Wondering about the status of your relationship? Curious about ways you can ensure that your relationship stays vibrant and fulfilling? Feeling unsure about your feelings and pondering if you should stay or go? Here’s a handy relationship checklist for you to consult. Reflecting upon the following points can be helpful when seeking to clarify where your relationship is, right now.
1. You engage in meaningful discussions regularly
Good communication is essential to keeping a relationship healthy. Don’t let your relationship slide into routine, banal dialogue, such as a quick “how was your day?” before retiring to the couch or bedroom.
Sure, you want to discuss the children’s needs, your parents’ vacation plans, and other normal family topics, but make sure that you and your spouse have more-interesting discussions from time to time.
Did you read a great book? Sit down and tell your spouse what you found fantastic about it. Find something compelling in the evening’s news broadcast? Once the children are asleep, see what your spouse thought about it, and open the dialogue up to broader ethical or moral questions. In other words, be each other’s best teachers and best listeners.
2. Look forward to being intimate with your partner
It is normal that your sex life doesn’t remain as intense as it was in the early days of your relationship, but you should be enjoying sex frequently. Happy couples cite “three times a week” as a good rhythm for lovemaking and staying intimately connected.
If you find yourself making excuses to avoid sex, or feeling like you are just “submitting” to keep your partner happy, you will want to examine what is behind this behavior. Sex is a barometer, reflecting the relationship as a whole, so pay attention to it (or the lack of it).
3. You feel loved, respected, and appreciated by your partner
You are authentically you in the relationship, and your partner loves that. Sure, there are times that you dress up, have your makeup and hair done. You take pride in your physical appearance, but you also know that your partner loves you no matter what. Your opinions, ideas and how you see the world is appreciated by your partner, even if you and he don’t agree on every little thing.
4. You both have your own interests
You and your spouse love to spend time together, but you also love your time alone or apart, pursuing your own hobbies and passions. In fact, you encourage each other to explore new things on your own.
You are excited about your partner when he meets a challenge, and he supports you with your own explorations. There is no jealousy when you spend time with others.
5. You do nice things for each other
You love watching your partner’s face light up when he finds the funny little note you’ve left him. He glows with happiness when you unwrap a present he found that he knew you would enjoy. Acts of kindness are part of your relationship, reminding you of the precious bond that links you.
6. You have your own private language
Happy long-term couples have their own language, whether it is pet names for each other or invented words that only you and your children use within the family. This language is inclusive, and serves to remind you that you are “your own tribe.”
7. You both share responsibility for managing household chores
There are no gender-defined roles in how you maintain your home, with one of you doing the “woman’s work” and one doing the “man’s work.” Both of you feel that you share tasks equally, and you don’t have to negotiate who does what or bargain with the other to get things done.
8. You admire your partner
You are proud of your spouse and respect their life choices. You feel lucky to have found them. They make you want to be a better person in all that you do personally and professionally.
9. When something great happens to you, you first tell your partner
And similarly, when something not-so-great happens to you-you turn to your partner. You look forward to share the good and the bad with equal eagerness with your partner.
10. You trust your partner
You are never suspicious of them. You don’t need an accounting of how they spend their time when you are apart. You trust that they will be there for you through thick and thin, illness and other life challenges. You feel safe with them.
11. You genuinely like each other
There is no one you’d rather come home to, and you don’t look at other couples’ relationships and wish yours could resemble what they have. You know you’ve got the best of the best, and feel a warm contentment at the thought of growing old with this person.
12. When reflecting on how you first met, you smile and feel warm
When people ask you how you got together, you love to tell the story of how you first met. This memory is filled with happiness. You find yourself telling your listener how lucky you were to meet this incredible person that would become your life partner.
13. You loved your partner then and love them now
You love all the changes and transformations you’ve witnessed in your partner and in your relationship as you have grown together. You are different people now as compared to when you met, and you enjoy each other just as much if not more. Your relationship is richer.
If your relationship includes most of what you see on this checklist, it’s a safe bet that you’ve got a good thing going. Be grateful; you’ve got a fulfilling, healthy and happy relationship!