“Every three months or 3,000 miles.”
That’s how the sticker in the left upper corner of my windshield reads.
It’s a matter of common knowledge that we are supposed to maintain, service, and tune up our cars if we want them to run well and last.
In my experience, it rarely occurs to us to do the same thing with our love relationships.
More and more of the couples I see are not in need of long term therapy, they are more in need of a short term relationship tune up.
7 Key Points
What first attracted you to each other? – This is the first question I ask most couples because it helps to be reminded that your partner has some great qualities that led you to want to be in this relationship.
What are some of the strengths of your relationship? – Instead of all the things that are wrong with your relationship, what I want to know is what are some of the strengths of the relationship upon which we can build in order to solve the problems with which they are struggling.
When have you been the closest? – One of the easiest ways to tune up your relationship is to do the things you were doing when you were the closest.
You may have noticed that the first 3 questions were all focused on positives in the relationship.
This is done on purpose. One of the dangers of traditional marriage counseling is a focus on what is wrong or defective with an individual or the relationship. One of the many benefits of relationship coaching is a focus on using the strengths in the relationship to build up the areas where the relationship is weak.
What are your partner’s emotional needs and what are your own? – If you do not know, hear are the two crucial questions to ask:
1) In order to feel loved by me, what do you need to feel in our relationship?
2) What are some ways I can meet those needs?
What is your partner’s love language and what is yours? – Some folks need to hear it, some folks need to see it, and some folks need to feel it.
How do the two of you “do conflict?” – Conflict in a relationship is inevitable. Fighting is optional.
What is your vision for your relationship? – Without a vision, a relationship can perish. Here are a few questions most couples never take the time to even think about, much less ask:
1) If we could design our relationship any way we wanted, how would we like it to be?
2) What goals do we have for our relationship?
3) What do we want to give, and what do we want to get in our relationship?
For more immediately useable tips and tools for your relationship, visit relationship coach Jeff Herring’s interactive website at SecretsofGreatRelationships.com