Whether you’re in a good or bad place in your relationship, evaluating it is important. Use our do-it-yourself relationship evaluation to learn what areas need improvement. Remember, great couples are born through continuous learning.
How many of you received progress reports in school? I certainly did. We would receive one every nine weeks. And while most students dreaded them, I was grateful for them. They allowed me to track how well I was doing in school and to see what areas of study needed improvements. Well, here I am 20+ years later, and my wife and I follow this 'progress report' method in our relationship.
But we're not evaluating each other on biology and math skills. Rather, we evaluate each other on topics like communication, romance, gift-giving skills, etc. Consider creating a 'relationship progress report' with your significant other, and watch as you both experience an awakening. However, to ensure you get the proper results from your progress report, there are a few rules to follow:
1. This is not an opportunity to play the 'blame game'.
It's unproductive and will shut down communication. Remember this should be used as a tool to get some invaluable insight into the status of your relationship and show you were changes can be made.
2. Set guidelines before hand explaining what each grade means.
For example, an ‘A’ (usually between 90 and 100) might mean that your partner isn’t perfect, but obviously excelling. It could also mean that your partner is loving, attentive, enthusiastic and satisfying. A ‘B’ (usually between 80-89) could stand for a partner who is always trying, better than most and consistently works on improving themselves. A ‘C’ (70-79) might mean average or acceptable. ‘C’s’ always indicate plenty of room for improvement. ‘D’s’(60-69) and ‘F’s’ (50-59) should be reserved for unhappy situations or even stressful ones. ‘D’s’ refer to feelings of hopelessness while ‘F’s’ indicate someone is unhappy. If you find that you and your significant other have areas with a ‘D’ or an ‘F’, you need to focus on why you are giving or receiving those grades and commit to some kind of action in order to improve that grade. If you are unable to resolve it, you may want to consider counseling. No matter the issue, if you are both willing to work at it, the grade is already moving higher.
3. In addition to grading your partner, you should also grade yourself, ranking each out of 100 points (or M&Ms or bananas – basically whatever unit you want).
Evaluate areas like affection, ability to resolve conflict, attitude, commitment, communication skills, consideration level, thinking as a ‘couple’, creativity, sensitivity, flexibility, generosity, friendship and gift giving skills. Once you’ve completed that list, continue to evaluate honesty levels, listening skills, household management skills, patience, love making, romance abilities and practice, playfulness, self-esteem, self-awareness, sense of humor, empathy, tolerance and spontaneity. If you feel that there are any other areas relevant to your particular relationship, feel free to add and evaluate at your discretion.
Once you're finished grading, compare and talk about your grades with each other. Ask open-ended questions. Why did my partner believe I deserved this particular grade? (This is a good question to ask for good grades too!) What could I do differently to receive a higher grade? You’ll be surprised at how your partner sees your relationship, and you’ll have invaluable insight into how he or she sees your role in the relationship. Just because you may not have earned an A in some areas doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate. Pat yourself (and your partner) on the back for anything over a ‘B’ and talk about ways you can improve on any ‘C’s’ and ‘D’s’.
We'd love to hear how this exercise helped your relationship and if you have any ideas on how to improve it. Comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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