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Your Relationship at Your Fingertips: The Science Behind StayGo™

My colleague Gary Lewandowski recently laid out the backstory of how we began working with a team of folks from Hollywood to develop and release StayGo™, a new app that provides feedback to people about their relationships (don’t have StayGo™ yet? Download it here!). We’ve received a lot of inquiries about StayGo™, particularly questions regarding the science underlying this one-of-a-kind relationship evaluation tool. Although I’m not at liberty to divulge the details of the recipe behind our secret sauce, I can talk broadly about how relationship science informs the three StayGo™ modules.

1. Your SG Score

At the heart of StayGo™ is a set of 20 dimensions that are associated with relationship quality and longevity. The importance of these core dimensions has been demonstrated across hundreds of research studies involving both dating and married samples (see here for a condensed list of those studies). I won’t spoil the fun and list them all here, but set up an account and you will see for yourself since the app describes these dimensions once you’ve completed the questions.

StayGo™ users answer a series of short, and (hopefully) fun, questions that assess these 20 aspects of their relationships and partners. Upon completion of the StayGo™ quiz, users receive a score and feedback on each dimension, as well as a total score that represents overall relationship quality.

Scores are personalized. So that means that you (e.g., a hypothetical 25-year-old woman who has been dating a partner for 3 months) and I (a 40-something male who has been with my partner for nearly 20 years) could get different scores, even if we gave the exact same answers to all of the questions. I can’t go into the details of how this is done, but trust me…it’s important and one of the features of StayGo™ that makes it particularly useful.

It’s important to note that the app doesn’t explicitly tell you if you should stay or go. Rather, StayGo™ highlights the strengths and weaknesses of your relationships (that’s right, you can score multiple relationships – we won’t judge!) so that you can pat yourself (and partner) on the back, work harder at improving certain aspects of your relationship, or decide for yourself if it’s time to cut bait and move on.

2. The SG Tracker

The second tool that is available in StayGo™ is a daily relationship tracker. It’s like an exercise tracker, but for your relationship. If you choose to activate this (free) feature, you will get a notification on your smartphone that prompts you to answer three short questions each day, which takes about 15 seconds. If you use the SG Tracker every day, over time you’ll have a running log of how your relationship is doing, which will help you see trends in your relationship. Are things improving? Are you holding steady? Or are you on a decline? The weekly, monthly, and quarterly graphs are eye opening in illustrating the ups and downs of your relationship.

This daily relationship tracker is important (and there’s nothing else like it out there) because researchers know that memories about relationships can be wildly inaccurate. If you ask me to recall how happy, or unhappy, I was in my relationship six months ago, how things are going right now in my relationship (or how I perceive other relationships, or how I felt about the pint of ice cream I just had) can bias my memory. But if you use the SG Tracker, you’ll have a true record of your relationship over time so that you can better understand and interpret the natural ups and downs that characterize any relationship.

3. SG Peeps

Your friends and family are important to your romantic relationships. We know that social network members (aka “peeps”) can see your relationship more objectively than you can. In fact, your peeps can even predict the outcome of your relationship better than you. You lean on your friends and family for support and advice, but they may not always give you their honest opinions about your relationship.

Why? Well, let’s flip this around—have you ever lied to a friend when they asked you if you like their partner? Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way for you to give anonymous feedback to your friends and family about their relationships? And getting their anonymous feedback about your relationship might be really eye opening.

Activating the patent-pending SG Peeps feature (also free!) lets StayGo™ users solicit feedback about their relationships from their friends and family, all anonymously.

Who is StayGo™ For? (hint: Everyone!)

So there you have it. StayGo™ is built on these three sources of information: how your relationship fares on 20 important dimensions of relationship quality, how your relationship fares over time, and what your friends and family think about your relationship. With these three tools, StayGo™ is the perfect way for online daters to size up their new relationships and “find out faster” if they want to move forward with that partner or return to the dating pool by reducing the inefficiency and frustration of online dating.

Of course, StayGo™ can also be used by anyone in a relationship, no matter how you met your partner or how long you’ve been together. Long-term relationships can use periodic check-ups, and StayGo™ can help identify where your relationship is solid and highlight the areas that need some work to become an even stronger couple.

In addition, even if you're not currently in a relationship, you'll be able to give your feedback to your peeps about their relationships when they use StayGo™.

Close relationships are a really important part of most people’s lives, and it’s never too soon, or too late, to be thinking about the future of your relationships. StayGo™ gives you a new perspective on those relationships, putting scientifically-based information right at your fingertips, helping you make the best decisions possible. 

Check out StayGo™ (click here), available for both IOS and Android.

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