Posted by: Daisy | November 24, 2009

The Stress Test

You may be familiar with the stress test for your heart. You get hooked up to machines that measure your important vitals and you get a baseline of information. You start walking/running and it captures more data. The experts look at the data and are able to get invaluable information about your heart to help determine next steps.

What if you were able to develop a stress test for other important parts of your life besides your heart? Take the premise of putting an individual under real-world stress, see their actions and reactions gathering invaluable information and data in a semi-controlled lab to help you make sound decisions for the future.

Now, what if the stress test were about putting a love-interest onto a virtual treadmill that leads them into an emotional situation to determine their tolerances for stress and how they would react to it?

We know about the honeymoon stage and don’t we all wish we could stay there forever? Aren’t there some things we wish we knew about someone but don’t seem to really know until we’ve invested significant amounts of time? Wouldn’t it be good to know if your potential partner gets extremely angry, throws a fit and has uncontrollable rage under stress? Or if they agree with you verbally, but then find passive ways to thwart the agreed upon next steps?

They say that many couples fight about money – is there a way that you could artificially simulate a situation involving money between a couple that is real enough for them that would give insights into how the other really thinks and acts around money? Then, the stress test happens, and you add a stimulus (a stressor like a treadmill) and watch to see how the two act and react to each other and their actions.

Of course, you can and should communicate with each other about your thoughts about the subject, however, there’s nothing like a real world simulation that gives everyone the a-ha’s to look beyond what someone says their beliefs are to what they actually do. They say action speak louder than words, and if it works for the physical heart, would it work for the emotional one too?

The idea of a stress test for relationships was an interesting discussion I had with someone and the more I think about it, the more I believe developing some sort of ‘stress test’ might be a great way to get to know each other when you’re wondering if this is a good long-term relationship or not. And if the other person thinks the idea of a stress test is horrid while you want to do it, how do you solve that conflict? Why, that in itself is like a stress-test, isn’t it?

– Daisy



  1. For some reason, I cannot resist to put the comment:

    “Oh, shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F–KING TEA??? ”

    As from here:

    Something tells me what your answer would be. 🙂

    Cute. I never thought of that! And oops, I think this comment is for “I quit coffee” – Daisy

    • yes, confused.. yeah – it was for the coffee and this thing put it on the wrong place. Me, the Neanderthal. 🙂

      no worries – Daisy

  2. I guess my issue with the stress test to test a relationship’s potential is that you’re testing the wrong thing in my opinion. For relationships you need a flexibility test.

    Good point/good idea.. I wonder how you’d do a flexibility test? – Daisy

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