At the heart of every good relationship is a good friendship. In order to better understand your partner, it is a good idea to create Love Maps of their inner psychological world. For today's posting, we have developed questions to help you and your partner develop these Love Maps.
In this Weekend Home Assignment, we'd like you to create a Love Map that includes the range of activities, joys, people, stresses, and encounters that your partner faces on a daily basis. These questions are designed to give you a better sense of what your partner goes through on a daily basis. If it helps you to write down your answers, please do so. This is not simply a one time strategy - the goal is for you to understand and remember these details about your partner's life and to build upon them as time goes on.
We've divided our questions into common aspects of daily life. With that said, feel free to bring up topics not covered by creating questions of your own.
Work and Professional Development
- Who are your closest friends at work?
- Are there any co-workers or bosses that you currently have a problem with?
- How do you feel about your personal achievement, do you feel as though you are fulfilling your potential or that you can fulfill your potential in this position?
- Do you ever consider changing careers, positions, or companies (organization, school, firm, etc.)?
- What current stresses do you have at work?
If your partner is in school or unemployed:
- What are your dreams about your future career?
- What do you think you need to get to the job you want?
- Are you happy and fulfilled living outside of the workforce?
- What are the activities you do solely for the sake of enjoyment?
- Do you get to do them as often as you would like? How can I help you to enjoy them more often?
- What is it about your favorite activities that you find so enjoyable? Do they make you excited, passionate, relaxed, fulfilled, etc.?
- What are the activities that you like to do the most with me?
- What is a hobby or activity that you would like to try or learn? What are things you would like for us to learn to do together?
- What books, movies, TV shows, sports, and magazines do you most enjoy?
Family and Friends
- Who are you best friends? What is it about them and your relationship that makes them so special to you?
- What are the activities do you like doing the most with each of your close friends and family members?
- Do you feel that you get to see your family and friends often enough?
- Have you seen any of your family members or friends this past week? What did you do together? Did you talk about anything that made you happy, sad, or angry?
These are questions that you can ask your partner on a regular basis to stay up to date with their lives:
- How was your day today?
- Did anything important happen today?
- How was your commute?
- Did you have any problems with clients, co-workers, your boss, the kids, etc.?
Maintaining and strengthening your relationship is an ongoing process. In fact, it’s a life long process - love maps are only a first step. Happy couples don’t “just” know each other. They build on and enhance this knowledge in many important ways, so remember to use this knowledge in order to show affection for your partner, to assist them in reaching their goals and dreams, and to be a support system for them as they face their daily challenges.
Have a good weekend,
Gottman, John. "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work". New York: Three Rivers Press, 1999. 56-60. Print.