact compared to if you specified the question was only "A Little" important.
We know answering an importance factor for each after question may seem redundant, but taking the time to think through each answer will give you the most accurate results.
Lastly, given your ratings and weight, we calculate a Quiz MMI. We follow this same process when calculating your Relationship MMI.
The Happy and Unhappy Couples Data
For the Marriage Material Bundle quizzes, we show how your score compares to Happy and Unhappy Couples who took the same quiz.
Why do we do this?
Imagine if you were looking for relationship advice, and I lined up a 100 happy couples. Couples like you, couples older than you, and couples who have walked down the path you're headed toward, and know what can help along the way. I'm not talking a statistical samples, but actual people in relationships.
Do you think you could learn something from that experience? Our window into a happy and healthy relationship is usually limited to our parents and grandparents, if we had a good example to begin with. Consequently, we believe showing how you compare to other happy couples is helpful information.
Additionally, we show unhappy couple data because you can learn a lot from bad relationships as well, and what to avoid.
Where do we get this data?
Daniel Gilbert, in his book, "Stumbling on Happiness", states that with so many mentors, role models, and gurus in the world, who have already done what you want to do, humanity is a library of information. He then goes on to talk about why we reject their advice, but that's another topic.
At any rate, by now you can probably tell we're big fans of the power of collective wisdom. What is that exactly? The wisdom of crowds is a notion that the aggregated information of groups is often times better than the information of a few experts. There's a great book all about this written by James Surowiecki, and if you're looking for real world examples, look to Google, Wiki's, and Blogs.
Our big idea is to get millions of happy and healthy couples to use Marriage Material, and provide the results back to users.
However, for the initial launch of the app, we ran a social experiment to harvest accurate data from dozens of couples, both happy and unhappy. For our verified data, most of the happy couples have been together for over 7 years (some as many as 40 years), and self identify as Happy. For our unhappy couples, most couples were together for 7 years, and self identified as unhappy in their relationship, some of which ended in divorce.
Over time, likely on a weekly basis, we plan to verify more and more couple data.
Are my answers anonymous?
Yes, all your answers are anonymous. We collect a few pieces of demographic information, but this is not traceable to your personal identity. We don't know your name, social media accounts, phone number, or exact address, and frankly, we don't want to. We strongly believed that making the app anonymous, would promote better results.
The point is, be brutally honest when taking a quiz. You may see yourself and you relationship in a whole new way.
Why do you ask for my location and sexual preference?
Over time we want to provide better insights on couples data. Right now we only compare you to happy and unhappy couples, but in the future, we plan to give you the ability to explore other couples in your city, state, and country.
Same goes for capturing sexual preferences. Down the road it will allow us to provide better features for user, and to make the user experience of the app more personal, it helps us to know what team you play for.
Who is the ideal user?
The ideal person is someone in a serious relationship, over the honeymoon stage, and ready to take the next step in their relationship. That could mean moving cities to be closer to each other, moving in together, getting engaged, or as pre-marital counseling before the big day.
That said, our beta users ranged from single people to married people, and we found that for both sets of users, it helped increase self-awareness. For single people, it helped them identify pitfalls in their last relationship and areas for improvement, and for married people, it helped them identify the reasons why they got married in the first place.
If you're just dating to date, playing the field, or have only been dating someone for a few weeks or months, we found, not surprisingly, that quiz scores tend to be inflated. However, there's always room for improvement and preventative care, so MMI scores aside, the books, blogs, and questions within should still provide some help.
Is this meant for men or women?
Is this a break-up app?
No way. The goal of the app is to help people increase self awareness, and improve their relationship. We wouldn't recommend dumping your boyfriend/girlfriend or canceling your wedding based on your MMI score. Rather, we want to make talking about your relationship more approachable. So, figure out the areas for improvement, and find a happy and healthy relationship.