Thursday, May 23, 2019
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Test your relationship’s romance

Dear lovers, in this column I will not give insights or instructions on how to improve your relationship. Rather, I have prepared a questionnaire to help you evaluate how well, romantically, you are doing in your relationship.

About 10 years ago, I developed “Brennen’s Short Survey on Marital Satisfaction”. It deals with four broad areas of relationships: friendship, romance, time spent together and intimacy. I’ve observed that each time I conduct the survey, the areas that stand out as the weakest among couples are first romance and then time spent together. Thus, I created these new short questions to help you look deep into your own relationship.

If you are in a romantic relationship or married, I invite you to read the survey and honestly answer each question. Here’s what to do – select and write down one of the following numbers to answer each question: 1 – Always; 2 – Often; 3 – Sometimes; 4 – Rarely; 5 – Never.

[ ] My spouse and I spontaneously reach out for each other’s hand when walking together.
[ ] My spouse and I break into smiles spontaneously when we see each other at the end of the work day.
[ ] My spouse and I enjoy eating meals together at least three times a week.
[ ] My spouse and I enjoy receiving calls from each other at work.
[ ] My spouse and I enjoy eating lunch together at least once during the work week.
[ ] My spouse and I enjoy sharing hymnals when singing together in church.
[ ] My spouse and I enjoy referring to each other by first or pet name.
[ ] My spouse and I are considerate of each other’s feelings, fears and joys.
[ ] My spouse and I are excited to go to bed together at least three times a week.
[ ] My spouse and I enjoy holding or lying close to each other while falling asleep.
[ ] My spouse and I enjoy lingering awhile after making love.
[ ] My spouse and I enjoy working together financially and building the family budget.
[ ] My spouse and I enjoy sitting together in church or at other religious or social functions.
[ ] My spouse and I enjoy embracing/hugging each other for at least 20 seconds each day.
[ ] I enjoy wet-kissing my partner for about five to 10 seconds at least once each day.
[ ] My spouse and I enjoy talking about each other to our friends and colleagues.
[ ] My spouse and I feel free to share opinions and ideas even when they are opposing views.

After answering the questions, sit with your partner and compare your answers. Evaluate areas that are weak and make a commitment to adjust. Listen nonjudgmentally to your partner. Be humble enough to admit weaknesses and to make changes in your relationship.
 
• Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board-certified clinical psychotherapist. Send your questions or comments to barringtonbrennen@gmail.com or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org or telephone 242-327-1980. 

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