dr-jess-relationship-checkin

The seven questions you should ask yourself and your partner

A relationship check-in

Jess O’Reilly is a sought-after speaker, author and sexologist (www.SexWithDrJess.com).

In an ideal world, you’d be in sync with your partner at all times. You’d understand your partner’s needs, anticipate moods, align your schedules and carve out quality time to connect — emotionally, intimately and sexually. But real life gets in the way, so marriage and relationship therapists suggest scheduling regular check-ins.

When I introduce these to the Toronto couples I work with, I call them board meetings, as this language offers a reminder that you have to invest in your relationship, take the commitment seriously and follow through.

Here are my seven questions for a relationship board meeting:

1. How are you feeling today?

This is your opportunity to let your partner know where you’re at emotionally. This can help set the tone for the meeting, so be honest so that your partner understands how you’re feeling and responds with support.

2. How are you feeling about our relationship?

This is also an important question to ask yourself. Consciously consider how you feel about the relationship so that you can make changes and requests as needed. With kids, work and other commitments, we don’t have the time to resolve every conflict, discuss every moment of discomfort or talk about every concern.

3. Is there anything on your mind that is bothering, worrying or stressing you out?

Because you have your own life outside of the relationship, your partner may not know what’s going on with your work, business and friendships.

4. Is there anything you’re working on that you’d like to discuss?

This question might relate to health or fitness goals, something your therapist suggested you work on or a desired mindset.

5. What is on the horizon for the next week/month?

This is an opportunity to ensure you’re both on the same page. You might discuss schedules, workloads or family responsibilities. Planning ahead is essential to happy, harmonious relationships.

6. What can I do to support you?

The previous questions focus on how you’re feeling, and this one allows you to shift the focus to your partner. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be as specific as possible when making requests.

7. How are you feeling about our sex life?

Most people don’t talk about sex until something is wrong, but couples who make sex talk a habit have more frequent and satisfying sex. When they run into sexual challenges (e.g., lack of desire or a decline in frequency), they’re equipped to work through the issue, as sexual communication is the norm, not an exception that becomes associated with problems. If this broad question feels too daunting, consider an alternative: What did you like about the last time we had sex?