“So, how did the two of you meet?”
How you answer this question may have greater significance than you think.
All couples have a story to tell. There is a story about how you met, a story about your first fight, and a story about your wedding day. How couples share what Dr. Gottman calls the “Story of Us” determines whether their relationship is in the positive or negative perspective.
When you reflect on the story of your relationship, what do you think about? Is there more “me” than “we?” Is there more disappointment than satisfaction?
When the “Story of Us” is positive, a couple has a strong buffer against conflict and they tend to focus on their partner’s positive qualities. A negative “Story of Us” primes your brain to assume the worst about your partner.
Dr. Gottman found that couples either “glorify the struggle” by highlighting the good times in their relationship and by making light of the bad, or they focus on their disagreements and look back on them with resentment.
The brief quiz below will help you determine if you have a positive or negative “Story of Us.”
If you’d like to take the full Story of Us Questionnaire, add your email below and we’ll send it directly to your inbox. The Questionnaires blog column offers quizzes to help you assess the strengths in your relationship and identify areas that may need attention.
Note: These questionnaires are intended to be psychoeducational. If you would like a full evaluation of your relationship, you can ask your therapist to invite you to complete the Gottman Relationship Checkup. If you’re not currently seeing a therapist, you can find one in your area on the Gottman Referral Network.More in The Questionnaires