Relationships often collapse because couples are not prepared to withstand the inevitable conflicts or even the humdrum and monotonous plateau period that’s nearly certain to present as the years go by. Dr Jacqueline Del Rosario has identified seven self assessment questions, answers to which can not only help a relationship survive, but also thrive so that both partners can actualise their dreams of ‘happily ever after’.
1. Am I putting my best face forward? People dress up in their best clothes, make sure their hair is done, and put on makeup for the outside world. Do you put forth the same effort to impress and excite your mate?
2. Am I still growing? Consider trying new things together. Exploration and adventure can go a long way to keeping things fresh and appealing and will help you understand and appreciate who your partner is today. Aim to experience new things as a couple.
3. What are the anchors in my relationship? What are the things that keep you rooted and well connected with your partner? Identifying and nurturing similar values, goals, and expectancies in your relationship are fundamental and will help you endure during the tough times.
4. How can I help improve our communication style? Knowing when and how to disseminate information is a key relationship skill that can be a saving grace unto itself. And, during an argument, always fight fair and with respect— no name calling, no degrading one another, and no using your tongue as a weapon of mass destruction.
5. What unmet expectations do we each have that need to be addressed? Unmet expectations are often not shared and, instead, they can fester within and result in resentment and bitterness. How can you expect your mate to meet your expectations if you don’t voice them?
6. What emotional triggers might be adversely affecting my current relationship? Triggers link back to past traumas and can hinder the way we respond to or even perceive present day issues. Were you lied to or cheated on in the past? It doesn’t mean you cannot trust your current mate. Put your old baggage aside and experience your current partner on their own merits and actions.
7. Do I stop, look, and listen? Take the time to listen to and validate your mate. Keep the channels of communication open-chatter about the day’s events, current events, family matters and similar. It bonds the heart and abates the feeling of growing apart.