Yeepee! It’s the end of another year. Are you excited? Or maybe not. Did you have resolutions and targets at the beginning of the year? Did you tick them off as you achieved them? Or perhaps you got caught up in a lot of things and you were unable to realize your set goals.
Just as we set goals in our personal lives, we set goals at work or in our businesses as well with our relationships. It only gives us a sense of achievement when we actualize our targets and not just having them on paper. For the benefit of this article, we will be evaluating our relationship goals and appraising ourselves thus.
Why relationship evaluation though?
No man is an island. We all need each other to live, to grow, to survive, to depend on, to love and to generally relate with. In whatever capacity we relate with one another, it’s nonetheless a relationship. So if we can to measure ourselves and be honest in feed backs to ourselves, we need to evaluate what’s important to our existence which are the relationships we keep.
The most important relationships in our lives go through stages: initiating, experimenting, intensifying, integrating, and bonding. Relationships that remain superficial go through only the first or second stage. Relationships that come apart also go through stages: differentiating, circumscribing, stagnating, avoiding, and terminating. When a relationship is ending, the participants often make statements that summarize the relationship and comments that indicate whether the relationship will continue in any form. Many relationships end when a third person intervenes in some way. This is because no one understands the terms of your relationship like the two primary parties involved. A third wheel, though meaning to help, will never see and feel it like you can understand your partner.
There are many ways for a committed couple to evaluate how they’re doing without involving a third party. There are key performance indicators to recognize and to use to appraise your relationship. They can serve as a good beginning to your review.
Indicator 1 – Playing Together
There is no better way to evaluate a relationship than to ask the partners when they remember laughing hard together. Humor and playfulness are part of every healthy relationship, and are plentiful in the beginning of most. Whether play time is spontaneous or planned, it is better if it is regenerating, lighthearted, and fun.
Play time means that you are both doing something you mutually love to do at times when you both want to do it. It also requires that you are not carrying past or future worries, and that you set your burdensome responsibilities aside. When partners play well together, they feel more lighthearted and closer.
Indicator 2 – Sharing Dreams
Throughout a relationship, you and your partner should be able to explore what you feel about things that you feel are not part of your everyday lives. That can be as simple as talking over movies and books and imagining yourselves in those roles. Or, you can dream about what you might do if sudden good luck were to fall upon you.
More concrete ideals, such as where you might travel to or even where you will live when you’re older, are ways you can explore possible dreams together. Investigating those possibilities can take you to more new imagined adventures, like talking about what you would like to change about yourself, or what you’d love to learn. These special shared thoughts, even if they seem out of the realm of current possibilities, will expand your knowledge of each other’s inner worlds.
Indicator 3 – Trust
Trust is at the core of a healthy intimate relationship. You know that your partner is transparent, reliable, and accountable to what he or she promises. You also can count on the fact that your partner will tell you up front if anything changes in the way he or she feels about you.
In trust is where listening skills are the most important. Your goal is to refrain from being defensive, reactive, or threatened when your partner is distressed about the relationship. When your first responses are compassion and encouragement, you will learn more about the deeper issues that may be under what is being said.
Indicator 4 – Working as a Team
All intimate partners must work together to solve life’s challenges and problems if they want to stay closely connected. They also willingly take over if the other has a legitimate need to temporarily pull out, trusting that the partnership obligations will even out over time.
Some couples decide what their individual roles as team members will be in advance, while others prefer to exchange many of their roles as they see fit at the time, or do more of them together. In any case, you both feel confident that you can work out disagreements while keeping your mutual goals in mind. You rely on each other without concern that either will not do what he or she has committed to do.
Indicator 5 – Successful Debaters
Couples who can disagree with compassion, respect, and support for the other are much more likely to find solutions that take them closer to a new truth. They do not argue. Instead, they learn the art of debate, knowing that they must be able to feel and think as their partners do when called upon.
If you discover yourselves in an argument where you are becoming adversaries, you both agree to quiet down, give it some time, and come back in a more compromising frame of mind.
We all grow in the knowledge of each other day by day. You could know someone for 5 years and still find out that there are things about them that you didn’t see before or that wasn’t even there before. People change and it is important to evaluate the key progress indicators in your relationship if you want to stay relevant in that relationship.
Checking your indicators on a regular basis can help you see where you’ve been, where you might be going as a partnership, and any changes you may wish to make. As you celebrate the season of love and joy, I pray that you find love all over again in all relationships that matter to you. 🙂