Grade yourself on relationships
If you were to give yourself a grade for how effective, how responsive and how loving you behave in your relationship, what would that grade be? Better yet, break the above question down into smaller segments. On an A, B, C, D and F scale, using (+) or () to more fully adjust your grade, what grade in your relationship would you give yourself in the following categories? ___ How affectionate are you? ___ How romantic?___ How sexy?___ How generous?___ How trusting?___ How kind are you?___ How much fun are you to be around?___ How emotionally present are you around your mate?___ How physically present are you around your mate?___ How sensitive and compassionate are you to your mates feelings?___ How good a listener are you with your partner?___ How emotionally nurturing are you? ___ How physically nurturing? ___ How financially nurturing?___ How much of a friend are you to your intimate partner?___ How in control of your negative emotions are you, such as anger, volatility, insecurity, jealousy, anxiety, fear and mistrust?___ Showing your mate that you value him/her. ___ How affectionate and physically tender are you?___ How affectionate and physically tender are you without ulterior motives?___ How responsive and accommodating are you to what your partner says s/he wants or needs?___ How financially responsible and accountable are you?___ How respectful are you of your partner?___ Overall, how much effort do you give to your relationship?___ Your level of commitment.___ Your flexibility and receptivity to other ways of seeing or doing things.___ Your willingness to address difficult issues or deal with conflicts proactively.___ Your willingness and ability to engage in a disagreement wisely and effectively___ Your overall attitude in the relationship.___ Your sense of humor.___ The division of chores, roles, responsibilities, duties.___ Behaving, thinking and planning as a couple rather than as two individuals.___ The time, attention, effort, skill and patience you bring to parenting.___ How you operate as a team player in the relationship.___ Your ability and willingness to make up after a fight or a disagreement.Most of us have this notion that were going to find the right person to be with and then well be deliriously happy, content and fulfilled in our intimate relationship. Seldom do we think about being the right person making ourselves the best intimate partners we can possibly be. Being more romantic, more loving, more giving, more communicative, more compassionate and more in charge of our negative emotions and reactions.What might you gain if you committed yourself to improving some of these grades? If that interests you, explore the following questions carefully: If you were going to improve some of your grades, what would you have to do differently? What would you have to quit doing? When will you agree to earnestly begin? How will you keep yourself motivated when the going gets rough? What could you say to your partner when your falling down on the job or when you need help? Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Boulder. Call him at 303-758-8777 or e-mail him through his Web site, http://www.heartrelationships.com.