Continue getting to know your significant other. That’s a principle for making love last that Dr. John Gottman has discovered over his decades of research. He calls it “enhancing your love map.”
Dr. Gottman writes:
Without such a love map, you can’t really know your spouse. And if you don’t really know someone, how can you truly love them? No wonder the biblical term for sexual love is to “know.”1
Understanding each other’s love maps isn’t something you do once and you are done. People change and grow.
Below are 30 questions you can ask your spouse to start discussions to increase the detail of your love maps for each other.
When you ask these questions, be sure to bathe the process in grace. Don’t get mad if your partner gets a question wrong. You wouldn’t be asking each other these questions if you didn’t love each other and desire growth in your relationship. Dr. Gottman has more questions and great thoughts about love maps in the first chapter of his book, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.”
- What’s my favorite color?
- What is a food I would rather go hungry than eat?
- What is my favorite food?
- What’s my favorite color?
- What’s my favorite sport?
- What get’s my motor running, sexually?
- Would I rather have 16 friends over for dinner or two?
- What is one of my biggest fears?
- What is something I really enjoy doing with time off?
- How is my life different than I expected it would be at this point?
- What do I find very relaxing?
- Who is my favorite relative?
- Who is my least favorite relative?
- What is my favorite vacation so far?
- What is something I worry about (or, at least, am concerned about?)
- What are three things on my “bucket list”?
- What is one of my major dreams or aspirations?
- What is a major disappointment I have experienced?
- Who is my favorite artist? (Recording, painting, who cares? You’re building a better love map!)
- What is one of my favorite books?
- Who is my best friend (other than my spouse)?
- Do I have any regular pain? If so, where?
- How do I like most to receive affection? Words, gifts, acts of service, touch, quality time?
- Am I enjoying asking you these questions?
- What really saps my energy?
- What is something I would like to change about myself?
- What is something I am proud of?
- Would I rather have a chauffeur or a maid?
- What is something you are pretty sure you don’t know about me?
- Would I rather have breakfast in bed or dinner in a restaurant?
I recommend “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.” (CLICK HERE to take a look at it on Amazon.com)
It’s a well-researched and very practical book. The chapters are filled with true/false tests, questions, anecdotes from Dr. Gottman’s long research career and principles for making your marriage work. I suggest you read it together.
On another note:
I am still honing the focus of my blog. Relationships are a vital part of every person’s life and I think I have something to contribute to people’s lives when it comes to understanding and growing healthy relationships.
For the time being, I am going to call Mondays “#marriagemondays” on my blog. Every Monday will be a marriage-specific post. Of course, these thoughts and principles will apply to other close relationships as well.
We’ll see how #marriagemondays goes.
Thanks for reading my blog and I hope it is helpful to you.
1Gottman, John; Nan Silver. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (p. 48). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
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