When in a long-term relationship or years of marriage, things tend to change. Less effort is put in, you think you know everything about your spouse/partner, and assumptions are made on a daily basis that could hurt the relationship. Dr. John Gottman has done extensive research on married couples and one thing that impacts their relationship is the knowledge of each other’s Love Maps. Couples who are highly emotionally intelligent are more likely to remember the key things about their partner and historic dates in their relationship. Couples who are more aware and intimately knowledgeable about each other’s lives are likely to survive big life changes like a baby, job change, or death. Love Maps are about building your friendship and making it stronger. Marriages that are most successful are those where the couple is friends as well as lovers.
Jak and I, this past weekend, did the Love Maps questionnaires and we both knew each other pretty well. There were some questions that we didn’t know the answers to, and we realized we had never talked about those things. This questionnaire not only allowed us to be closer emotionally but allowed for more open communication. Jak realized he had never told me who his childhood friends were, I realized I hadn’t told Jak about some of my favorite movies. They are small things, but worth mentioning and knowing. Jak revealed stories about him and his friends, and I was able to mention different movies I loved and why.
It’s true that marriages are not strictly about romantic relations, but rather the friendship. One of my favorite things is that Jak and I are best friends. We hang out with each other all the time, we know so much about each other, we are constantly talking and communicating, meaning there are no big surprises that throw either of us off. I couldn’t imagine my dynamic with Jak if we weren’t best friends. I feel like our relationship would be very distant. I am not saying that couples should do everything together but in general, areas they should enjoy each other’s company and want to know about their partner and their interests. I know that Jak is constantly talking about cars, and though I am not well versed on that topic, I still listen and ask questions when things are truly going over my head. Same with Jak, I will talk about psychology and the things I’ve learned and when he is starting to feel lost, he asks questions. We are each other’s teachers in a way. We luckily have enough different interests that we can each offer each other an abundance of knowledge in areas.
I highly suggest trying out the Love Maps Questionnaire! It doesn’t take too long and can be very fun (especially the questionnaire where you get points if you answer correctly).