Today we explore an exercise that will allow you to define your ideal relationship or I should say your common ideal relationship. It is a simple exercise to do with your partner and it has the power to change your the foundation of your relationship.
Before I explain the exercise or it’s purpose, I want to share a personal story: As all couples, my wife and I have ups and downs but we decided to work toward relating consciously. We can slowly create more space for love, connection, fun and intimacy. We are on a journey to deepen and strengthen our relationship and to do so, we often used various resources. As I learn, I want to share back with you. It’s incredible the sources we have nowadays and you can (and deserve to) be happy with your love relationship!
Recently we found the book: Getting the Love you Want (Amazon Link (non-affiliate)) and that book is more than interesting. It contains the knowledge that if both you and your partner are committed to go through and do the exercises, it might save your relationship even when it feels it’s lost.
The stories and the knowledge from the book but also the tools given are truly powerful. Most couples wait to be a danger or to have multiple break-ups before they seek help. But what if we could have the tools and knowledge before our relationship is actually in trouble? Instead of trying to save it when we damaged it for years. That’s our quest, I hope I will convince you to join us!
The exercises from the book are demanding, confronting and challenging to do but they have keys for you to build the relationship you want.
Today I will share the first exercise that is suggested to do after reading the book. If you don’t want to buy the book just yet, check the resources at the bottom of the article in the “To Go Further” section!
The Relationship Vision
That exercise is there to show you the potential on your relationship. In other words, helping you define what you can achieve sharing your life with that loved one of yours! It takes roughly an hour according to the book, it took us ~1h30 as we took our time and shared a lot along the way.
I’ll try to be as concise as possible explaining the steps:
Step 1: Take one sheet of paper each. Individually, write short sentences about the vision YOU have for a loving and deeply satisfying relationship. Take 20 minutes at least, the longer you do it, the more meaningful sentences you might have!
Step 2: Share your sentences with each other. While you share, underline the common items (doesn’t need to be words for words, look for the meaning). Add, to your list, any sentences you partner wrote that you agree with but didn’t have on your list. Items you do not share in common can be ignored for now.
Step 3: Create a NEWLY expanded list considering ALL items: your own, the ones shared and not shared. Rate each item individually in term of importance to YOU from 1 to 5 (1 is the most important). Both partners do the same separately. It is important to be as honest as possible here, pleasing your partner and rating a 1 when it is a 5, won’t serve the relationship nor you in the long term.
Step 4: Circle or highlight the two items that are the MOST important to YOU
Step 5: Put a mark or star close to the items that you believe will be the most difficult for the two of you to achieve
Step 6: As this step is long to explain, here is the final outcome you want. That the list we made with my wife:
Some callouts for Step 6. The first 3 Values are in Bold are they are the ones highlighted from Step 5. The first one has two little *, it is because we both had it. The rest is in no particular order and we merged some of our values together. A good example is the third one with open and honest communication and also care, respect and support.
For the “Difficult” column on the right, if it’s hard for one, then it’s hard for both for that list!
Step 7: Print it or write it and put it somewhere you can see it every day. For example, I have it close to the bed right now, so I can read it before sleeping every night.
And that’s about it! At least for that part, it’s just a beginning after all. You have your vision for your relationship at that point. You know what matters, what are the priorities and what you can achieve together.
We did that with my wife roughly 2 weeks ago, before she went for a three weeks trip so we are gonna take the next steps end of the year. I’ll write about it too when we made it happen!
Before I close up this article, just a few word about Exercise 1. It brought a lot of clarity of where we want to go and what we can achieve together. It also helped us to understand where we feel we might struggle and so it helps us define our focus. Some items, we are nowhere close to making them happen so it is also helping us with short, medium and long-term planning!
We talked about these often, but in an hour and a half, we would touch a few of these, dwell of their importance to us and at times, struggle to plan around these values or goals of us. I don’t know a more effective method that allowed us to go so deep but also understand what is important to us.
To Go Further
Today I have a Talk at Google and a Podcast from the Author go to further!
The couple, the authors of the book, recently made a Talk at Google that is great. Worth your time for sure!
They also appeared on a podcast about Relation, it’s called Relationship Alive and the guy hosting the show is great and wise. Worth your time here too!