Do you engage in regular and simple relationship check-ins?
I recommend that every couple set aside a minimum of thirty minutes each week to do what I call a regular relationship check-in. This is an important opportunity to remain mindful and aware of how your relationship is going. When you allow life to fill up your schedule, and you cease to make time to connect with your partner, it is easy for the months to accumulate and to find yourself so far down the road that you don’t know how you got there. Routine check-ins will help prevent this from happening.
Though there is no “right” way to do your check-ins, here are some guidelines to help you in the process of your regular relationship check-in.:
- Summarize your feelings about how you experienced the previous week. For example, “I feel like we’ve had a great week and I feel really connected to you.”
- Share your observations—both the good and the frustrating experiences in your relationship—about how things unfolded. For example, “I noticed that we were both taking more time to talk together and I think that really helped me feel more connected to you.”
- Communicate your insights about how you can use this as information to continue improving your relationship. For example, “I think it would be a great idea for us really to commit to spending more time just talking because I really want to feel connected to you on a regular basis.”
Your Partner’s Turn Now. Once you complete steps 1-3, then your partner shares her observations. Discuss any differences in your observations. This is simply a time where you literally observe how you are doing as a couple and what you like about how things are going and what you would like to see be different. To make this a regular relationship check-in, it is essential to do this regularly, ideally on a monthly basis.
This time is NOT about:
- problem solving
- being defensive or sensitive
- criticizing or attacking
If you find yourself engaged in any of the above, chances are you have not selected the right time to do your regular relationship check-in, or, you have allowed too many issues to accumulate and not enough time to address them until now. If you can not find a way to engage in a routine check-in, you may want to seek some support to help you over the hump.
This exercise is designed to create a much more conscious relationship by being as aware as possible about the influences on your connection with one another and on your relationship’s happiness.