According to our research, fondness and admiration are two of the most crucial elements in a rewarding and long-lasting romance. Getting through stressful times and managing conflict is much easier if you and your partner regularly show how highly you value each other! The following questions have been designed by Dr. Gottman to assess the current level of fondness and admiration that exists in your relationship. On a sheet of paper, please answer T for true and F for false.
- I can easily list the three things I most admire about my partner. T F
- When we are apart, I often think fondly about my partner. T F
- I will often find some way to tell my partner “I love you.” T F
- I often touch or kiss my partner affectionately. T F
- My partner really respects me. T F
- I feel loved and cared for in this relationship. T F
- I feel accepted and liked by my partner. T F
- My partner finds me sexy and attractive. T F
- My partner turns me on sexually. T F
- There is fire and passion in this relationship. T F
- Romance is definitely still a part of our relationship. T F
- I am really proud of my partner. T F
- My partner really enjoys my achievements and accomplishments. T F
- I can easily tell you why I started dating my partner. T F
- If I had it all over again, I would date the same person. T F
- We rarely go to sleep without some show of love or affection. T F
- When I come into a room, my partner is glad to see me. T F
- My partner appreciates the things I do in this relationship. T F
- My partner generally likes my personality. T F
- Our sex life is generally satisfying. T F
Scoring: Give yourself one point for each true answer.
10 or above: This is an area of strength in your relationship. Because you value each other highly, you have a shield that can protect your relationship from being overwhelmed by any negativity that also exists between you. Although it might seem obvious to you that people who are in love have a high regard for each other, its common for spouses to lose sight of some of their fondness and admiration over time. Remember that this fondness and admiration is a gift worth cherishing. Completing this exercise from time to time will help you reaffirm your positive feelings for each other.
Below 10: Your relationship could stand some improvement in this area. Don’t be discouraged by a low score! There are many couples for whom the fondness and admiration system has not died but is buried under layers of negativity, hurt feelings, and betrayal. By reviving the positive feelings that still lie deep below, you can strengthen your bond enormously!
If your fondness and admiration for each other are being chipped away, the route to bringing them back always begins with realizing how valuable they are. Fondness and admiration are crucial to the long-term happiness of a relationship because they prevent contempt – a corrosive that, over time, breaks down the bond between partners – from becoming an overwhelming presence in your lives. The better in-touch you are with your deep positive feelings for each other, the less likely you are to act contemptuous of your partner when you have a difference of opinion.
Look forward to Friday’s Weekend Homework Assignment, in which we will share one of Dr. Gottman’s exercises for building fondness and admiration in your own relationship!More in The Sound Relationship House