holding hands

The Big Bang Theory is a popular TV comedy show that centers around the lives of geeky science roommates and their friends, including the attractive actress/waitress Penny, across the hall.  With February being Healthy Heart Month and Valentines Day coming up, what better time to look at how we express and receive love than by comparing ourselves to Big Bang Characters?

How we relate to others, especially those closest to us, strongly effects our well-being. It’s usually not possible to change the way our partners relate to us, but what we can control is the way we relate to them.  Focusing on the love we give, rather than the love we get will likely improve any relationship. Some people worry that being loving will make them too vulnerable, but the act of loving is actually self-nurturing too.

In The Big Bang, Leonard has long been yearning for the affection of the beautiful Penny, who is viewed as out of his league. Sheldon, the obsessive compulsive genius who lacks the ability to connect emotionally, is in a relationship with Amy Farah Fowler. Amy studies neurobiology, has low self-esteem and is starved for affection. While this makes for great comedy, it can also illustrate how little we realize our own attitudes and behaviors impact a relationship. How do you handle relationships? If you are high in attachment-related anxiety, then you may fear rejection and abandonment from your partner, like Leonard. People high in attachment-related avoidance may have self-confidence, but are less comfortable opening up to others, as is Sheldon.

Take this quiz to measure your attachment style or the way you relate to others in the context of a Big Bang Character in an intimate relationship. Write down and add up the numbers based on your answers.

1. When in a relationship I . . .

a. am afraid I will lose my partners love. (2)

b. rarely worry about my partner leaving me. (1)

c. sometimes worry that my partner doesn’t really love me. (3)

2. Which best describes how close you are to your partner?

a. I find that my partner doesn’t want to get as close as I would like.(2)

b. I don’t feel comfortable opening up to my romantic partner. (3)

c. I prefer not to show a partner how I feel deep down. (4)

d. I feel comfortable sharing my private thoughts and feelings with my partner. (1)

3. How would you best describe the support you get from your partner?

a. I find it difficult to allow myself to depend on romantic partners. (3)

b. I usually discuss my problems and concerns with my partner. (1)

c. I don’t feel comfortable relying on my partner. (4)

*Add up your points to see where you fall.

0-3 You are Bernadette-  Secure (Low anxiety and low avoidance) Bernadette is generally secure in her relationship with Howard and doesn’t typically worry about rejections and is comfortable being close with her hubby.

4-6 You are Leonard – Preoccupied (High anxiety and low avoidance) Leonard is comfortable expressing his emotions to Penny, but he still has a high level of anxiety about losing her to someone else.

7-9 Sheldon- Dismissing (Low anxiety and high avoidance) Sheldon has a high level of self-confidence, but isn’t comfortable opening up to Amy, which limits the emotional closeness of their relationship.

10+ Raj- Fearful (High anxiety and high avoidance) Raj, who in past seasons wasn’t comfortable to even speak out loud in the presence of a person of the opposite sex, has trouble getting past his fear of rejection. Leaving Howard and his dog Cinnamon as his closest emotional attachments.

*Sheldon Cooper would likely challenge the scientific validity of this quiz. We may agree with him. If you don’t agree with the results, try to take it in the spirit that Penny would (but don’t call Sheldon’s mother)!

To learn more about these characters tune in to CBS Thursdays at 8 or watch re-runs on TBS. To learn how to be more loving, read the 3 tips below.

3 Ways to be more loving:

1- Communicate what you feel. Don’t listen to your critical inner voice that tells you not to trust.

2- Avoid “keeping score”. Try to be selfless and commit to kindness with no strings attached.

3- Support your loved ones and participate in the things that excite and interest them.

Have a Happy Valentines Day! hearts