OPW INTERVIEW -- Nov 8 -- Dr Block does personality profiling. He’s available to help dating sites add personality profiling. - Mark Brooks
What is your background? Tell us about yourself.
I took my PhD at Syracuse University. Since then I have about 30 years experience working exclusively with relationships. Love and sex are my specialties and my 19th book on those subjects will be out next year. I’ve been honored by a professional organization as Outstanding Couple Therapist and I am a senior psychologist at a teaching hospital as well as faculty at the Einstein College of Medicine in NY.
Would you say you’re a fan of internet dating?
A big fan. There are a lot of people that I see, single men and women, who have been very successful; sometimes they are frustrated but that’s part of the process. They are way more successful online than they would be going to a bar or just other ways of meeting people. They have wider ranges of choices; they will most likely find other singles on the dating sites rather than at the pub. It’s also more affordable.
Who would you say in your opinion has the best personality profiling system right now?
Oh, tough question. I really haven’t studied every single test that’s out there. But of what I’ve seen, I like mine the best.
With the rise of dating sites, there are some people who have been trying to turn romance into a branch of applied mathematics. They’ve been trying to reduce decisions about love into statistical equations. It doesn’t
What some people have realized is that love is too complex to be reduced to a peer reviewed article. I bring not only scientific credibility but after 30 years of working with couples, I have a sense of the poetry needed to match couples.
I have a compatibility test that has 24 questions which takes about 15 minutes to complete. The questions are the kinds of things that are engaging because people relate to them and they strike a familiar chord. The answers go from 0 – not a chance, all the way through possibly, likely, almost certainly, or for 4 points – definitely.
I hear there are 2 schools of thought. One school of thought says that you can most easily match people based on similarity. The other school of thought says that you end up with better matches if you match based on complementary factors. What are your thoughts on that?
I agree with both. A lot of relationships work because one person is dominant and the other one is submissive. Submission and dominance are two factors that are complementary. Then there are other factors like intimacy needs and social needs such as introversion and extroversion that are similarity factors. So I think that it’s not either/or but a really good test, as mine is, has both.
Are you a fan of the Meyers-Briggs test?
Not so much. First of all, Meyers-Briggs is not quite a compatibility test and it’s a little bit of a stretch in terms of using it on a romantic basis.
There are different versions but there isn’t a “romantic” version of the Meyers-Briggs. I’m not that set against it, it’s just not something I would prefer. With my test, I do the matches and I tell you what your chances are and why this person is a good match for you.
What’s more, there is an open offer: Any dating site that uses my test and matches a couple who marry—my team will pay for a Vegas Honeymoon!
You have a new book coming out, tell us more.
The book is The Real Reasons Men Commit, Why He Will—or Won’t—Love, Honor and Marry You. It’s a book primarily for women, although I’ve had a couple of men read it and really love it. In fact, Mario Lopez, considered to be the most eligible bachelor by People magazine, wrote the cover blurb and said he learned a lot from it. But it’s mostly for women and it’s how to find a commitment oriented guy and avoid the commitment phobic guy.
I did this book with a single woman, a Broadway actress, Kimberly Dawn Neumann and we developed several new concepts. One term we came up with is vulnerphobia. These are the men who are afraid of being vulnerable. Those men don’t have a strong enough sense of “I” in terms of themselves to create a “We” in their life. The idea of sharing, losing their independence, their sense of themselves, all those things frighten them. The book really goes into detail about how to separate the commitment phobic from the commitment ready. It will be out in December.
Can internet dating services work with you?
There is a growing trend for dating sites to have a group of psychologist-coaches to help people with their relationship issues. I think that is the coming trend and its one of the things I offer. I bring 3 decades of experience to the challenge. So, it’s not just about matching, but it is also about helping couples to make their love last.
I can bring a lot of services to the dating sites, like doing webinars, answering subscriber emails, that sort of direct contact. I’ve written books on most of the couple issues. I wrote a book called “Naked Intimacy”
that has to do with openness. Another book “Broken Promises and Mended Hearts” has to do with trust. I think that dating sites would really prosper from having someone not only help with the matches but help people maintain love; keeping love alive is tough.