Marital compatibility test : for real?

Deputy Minister of Family, Women and Community Development Hannah Yeoh

Shaira Idris
Written by Shaira Idris

KUALA LUMPUR — July 23, 2019: Doubts are raised over the effectiveness of the pre-marital compatibility test that was recently proposed to help reduce the divorce rate in the country.

According to the Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Hannah Yeoh, the test will soon be made accessible online for young couples planning to get married to check their compatibility.

Yeoh, in a recent tweet, clarified that the test was not a prerequisite for marriage.

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Nevertheless, Yeoh’s proposal has been met with skepticism — which seems to bridge the gaps between varying generations and marital statuses — among some who are critical of the test’s overall viability.

Zarina Abdul, who will be celebrating her 24th wedding anniversary this year, regards the test as unrealistic, given the seasons of change and the certainty of unforeseen circumstances in human life.

“This is not an aptitude test which relates to a job for a position in an organisation, where an individual’s personality is evaluated to see if he or she fits with the company. We’re talking about two humans committing themselves to one another, and people do change because of circumstances.”

She cited as an example the issue of financial stability of the prospective husband,

“At that point in time, he may be financially stable enough to provide for his wife… but what if, maybe five years down the road, he becomes broke? Or what if the person falls for someone new?,” she remarked.

Zarina, 49, also questions if the test will be capable of delivering accurate results, pointing out that a cost-free test has much room for defects.

“How much are you going to pay the vendor? Those people may just do it for the sake of doing it to give you results. To be meticulous in evaluating each couple will be expensive, so I don’t think it will be very accurate.” she asserted.

Ida Idris, who has been married for a decade, said that a couple’s personality compatibility is only a small part of a bigger picture when it comes to marriage.

“I think the intention is good… But at the end of the day, marriage takes a lot of work which is beyond personality compatibility. Of course, people get married because they are compatible.

“However, it’s usually the other things that ruin the marriage. Couples may be compatible but if you end up with a cheating cow, then it will end in a divorce,” she said.

Also dubious about the accuracy of the test – Ida, 44, argued that its outcome depends on the honesty level of the person taking it.

“If my answers are what is expected of me, it doesn’t necessarily mean that is who I really am… if you know what I mean,” she commented.

Echoing the same view is Sara Mazlen, who has been steady with her partner of seven years.

“Compatibility tests in general do not give conclusive results because in most cases, couples will not answer the questions truthfully… just so that the results are in their favour. Besides, a computerised generator can only evaluate data based on the questions set,” said the 23-year-old.

The same sentiment is also shared by Liyana Zolkiffli, 28, who is currently in a serious 5-year relationship.

“One might say he or she is 100% faithful but along the way, the person might cheat… The question really is how extensive is the test? And how well do these people know themselves,” she said.

Despite admitting to taking various personality tests — with some even ruling out the compatibility between her and her boyfriend — Liyana still would not allow the results to dictate their relationship.

“Fareez (her boyfriend) and I take it every year just to see how we are… But even knowing how we are, there’s so much trial and error that needs to be done in our relationship,” she said, adding that their personalities seemingly tend to change due to external factors, such as their day-to-day surroundings.

“People change, especially people like us, who work in fast-paced industries and are constantly exposed to so many different things on a daily basis,” she shared.

Commenting on the compatibility test as a means of preventing divorce – 27-year-old Dayana Jumat, who recently hit the 3-year mark with her boyfriend, said that it is a “waste of time and resources.”

“If it’s going to be similar to personality tests found on dating sites, then it won’t help at all with the divorce rate,” she opined.

“They should consider doing it like the StayGo app, which combines social feedback with scientific methods to evaluate a couple’s compatibility or include questions that will stimulate serious discussions related to roles and responsibilities, religion, children as well as handling conflicts and finances… then it’ll be worth it,” she added.



About the author

Shaira Idris

Shaira Idris

Shaira is a 20-something accidental journalist who's currently still adapting to the world of journalism and learning the ropes of her job.