You’ve heard it once, twice, or maybe even a thousand times, but you have to hear it again: communication is the key to a healthy, happy relationship. Yes, it’s THAT important, that you just had to hear it again!
Making time to sit down and check in with your partner helps you take immediate action to a problem in your relationship. Even if things generally seem well and you don’t appear to have any problems, having a relationship checkup will still benefit you and your partner. It may prevent problems even before they happen and keep little issues from snowballing into a big mess.
Just as you go to the doctor for an annual checkup, or bring your car to the mechanic to be tuned periodically, every relationship needs to be recharged from time to time. Whether you’ve been together for decades, several years, or even just a few months, you’ll definitely benefit from regular relationship checkups.
It’s your opportunity to praise your partner for what they do well, as well as open up the things that bother you. But remember, you shouldn’t be the only one talking. Give your partner the chance to open up as well, and in return, listen intently with the goal to understand where they’re coming from.
So, here’s a guide on what you should discuss with your partner.
How is your relationship going?
Firstly, discuss the state of your relationship as a whole. Do you still get the warm, fuzzy feeling with your partner? In what moments do you feel that? When was the last time you had an intimate date night? What do you love about your relationship?
In this part of the checkup, it’s your chance to reflect on how you feel about the level of intimacy in the relationship and recall the little things and moments that you appreciate and you’d like to thank your partner for. You can also discuss things or activities that both of you would like to do again or try for the first time soon.
How about your sex life?
It can be a difficult topic for most couples, but discussing your sex life is important. Regardless of what you and your partner have agreed on, it’s a great idea to check whether both of you are satisfied with the amount and quality of sex you’re having.
At this point, it’s also good to open up things that you like and don’t like in bed. You can also ask your partner if there’s anything they want to try the next time you get down and dirty.
How can you be better for each other?
This can get awkward, but it’s a necessary step to go through. Nobody’s perfect, and once you’ve opened up yourself to your partner’s constructive criticism, you’ll find out what you can improve on to be a better partner.
Before asking your partner how you can be a better partner, take some time to reflect on the things you feel YOU can do to improve your relationship with them. There’s always room for improvement, and you and your partner can help each other be better for each other once you’ve opened up to one another.
Questions such as “How can I help you,” “What do you need that you’re not getting,” or “What else can I give or do for you,” will help encourage your partner to open up.
Are you happy?
There are people who aren’t really happy deep inside, but can still make it appear as if they’re enjoying themselves — let’s not hope that you or your partner is one of those people!
In anything and everything, including relationships, it should make you happy. When you and your partner have become too caught up in your individual schedules, both of you forget about your happiness and satisfaction in the relationship — don’t wait for that to happen! Check in from time to time and make sure you’re both happy.
Are you carrying any relationship baggage?
Maybe there’s something you always fight about or there’s an issue you still haven’t resolved. If there’s something still bothering you or you think needs to be addressed, open it up with your partner and find out how they feel about it. Once you get that settled and both of you are over it, bury it in the past and make sure it stays in the past.
Emery, L. (September 7, 2017). The Activity All Long-Term Couples Should Do Once A Year. Bustle. https://www.bustle.com/p/what-to-talk-about-in-a-relationship-checkup-because-every-long-term-couple-should-touch-base-annually-74249
Laithland, G. (July 16, 2019). A Three-Step Guide to a Relationship Check-Up. Medium. https://medium.com/@gwennalaithland/a-three-step-guide-to-a-relationship-check-up-2c1ed3e36662
Ryan, W. (n.d.). The importance of a relationship checkup. TherapyEverywhere. https://drwilliamryan.com/relationship-checkup/