Ayn Rand and Relationships
In Eric Banden's memoir, there is a situation in which he asks Ayn Rand how she could have so precisely developed the Richard Rearden character in Atlas Shrugged. Her response: "It's a rational universe." She then elaborated that for every woman there is a male equivalent; and, understanding as she would the psyche of her character Dagny - based as it was largely upon herself - she could conceive rationally of what her male equivalent would be like.
This statement carries insight into Ayn Rand's other works. In Fountainhead she described a quite sweet and genuine connection between Peter Keating and Katherine Toohey; but they were not able to get together. There is a rather obvious reason for this. Both of them were emotionally dominated by parental figures who wanted to use them for their own purposes: Keating, by his mother who used him as an accessory for her status aspirations; and Toohey, by her uncle who use her as an accessory for his political gains. They could not and would not have been able to get together and stay together because both of them, emotionally, were slaves to parental figures for whom they were accesory to their ends - ends that were not met by Peter Keating and Katherine Toohey being together, and to which them being together would have been contrary. Keating's mother wanted him to marry the hottest ticket in town; Toohey's uncle wanted her to be unattached and a vessel for spread of his ideology. They could not get together, because they were effectively slaves to their parental figures, and their parental figures wanted of them something contrary to their being together.
There is also insight here into Dominique's behavior of going through men - from Keating to Wynand to Roark - until she realized that she wanted to be happy and what that meant for her. She made matches based on where she was herself in her understanding of herself and of reality. She would get together with a man who was at the place of her own understanding; then she would see through it, discard the man, and go on to where she wanted to go next. In modern age, this kind of behavior would be known as using men, as emotional squatting or as slutting around. But then again you can't necessarily blame a 20-year-old for not knowing everything or not knowing where she would want to be when she is 30 or when she is 45.
So there is definitely a rational design in Ayn Rand's narrative, and it is a manifestation of a quite profound psychological understanding - most likely of an instinctive, intuitive manner (in her Fountainhead characterizations) that she did not herself completely understand rationally until later (at the time of writing Atlas Shrugged). This kind of instinctive, intuitive understanding is what creates narrative talent - something that separates Ayn Rand from many other thinkers, and which was far more present in Fountainhead - a book that engrossed me - than in Atlas Shrugged, that I found too boring to get more than one third of the way through.
On this matter Ayn Rand had significant insight, and it is insight that can be and should be used in psychology.
There were other things she was dead wrong about. But that does not negate the validity of her insights on this.