Great relationships that endure over time have common behaviors and values that create a healthy and nourishing bond. This relationship checklist works for both couples and singles. It identifies the needed ingredients for a healthy and enduring romantic relationship.
You can find a link to a downloadable version of the Relationship Checklist at the end of the article.
We naturally want a close, loving, emotionally safe relationship with someone we cherish. What goes into making a relationship successful? Relationships are a lot of work and that will never change.
We want to value, respect someone with whom we want to share our life. All relationships are a garden that must always be nourished or it grows weeds.
Relationship Skills Are Most Often Not Taught in School
Therefore, without a relationship checklist for couples, how do we know how to be in a relationship? Our knowledge of relationships begins in early childhood.
For example, we saw how our parents interacted with one another. As children, we watched them interact with our siblings and us.
Growing up we watched our parents be affectionate or emotionally distant. When we were young, we witnessed how they argued and resolved conflicts or stuffed them inside to never be spoken.
As we grew, we observed how they dealt with emotions – both positive and negative. In our teens, we saw how they managed their expectations about how the world works. We learned whether life is basically good or fraught with challenges and disappointments.
Our parents or guardians learned all of these things through their own experiences in their childhood. It began with their grandparents’ childhood and theirs before them. Each generation hands down relationship “skills”. Therefore, don’t blame your parents for their unhealthy relationship. They related to one another the only way they knew how. They didn’t have a relationship checklist to consult.
How Do We Grow Our Relationship Garden Into a Healthy, Nourished, and Fulfilling Bond?
In working with couples for many years I have identified various relationship skills they were often struggling to achieve. Knowing these skills doesn’t mean it’s easy to practice them.
We often learn negative and unhealthy ways of coping in life. Through hurtful experiences, we have learned to feel emotionally protected and insulated from hurtful experiences. Emotionally insulating ourselves may feel safer. However, this insulation competes with our desire for emotional intimacy and closeness.
Most of us want a special person in this world. We want someone who values, respects and helps protect us from the hurts.
I have turned these traits into a Relationship Checklist for couples and singles. This list identifies various concepts and processes that are common to healthy couples. These couples have developed close, emotionally fulfilling romantic relationships. By learning these skills, the checklist helps couples and individuals identify what prevents emotional closeness from developing. More importantly, it identifies those necessary skills that great relationships already know and practice.
Get your Relationship Checklist Here
My next article will explain the checklist and how to use it.