WHEN was the last time you assessed your relationship?
Sex and relationship expert Alix Fox says: “A yearly partnership review can keep love rock solid.
“This is your chance to get to the root of issues and plan to improve things before you hit boiling point.
“When filling in the form be honest. Tot up your scores out of 30 for each section, then read my advice on the next page. With your partner, go through each other’s answers, discuss and reflect.
“If there are areas where you have scored poorly, you need to set pledges. The pledges should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed (SMART).
“For example, if you want to have more quality time together, set a specific and realistic amount of date nights for each month, make sure arrangements are in place to make them happen and review after a month.”
How many points did you score?
22 to 30 – Exceeding expectations
ALIX SAYS: “This score means you are working well in this department. Regular check-ins will help keep it that way, and ensure that as your lives naturally change, you are adapting your relationship along with them. Continue to show each other plenty of kindness, respect and empathy, and make time for intimacy and fun.”
15 to 21 – Could do better
ALIX SAYS: “This score could indicate there are some problems here. You need to agree on steps you’ll both take to solve them, and check in every two to four weeks to begin with, to analyse whether you’re sticking to your pledges and that your new approaches are working.
“Take note of the specific statements you scored each other low on and think about how to improve. For example, if your partner thinks you spend too much time on your phone, could you put it in a drawer for an hour in the evening?
“Downloading an app such as Paired (getpaired.com, free) can help to guide you. Developed by therapists, it is designed to help couples feel closer and communicate better.”
5 to 14 – Underperforming
ALIX SAYS: “If this was your score in one or more sections, your partnership has issues. Consider booking a couple’s counselling session to get help to navigate them and heal rifts. Visit relate.org.uk for more information.
“If you score low on sex and intimacy questions, the solution might not just be to make more time for physical closeness, but also to have a truthful chat about exactly what you both want to happen (or not) in that time.
“If you score low on your shared goals and future, you need to be brave and explore why. If you can’t find a common pathway, then it could be time to part ways.”
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