May 26, 2024

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AI Will “Grade” Your Relationship For You… But Should You Let It?


We can all agree that when it comes to the efficacy of artificial intelligence (AI), well, it’s a little murky. Improving one’s grammar? Sure. Improving one’s relationship? That seems a little questionable.

Like it or lump it, AI is making its foray into the relationship space, including apps that grade and analyze your relationship, such as Texts From My Ex, to evaluate texts from your ex and help you understand where things went wrong, and Relish, which similarly uses AI to analyze couples’ communication patterns. The apps promise to help improve your relationships, including everything from “how to bicker-proof your relationship” to how to identify your attachment styles to determining your compatibility.

With therapy being so darn expensive these days, it might seem worthwhile to download a more cost-effective app for the sake of your relationship. But is it really worthwhile?

Using AI might actually create more pain.

Mark Groves, human connection specialist, relationship podcaster, and author of Liberated Love, says using AI to evaluate your relationship could create more pain.

“[AI] can evaluate words/tone inaccurately and lead to more judgment and pain for circumstances that already have plenty of both,” he says. “Sharing your conversations with an app can never pick up on all the things that happened beyond the text.”

Besides, as he says, “We also don’t need to validate if an ex was or wasn’t a good fit using AI; we need to move on. Ruminating and dwelling on the past is anything but helpful. Work with a coach or a therapist to help process the grief and put your past in the past.”

AI might also help you improve your communication.

However, Grove says using AI to create text messages and assess our interactions isn’t all bad if we use it with the right intention and as a learning tool.

“What I mean by that is that often we’re emotionally anxious in messages with new matches, and AI allows us to communicate in a way that expresses that we’re secure in ourselves,” he says. “Through witnessing what it’s writing, we can begin to learn how to communicate and use language better.”

He warns against relying on it too much, though, “because if we’re not authentically ourselves, then we’re actually being deceptive in our exchanges, so the person we’re dating is falling in love with our AI representative. When they find out who we really are, they might not like what they see/experience.”

Relying on AI can distract us from going deeper.

When we rely on things like pick-up artist books, manipulative texting strategies, or AI to curate our conversations and make decisions about our relationships, Groves says we’re really saying that we don’t believe we are lovable or that we can’t trust ourselves.

“We are using these technologies to dance around our perceived flaws. We’re worried they won’t like us, so we construct a self that is augmented by technology. We become further and further disconnected from who we are instead of healing what motivates the behavior in the first place.”

If you rely on such technology to better understand your partner or relationship, Groves suggests getting curious and asking yourself if this behavior is beneficial. “For past relationships, what it does indicate about someone’s exploration of their past is that they likely don’t trust their own view of it. They are probably still trying to soothe the pain from the relationship ending, and perhaps the results they get from the AI feedback will somehow validate what they feel and how they perceive their past.”

On the other hand, if we’re using this technology to evaluate someone we’re currently dating, Groves points out, “We’re letting AI decide a lot about how we perceive a relationship. It again indicates a lack of trust in ourselves and the ability to discern whether someone is a good match.”

Bottom line: AI isn’t human.

Relying on AI to decipher our relationships “sucks” simply because it’s not human.

“So much is communicated beyond the written word. We have nervous systems and intuitive feelings that can read far more than an AI bot,” Groves says. “The reliance on AI makes us not learn how to rely on ourselves. Instead, learn what your relationship patterns are and how to change those patterns. Build the skills that build good partner assessment. Those skills are about knowing yourself, what you want in a relationship, and having the courage to choose that over what’s convenient.”

Like any technology, Groves says AI can be helpful. “It’s when we learn to rely on tools instead of ourselves that problems arise. I would imagine as the technology gets better, so will the ways in which AI can support us in exploring ourselves. I think AI therapy has a future as it offers advice through the hopefully unbiased lens of the computer.”



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