You’ve asked for it. Here it is: the Am-I-a-Caveman Test!
You know the feeling… You’re in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, with nothing else to do but read Psychology Today Magazine. Next thing you know, you’re wondering whether you should seek professional help because you think you recognized yourself in one of the “68 signs that you suffer from Paranoid Personality Disorder”.
From what some of my readers tell me, that’s the feeling they get when they read this blog. “Oh God! Do I do that? Am I like that? Should I ask my partner if I’m a Caveman? What if she/he says “yes”? Oh God!”
As most psychologists will tell you, there’s a little bit of everything in all of us. Just like having paranoid thoughts once in a while doesn’t make you paranoid, recognizing yourself in some of the Caveman’s behaviors doesn’t necessarily make you a Caveman.
On the other hand, NO Caveman ever sees himself as a Caveman, and most Caveman’s partners won’t openly label their mate a Caveman—even behind closed doors.
So how do you figure out where you stand in the Partner Evolution Scale?
By taking the following test!
INSTRUCTIONS: For each question below, pick the answer that best describes you, and record the points awarded for your answer (a = 1; b = 2; c = 3; d = 4). At the end of the test, tally up your points and see where you stand in the Partner Evolution Scale!
1. Who cooks in your household?
- I do all/most of the cooking
- We cook equally, sometimes together
- I can’t cook, but I’ll start the rice cooker if asked
- Cooking isn’t my responsibility. Besides, the stove my partner bought is too complicated.
2. Who does the grocery shopping in your household?
- I do all the grocery shopping
- We do the grocery shopping together or take turns at it
- I handle take-out and occasionally buy stuff when asked
- I give my partner money for it; that’s half the work!
3. Who handles household tasks in your home?
- I typically do it, although my partner may lend a hand if I ask
- I handle the laundry; my partner cleans; whoever doesn’t cook does the dishes
- I take the trash out. If asked, I’ll help with other things—except toilet cleaning!
- It’s not my job!
4. What typically happens in your household at the end of dinner?
- I clear the table and do the dishes while directing the kids
- We all clear up the table, then my partner and I do dishes together while the kids brush their teeth
- The kids and I follow my partner’s directions. Typically, I’ll help clean up.
- I say “thank you”, then go watch some TV or take a shower. With any luck, by the time I’m done, the “action” will be over and I won’t be nagged into pitching in.
5. You get home at night to find your partner sick in bed and the kids watching TV. What do you do?
- I make her some tea, then get started on dinner, homework and bath time
- I ask her what needs to be done, then I get working
- Eating cereals and missing a shower never killed anyone.
- I go watch TV. My partner is bound to get out of it and feed the kids at some point… If not, I can always go eat at my mom’s.
6. You get home first and notice a pile of dirty laundry next to the washer. What do you do?
- Washing, drying and folding now means more free time later! I typically do the laundry anyway…
- I load the washer, then I call my partner for instructions. I never quite got the difference between “Perm Press” and “Delicates”.
- I bet my partner left it there intentionally to test me! I’ll take care of it to show her I’m perfectly capable of noticing things—and I’ll wash everything in hot water for good measure!
- Laundry isn’t my responsibility. My partner never explained how the washing machine works anyway.
7. Your partner develops vertigo and can no longer vacuum. What do you do?
- I already do the vacuuming at our place, so I’ll just keep doing it
- I add “vacuuming” to my list of tasks. Ha-ha! I’m now handling 55% of household tasks!
- I suggest that we invest in a top-of-the-line Roomba/Roborock, and I let my partner buy and program it
- Vacuuming isn’t my job to start with, so I don’t see why I should have to step in, but I’ll pay for half of whatever it costs to get the place clean. Wait. Scrap that. The kids are old enough to vacuum… Let her make them!
8. Your partner is held up at work and can’t do school pick-up. What do you do?
- I always do school pick-up (and drop-off), so it won’t make a difference
- I rearrange my schedule to do it, or I follow the contingency plan we have for that
- I ask my partner to make arrangements because I’m working too
- I’m at work/the gym/my mother’s. What do you want me to do about it!? School pick-up is her responsibility. If she can’t do it, then she should figure out how to get it done!
