“This is my beloved and this is my friend”
-Song of Solomon 5:16
When the GPS device first became popular my husband and I had a standing joke we told friends, “Getting this GPS has saved our marriage, we no longer fight over directions.” Little did we know the GPS was not always accurate and sometimes couldn’t understand us, therefore it would still cause us problems. It is vital to have up-to-date and accurate maps to reach your destination. ‘Love maps’ chart the way to happy relationships.
John Gottman a renowned researcher of what makes couples happy – reports, “Emotionally intelligent couples are intimately familiar with each other’s world.” He says these couples have ‘richly detailed love maps’ of each other’s world which they keep updating on a regular basis. These kinds of couples have a wealth of knowledge of their partner’s current life dreams and concerns, as well as their favorite dessert or vacation spot. Accurate and updated love maps in a marriage can help you have a better understanding of your partner’s inner world and be the catalyst for an intimate friendship. As you reveal more of yourself to your partner they will know more about you than any other person on this planet!
It is not just having detailed information about your partner that is important, but it is using this knowledge as a valuable link to bring happiness and satisfaction to your relationship. When there are bumps in the road, and when life brings major upheaval into your life, couples who stay current with each other’s love maps are the ones who maintain the highest levels of satisfaction. Recently my husband was having a hard week as he was nursing a cold and working long hours at work. After we completed the love map exercise last year I remembered his favorite meal (mashed potatoes, hamburger patty and peas). Being able to provide this for him made him feel well cared for and that home is an oasis in the midst of long days. I even got a bonus point by saving one of his favorite TV movies, Godzilla.
The following activity would be a great way to have a low-key date night. While having dinner or coffee, see how well you actually know each other. Enjoy learning something new about each other. The following 20 questions are taken from the book, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”, John M. Gottman, Ph.D., and Nan Silver.
|1.||Name my two closest friends.|
|2.||What stressors am I facing right now?|
|3.||What was my favorite vacation?|
|4.||What was my most embarrassing moment?|
|5.||What would I consider my ideal job?|
|6.||What personal improvements do I want to make in my life?|
|7.||What is my fondest unrealized dream?|
|8.||What is my favorite getaway place?|
|9.||What was my worst childhood experience?|
|10.||What is my favorite meal?|
|11.||What kind of present would I like the best?|
|12.||What do I most like to do with my time off?|
|13.||What makes me feel most competent?|
|14.||What are 2 of my aspirations, hopes, and wishes?|
|15.||Name one of my concerns or worries?|
|16.||What is my favorite animal?|
|17.||What kinds of books do I most enjoy reading?|
|18.||What is one of my favorite desserts?|
|19.||What is my favorite TV show?|
|20.||What are some of the important events coming up in my life? How do I feel about them?|
You can continue to get to know your partner by making your own love map questions. Part of truly loving someone is to know them intimately.
To learn more about Author and Marriage Therapist Peggy Burns, please visit www.peggyburnsmft.com