How have you changed since your relationship with your partner first began?
Do you have the same goals? Do you drive the same car? Do you have the same address? Do you have the same career? Do you have the same hairstyle? Do you have the same commitment, chemistry, passions as you did when you first found each other?
Time changes things.
According to Drs John and Julie Gottman, who have completed decades of research with thousands of couples, one of the more identifiable characteristics of a successful relationship is one that maintains frequent deposits of appreciation and curiosity toward their partner and into their relationship.
Here are 10 questions worth examining with your partner over the next week to increase your gratitude for each other through curiosity and understanding. Give your partner a chance to answer the question, you can then answer it as well, and then proceed down the list:
What personality trait in you that am I grateful for noticing? When did I notice this last?
What is one of the challenges we’ve overcome as a couple?
When I see you work hard, what do I notice the most?
What is working in our relationship right now?
What is different today than a year ago that makes me feel grateful?
What is the best decision we have made together?
What inspires me most about you?
What is something I love about you that I learned from my childhood?
What is something that was hard to do together, but we did it anyway?
What are we able to offer others that I am grateful for?
One surefire step towards improving your relationship is to begin asking questions with a desire to understand with respect and show appreciation.