What is your partners favourite song? Favourite Ice Cream flavour, flower, sports team, movie, holiday destination, their favourite memory in your relationship, their birthday, anniversaries?
Do you know these answers about your partner in the present moment?
John and Julie Gottman call this Building Love Maps.
This is the first step in the Gottman Method Couple Therapy’s Sound Relationship House.
Building Love Maps is what we typically do to gain information about our partners in the beginning of our relationships. We want to know everything about each other no matter how silly or quirky we think it may be. Learning these things about our partner fills our love tank and we fulfil these needs for each other. Building Love Maps tells you how well you know your partner In all their glory from joys, fantasies, worries and stresses, family and dreams for the future.
This is the limerence state of mind. It’s the information we ask our partners in the beginning of our relationship. It’s demonstrates romantic, emotional and physical attraction towards our partner. When we feel these are reciprocated, we feel needed and feel appreciated and wanted.
Do you remember when you last gave your partner their favourite flowers, watched the chick flick she loves so much, watched their favourite footy team play, buy their favourite ice cream flavour, put a love note in their lunch box or sent a love text in the morning.
Sadly, what can happen over time is that we get busy with life, children, jobs and forget to keep asking these questions and we begin to drift apart, not know each other as deeply, especially when we are changing and developing over time. When we begin to drift, we start feeling unheard, turned away from, unloved, and unimportant.
To start learning what your partner’s joys, loves, dreams and worries are again, start asking open ended questions.
It’s can be as simple as, 'Honey, is your favourite flower still an Orchid or has it changed?'
'We haven’t been out for Ice cream for a while, let’s go and get an ice cream. You always loved a double chocolate with a waffle cone. Is that still your favourite? Do you remember when we used to go out for Ice cream all the time?'
'Remember when you used to put those funny little notes in my lunch box, I used to love finding them so unexpectedly. I know we are all really busy and I make my own lunch now but I’d really love a love text from you throughout the day. That would really make my day.'
It’s amazing how these little open-ended questions can help you start to get to know your partner again. Try being curious your partner and how they have changed over time and see how this will bring you closer to each other. Acknowledge these moments with your partner. Let your partner know how much these little bids of love mean to you. Reminisce, play your favourite music that you both loved when you first started dating. If you have children show them a bit of who you both were in the past. Make it fun. What have you got to lose?
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