9. A friend invites you to a night out. What do you do?
- We already talk on Facebook. I would rather spend the night at home with my partner.
- I discuss it with my partner ahead of time, and we make plans that work for both of us
- The morning of, I let my partner know that I have plans to go out that night. I wouldn’t mind if it were the other way around.
- I don’t have to answer to anyone. If I want to go out with friends, I just do!
10. It’s New Year’s Eve and your partner is bedridden from surgery. What do you do?
- I bring her some food, make sure she’s comfortable and let her rest while I watch TV with the kids
- I cook her favorite dish, pick her favorite movie, and make it a memorable New Year’s Eve in bed!
- I ask her if she needs anything, leave her a glass of water just in case, then head out for some good times
- The holidays is the worst time of the year to have surgery! She knows I like to go out on New Year’s Eve… What I am supposed to do at home anyway!? She’ll probably be asleep the whole time!
11. Christmas is getting close. How do you handle gifts to the kids, friends and family?
- I usually choose, buy and wrap everyone’s gifts
- My partner and I plan the gifts together, then divide up the work between the two of us
- I’m not good with gifts. I give my partner some money and let her handle it. She doesn’t mind.
- I don’t do gifts. Most people don’t expect gifts anyway, and all the kids want is money!
12. Your partner gets home with a flat. What do you do?
- I offer to change the tire after I’m done with dinner
- I teach her to change the tire. More time spent together!
- I remind her of our AAA membership and I suggest she calls for help
- I change the tire because it’s a man’s job, but everything has a price! (if you know what I mean)
13. Do you know the names of your children’s teachers?
- I’m the one in charge of school stuff, so I’d better!
- I’ve met them at Orientation, but my memory isn’t that good. That’s why we keep a list on the fridge!
- Nope, but I’m sure my partner keeps a list of names somewhere…
- Why would I need to know teachers’ names? It’s not like I have to contact them at any point…
14. Your partner suggests couple therapy. What’s your reaction?
- Actually, I’ve been thinking of it, so I’m glad my partner mentions it. I hope it doesn’t mean I dropped the ball. Either way, I’m OK with it. Only good can come out of it!
- I ask my partner for specifics about her concerns, and welcome therapy as an opportunity for us to learn to work even better together. There’s room for improvement in all of us.
- I don’t see anything wrong with our relationship, but I’ll oblige my partner. Heck, therapy might help her!
- Therapy is for people with problems. I don’t have any problem. But if my partner wants to go to therapy, I won’t stop her. It might actually fix her and work in my favor!
15. Your kitchen faucet dies on you. What do you do?
- I was expecting it, and I already sourced a replacement. It’s just a matter of placing the order and installing it. Not my first rodeo!
- I discuss with my partner what kind of faucet we should get, then we decide who’ll handle purchase and installation
- My partner usually handles that kind of stuff, but I have no issues with whatever she picks. I’ll help pay for it.
- Why should I care? I’m not the one using the sink!
16. Your partner suggests a family vacation. How do you feel about that?
- Yeah! I really need a vacation! I ask her where she wants to go, then I start researching flights and hotels. I’m usually the one doing the legwork…
- I’m all for it! We discuss destinations and agree on who will do what to prepare for it.
- I love traveling, but I don’t have time to worry about program and travel arrangements, so I suggest she sees a travel agent
- It’s her idea, so she should plan for it. Once she gives me the specifics, I’ll decide if I want to tag along.
17. You’re loading the clothes dryer when you notice your partner’s red shirt bled onto whites. What’s your reaction?
- Darn! I thought I separated colors from whites… I re-wash the whites with an extra dose of OxiClean.
- I have no clue what needs to be done, but I’m sure I can fix it! I check online for tips.
- The whites are only slightly pink. I’m sure it will come off next time she washes them!
- First off, laundry isn’t my job, so don’t blame me if something goes wrong! Heck! She probably put her red shirt in the washer intentionally!
