Relationship strength is determined by many different factors. Your behavioral style is one factor that you may not have taken into consideration before.

There are many different ways to examine your behavioral style. In fact, you can take personality tests for days. However, one key way is to determine whether you are a relator or an evaluator.

A relator tends to be emotional, intuitive, and focuses on the good of the relationship. In contrast, an evaluator tends to be analytical, direct, and may hold an objective standard of what a good relationship is.

There’s nothing right or wrong about either approach. In fact, most relationships benefit from a little bit of each style. Yet, knowing how you lean can help build your relationship strength.

What Is a Relator?

As the name suggests, the relator cares about relationships. It is important to the relator for both partners to experience happiness.

If there is a problem, then the relator wants to find a solution that satisfies both people. It doesn’t matter if objectively there is a more practical solution. What matters is that the relationship is strong.

Relators may be:

  • Agreeable
  • Collaborative
  • Emotional and intuitive
  • Easygoing as opposed to aggressive
  • Indirect, subtle, or nuanced
  • People-oriented

The relator assesses relationship strength by the happiness of the partners together. Is communication flowing? Is trust high? Are both people expressing their emotions?

What Is an Evaluator?

An evaluator is all about the data. If there is a problem, then the evaluator wants to find the solution that makes the most sense. This may or may not be the solution that provides happiness to both partners.

Evaluators may be:

  • Independent
  • Analytics and rational
  • Uptight, wanting things done a specific way
  • Direct or blunt
  • Task-oriented

The evaluator tends to assess the relationship by external standards. For example, they might think things are going well if they are on track to get married because marriage is considered a goal in many cultures.

Relators and Evaluators View the World Differently

As you can see, these two types of people have very different ways of approaching life. Therefore, they approach relationships differently from one another.

If one partner is a relator and the other is an evaluator, then they may clash. However, if they can learn to listen and understand one another, then they can actually complement each other really well.

The relator can remind the evaluator that feelings have as much validity as facts. Likewise, the evaluator can help find practical solutions to emotion-rich problems.

A relator tends to care about keeping the peace. Therefore, an evaluator can help them learn to express their truths. In turn, the evaluator tends to avoid risk, so the relator might inject more romance and adventure in their lives.

Whether or not you fall into one of these two categories, you bring individual strengths to the table. Your relationship strength grows when you help one another utilize those strengths.

How to Know Your Relationship Strength

You can use clues from both the relator and the evaluator to look at your own relationship strength. Things are strong in your relationship if:

  • You use collaborative problem-solving methods.
  • Both partners adapt to each other’s communication and personality styles.
  • You can look at both the emotional and rational sides of an argument.
  • Each of you grows independently as well as together.
  • You are able to discuss problems and listen openly to one another without judgment.
  • More often than not, you enjoy being together. However, you aren’t afraid to spend time apart.
  • You respect one another despite any differences that you may have.
  • You support one another, sometimes showing each other new ways of doing things, but always encouraging each other.

If you want to build up your relationship strength, then counseling can help. Learn more about couples counseling here.