A Simple Way To Enhance Your Connection With Your Partner
By: Dr. Taylor Larsen, PsyD, LPC, NCC, CTP
Strong communication and connection are vital components of any successful relationship. But life pulls us in all sorts of directions. And whether due to crazy work hours, the general franticness of raising kids, or the rhythms of routine, there will be times when you find yourself out of step with your partner. This happens to most couples from time to time. Luckily, there’s an easy solution: scheduling a regular relationship check-in.
WHAT IS A RELATIONSHIP CHECK-IN?
A relationship check-in, sometimes called a marriage meeting, a couples check in, a relationship checkup, or even a “state of our union” meeting, is exactly what it sounds like: a time for those in a relationship to communicate about how things are going relationship-wise.
You might be thinking, me and my spouse talk constantly, what is the point of this meeting?
The benefit of the couples check-up is that it is totally relationship-focused. While your other conversations likely involve everything from running the household to where you’re going to vacation next, this session of communication is going to center solely on your relationship.
This is important because it creates a venue where talking about any relationship issues is welcome and expected. If you’ve got something delicate to bring up to your partner, the marriage meeting is an ideal time, when both of you are present and ready to discuss some deep, important stuff.
HOW TO DO A RELATIONSHIP CHECK-IN
How does a couple do a marriage checkup? These can absolutely follow whatever format you like. For many couples, it is something they choose to incorporate on date night. If you can’t schedule a date night, no worries. Grab drinks, snacks, and whatever you need at home. No one said your relationship checkup can’t be fun!
Having this talk will help you to discover if you’re on the same page in the relationship, as well as to identify areas that may need work. It confirms that both your needs are being met, and if not, gives you the chance to discuss how to fix that. The meeting also gives you the opportunity to reflect on and celebrate what’s going well.
And finally, it gives you the chance to dream, too. Your check-in can include more than just an assessment of what’s happening currently. It can be a place for the two of you to talk about the future, coming up with the marriage goals you share or simply the dreams and plans you have for your life together. Make this meeting exactly what you need.
To get the conversation started, here’s a list of a few questions you can ask one another. Use whichever ones work for you.
RELATIONSHIP CHECK-IN QUESTIONS
1. What went well in our relationship this week? (this month?)
2. What went poorly this week? How can we fix it?
3. What is something I did this week that made you feel loved?
4. How could I help you more on a regular basis?
5. What is something I can do regularly to make you feel loved and appreciated?
6. Is there something I’ve done that upset or hurt you this week? How can I make it better?
7. Did we make time for closeness and connection this week? If not, how can we prioritize that in the future?
8. Is there something we need to work on as a couple to have a stronger relationship?
9. What are your main stressors right now? How can I help?
10. What can I do to help or support you in the coming week?
11. How are you feeling about our sex life?
12. How would you rate our communication this week? How can we improve?
13. Anything else you want to share with me?
14. I felt loved this week when you ________ (Blank)....