18. It’s your partner’s birthday. What’s the plan?
- No need to think about it. I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks. Couple massage! God knows we both need it!!!
- I get a nanny and reserve a spot in her favorite restaurant. We haven’t had “us” time in ages!
- Has it been a year already!? I ask her what she wants to do, then I make it happen (as long as it’s reasonable). I might get her a bauble too.
- I celebrate my birthday because I like parties. My partner is low key. She doesn’t really care about birthday celebrations—or gifts, for that matter!
19. It’s your 15th wedding anniversary. What’s the plan?
- I’ve been thinking of renewing our vows. I hope she feels the same way…
- They say Paris is nice this time of the year. I ask her what she thinks…
- Drat! I almost forgot! I’m sure it’s not too late to get something from the jewelry store…
- It’s nothing to celebrate! If anything, I should get a prize for hanging around that long!!!
20. How did you come across this blog?
- One of my friend is a self-described “Caveman’s partner”. She sent me a link saying I might enjoy it.
- I came across it online and thought it’s pretty funny. Also, seeing what other people do wrong is a good way of improving oneself!
- I know Elle or someone who follows her blog. I like reading about her “Caveman” because it makes me feel better about myself.
- My wife keeps sending me links. Honestly, I don’t see why… It’s not even remotely interesting/funny, and the author sounds like a shrew. I mean, poor guy! Living with a harpy isn’t fun. And I would know!
Your Score: Between 20 and 25
I really don’t know how to tell you this, but putting it as delicately as I can: What on earth made you think that you might remotely be a Caveman!? On what planet!? Based on your answers, my own Caveman would say you’re “whipped”. I would say you’re dangerously close to becoming a Caveman’s partner—that is, if you’re not already one. You might want to read this post and do some deep soul searching.
Your Score: Between 26 and 45
You’re so close to being the perfect mate it sounds suspicious. Are you sure that you answered the questions truthfully? If so, your partner is one lucky gal/guy! Keep up the good work! And if you ever decide to split, here is my email: firstname.lastname@example.org 😉
Your Score: Between 46 and 60
While you don’t technically fit into the Caveman category (or even the intentional-slacker category), you might not be the modern partner you think you are. You tend do the right thing, but not necessarily for the right reason(s), and you’re inclined to lack initiative. Why not discuss honestly with your partner her/his expectations of you (and vice-versa)? You might be surprised about what a small move in the right direction can do for your couple life!
Your Score: Between 61 and 74
Sorry to say, but you’re in the red zone. While not the worst “unhelpful partner”, you definitely qualify as a Caveman—although not as low on the evolutionary scale as you might fear. (Think: Better than Homo Erectus, but not quite “Homo Sapiens Vacuumis either”. No offense.) That being said, if you agree there’s room for improvement, and you’re willing to go the extra mile, not all is lost. You seem to be a good guy/gal who cares about his/her partner, and that’s as good a start as any! Try putting yourself in your partner’s shoes more often. It might just make the difference your relationship needs to make it through and thrive!
Your Score: 75 or Over
There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: When it comes to Cavemen, you’re as bad as it gets. I know… You don’t “see” it. You feel you pull your weight because you bring money to the table and occasionally “help”. You probably think that your partner is lucky to have you. In all likelihood, your partner feels she/he cannot do any better, and the two of you fit perfectly together like the perfectly dysfunctional puzzle that you are (see this post for more info).
However, if you scored under 80, there might yet be hope for you! Do yourself and your partner a favor, and consider therapy (couple and individual). We all have issues. Acknowledging that and being willing to work on it is part of growing. And if you love your partner as you say you do, then aim at growing together!
Until next time!
Disclaimer: The above information is not meant to diagnose or treat, and should not take the place of personal consultation, as appropriate, with a qualified professional and/or therapist. It’s only meant to entertain and should not be taken seriously. That being said, if you scored over 75, you’re likely a Caveman. Sorry. In doubt, have your partner take the test. If he/she scores between 20 and 25, it corroborates your results. Sorry. Again. Not that you’ll lose any sleep over it…