Knowing about your partner’s life — the experiences, history, life dreams, as well as the mundane stuff — is the basis of a strong friendship. After decades of research, marriage experts conclude that friendship is a key factor in the ability of the relationship to maintain intimacy regardless of challenges that test the union.
Do you know what stresses your partner is currently facing?
Do you know some of your partner’s life dreams?
Do often think fondly of your partner?
Do you often touch or kiss your partner affectionately?
Do you feel your partner generally likes your personality?
Is your sex life is mostly satisfying?
Does your partner listen respectfully, even when you disagree?
Is there a lot of give and take in your discussions?
SOURCE: THE GOTTMAN INSTITUTE
7 or more yes answers:
Your relationship is one of friendship! Continue to get to know each other and be aware of any changes in their life philosophies, dreams and challenges.
5 to 6:
Build upon your relationship’s strengths and pay attention to the weaknesses. Commit today to move toward developing a strong bond.
4 or fewer:
Change the direction of your relationship, and consider attending a couples workshop or seeing a relationship therapist to assess how you both can draw closer and feel the joy of an intimate relationship.
Dr. Crossen is the first Master Gottman Therapy Trainer in the Portland area, and has an extensive history of direct collaboration with Gottman Institute founders Drs. John and Julie Gottman. He is a coach and consultant to other therapists. He also offers private therapy to couples and presents The Gottman's couples workshop, The Art and Science of Love.