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A great relationship, even better


Sunday (Photo credit: ex.libris)

As I’ve written before, I’m a big believer in the notion that great relationships require work.  Good relationships typically don’t go bad overnight, but instead it’s usually a long process of neglect.  I often wonder why you hear (or read) very little out there about putting work into relationships, especially with your significant other.  Shouldn’t we want to put in the work to make the most important (or one of) relationship in our life even better?

I was fortunate to have a front row view to one of the more caring, loving, and thoughtful relationships between my mother and Tom.  They put a tremendous amount of time and work into their connection and it clearly showed.  One bit of work they regularly put in was something they called the “Temperature Report.”  The premise is simple, you set aside a bit of time to connect as couple (just as you may do with your team at work) on several discussion points.  I think at the heart of what makes the temp report work is it prevents simple misunderstandings or even disagreements from becoming very big ones, or as my mother used to say it prevents a “mole hill being turned into a mountain.”  I’ve seen in some places they recommend you do this everyday, and while there’s no doubt that’s achievable, I think you can actually be effective doing it on a weekly basis.  Here’s the basic structure of a temp report:

  • Appreciations
  • Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams
  • New Information
  • Puzzles
  • Complaints with a request for change

(via: Smarter Marriages)

I loaded weekly temp report up into my, and on Sunday evening Julie and I sit down with a glass of wine and go through this. It’s pretty quick, and we’ve certainly skipped a few (easy tracking with TDP) and wrestled with a few more, but the results are very clear.  Even with disagreements or misunderstandings the process of discussion and practice brings us so much closer.  I can sense with each week, each practice, we’re strengthening our connection.

I love the idea that a simple practice, a tool to properly track our progress and the application of the content could and will yield lifelong benefits.  Powerful.

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