As we cross the threshold into 2023 and start a new year, we feel the spaciousness and excitement of having twelve whole months to accomplish some desired dreams and intentions. I purposefully use the words dreams and intentions instead of resolutions because they hold the pull of our desires plus the frequency of something fun and pleasurable that we'd like to aim for in our lives.
For those of us in an intimate relationship, there may be places we wish to improve within the partnership, places where we can soften some of the harsh edges and bring in more lightness, ease, fun, and pleasure. To that end, this simple Relationship Check-In can help get things moving in an upgraded direction, one that feels more fulfilling to you and your partner no matter how many years you've shared together. The start of a new year is a great time to take your relationship pulse and refine things to bring in some fresh, new energy to the partnership.
The easiest way to use this guide is to make time for the two of you to go through it together. Give yourselves as much time as you need, and don't feel pressured to do it all at once. You can take one section at a time at whatever pace works for you. Put on your comfy clothes, settle into a comfy spot, have something to write with and on (in case you want to jot some notes), maybe even grab your favorite snack and beverage—ones that feel nourishing and not mind-altering, because you want to stay fully present with each other through this process—and then begin.
In Section 1, some people find it easiest for each of you to rate the areas on a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 is low and 10 is high. Then use your ratings as a starting point for deep, honest conversation. It's important not to judge each other or become defensive for how either of you feel, but to use your honest sharing as a way to more intimately connect and converse with each other.
In Section 2, it's helpful to practice conscious listening so you can each share what issues you perceive in the relationship, knowing that yours may not be the same as your partner's. It's okay if the issues you identify are different. Uniting together, you can figure out how to address them in ways that feel good to both of you, and can support each other in making desired shifts.
Sections 3 and 4 give us some guidelines to help keep the relationship healthy. When we're in a longterm relationship, it's easy to overlook or neglect these basic behaviors. Keeping an eye on how we show up in the partnership makes all the difference in the world. Staying aware and consciously taking responsibility for our role in the partnership is one of the most significant things we can do for the health and positive feel of our relationship overall.
Note that the skills identified in this guide are stepping stones to a mature, spiritual relationship. Mastering these behaviors is part of how we build a sacred partnership, the kind that lasts and maintains its integrity and fulfillment for both partners. And the kind in which our sense of loving each other deepens with age instead of fading. It's the sweetness of learning to genuinely love ourselves and as a result, others. What a lovely way to begin a new year.