A really good way to think about relationships is in terms of health – just like we invest time and money into our physical and mental health (through exercise, diet, therapy and sleep), a relationship also needs attention and nurturing in order to flourish.
This new way of thinking is helpful because it gives us a lot of clues about what to look for in our relationships, to see if things are as good as they can be. Here are 15 questions that you can ask about your relationship, as a proactive ‘check up’.
Am I fully satisfied with my sex life?
This might be things like amount of sex, experience of pleasure, climaxing, and the intimacy involved with sex (for example, foreplay and cuddling). Its normal to have some gaps in our sex lifes – after all, we can be impacted by stress or illness – so be gentle when taking stock and consider what might need to change for your satisfaction to increase.
Do I feel seen and heard?
Communication and listening are key in a relationship – and if these aren’t present, then a lack of respect can develop. Issues with feeling heard can have huge impacts on the relationship, so consider what the barrier to this is.
Do I feel appreciated by my partner?
Appreciation doesn’t have to mean daily social media posts praising your efforts, or major gifts – it is more about giving thanks and validation for your role in their life. Appreciation can fade over time and can be important to maintain.
Am I comfortable being vulnerable with my partner?
We all have our own levels of vulnerability, but if you regularly feel emotionally uncomfortable or unsafe being vulnerable with your partner, it might be time to look at the underlying reasons and what can be done.
Do I fully trust my partner?
Just like vulnerability, trust can differ from person to person – but if you are struggling with doubts and insecurities, it is a good idea to talk through this. Are your fears valid? Are they about the past? What is actually happening that is causing this vulnerability?
Do I laugh regularly with my partner?
Your life together doesn’t necessarily need to be a laugh a minute, but sharing a sense of humour and some fun times with your partner is important for the friendship side of the relationship – and when this is lacking things can sometimes feel too serious.
Do I envy my friends’ relationships?
If you find yourself dreaming of a partnership like those you see around you, it might be a sign something is the matter – it is good to identify what it is you see in those relationships that you want, and what might be missing in yours.
Do I feel prioritized by my partner?
Your partner doesn’t have to make you the center of their life – but if you are struggling even to get a look in, it might be time to reflect on this. Do you feel like a priority? Have things changed for some reason? What might it look like if you were a priority?
Do I still learn new things about my partner?
As much as we go through ‘ruts’ in our relationship, there is always more to learn about someone. If you’re not learning new things about them, it might be time to start asking deeper questions and listening carefully to the answers.
Do I value my partner’s opinion?
Valuing and actually taking our partner’s advice are two different things – but caring about what our partners think is a good sign that we respect them and trust their judgement. If you don’t feel this way, it may be time to reflect on why that is.
Am I comfortable disagreeing with my partner?
If you are struggling to speak up if you don’t agree with what is being said, this may be a sign that the communication or trust in your relationship is breaking down – and there needs to be some conversation about how to make your voice heard.
Do I feel loved?
The act of feeling loved and appreciated differs from each person – and some of us need more validation and displays of love. If, in your relationship, you do not feel loved, it is worth sharing this with your partner and discussing ways that they can make this happen for you – and vice versa.
Do I want to spend time with my partner?
Ideally, our partner is our ‘safe space’ in a relationship and, while we may not want to spend ALL our time together, we enjoy their company. If you’re finding yourself avoiding your partner’s company or being alone with them, it is time to reflect on the reasons why.
Do I desire my partner?
This is a complex one, since our desire can fluctuate over the relationship – but if you are finding that you are less attracted to your partner, or are putting off sex or intimacy because you’re not really that into it, now is the time to be curious about why – and seek some advice from a friend or professional.
Am I excited about the future?
This question may be the strongest predictor of a relationship – if you’re excited about your future with them by your side, this indicates that issues you have now feel solvable. If you’re dreading or anxious about the future, it is a good opportunity to consider what it is that you’re worried about – and what needs to change for you to imagine a good future together.