Yesterday I went into a local bookstore to skim through magazines.

I picked up the February issue of “O” and began to read an article,

"20 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herself Today." The questions were poignant and introspective. They prompted me to think about my life and its direction; my happiness and the fun I am experiencing; the time I spend in solitude and the time I spend with friends. During my contemplation, I began to consider couples. What beneficial questions might they ask themselves?

Here's the list I came up with:

Am I giving 100 percent to the relationship? So many times we are so focused on what our partner is not giving that we fail to realize we usually receive what we put in.

Are we spending as much quality time together as we would like? Our days are full of responsibilities that don’t directly involve our partner. How are we creating that important space that is necessary for a fulfilling relationship?

Have I begun to take him/her for granted? Think about the last time you’ve felt honest gratitude for them.

Am I demonstrating my love on a daily basis? It’s the little things that make such a difference in our lives.

Am I meeting my partner’s needs? If we pay attention to our partner and keep the lines of communication open, we will know.

Do I appreciate my partner for all that they are? Remember why you love them and all of the things they do.

Am I grateful for the love that we share? Ask yourself if you are letting them know that you are.

Am I allowing my love for this person to grow? If you find yourself finding fault and causing arguments, you are not allowing love to flourish.

Am I willing to be really vulnerable with him/her? Vulnerability is one of the components that solidifies a relationship.

Have I done anything differently/special in the relationship lately? Adding some type of excitement to the relationship can be a plus.

Is there enough spice in our love recipe? Shake it up!

Do I treat my partner better today than I did when we first met? Think about it.

Am I making sure I am not comparing and judging? I refer to that behavior as tit for tat, which never leaves room for closeness.

Is kindness something I am offering willingly, everyday? It is really easy to be kind to the person you love.

Am I an understanding partner? Listen with compassion.

Am I a loving partner? Show the love you feel and wish to receive.

Am I a generous partner? Remember to keep your hands open, making it easy to give and to receive.

Are we having fun together? Fun can be simple, like laughing or going for a walk.

Do we laugh long, loud and often? Loosen up and enjoy as much as possible.

Are we happy? Making a gratitude list will remind you of your fortunate position.

What can I do to make this relationship better? Remember, it’s okay to step out of your comfort zone or put in a little effort. It will go a long way.

These questions are what you must answer for yourself. You cannot point fingers. There is no room to blame or compare. Is there is a chasm in your relationship? You may be able to start actively responding to the questions you believe need your undivided attention.

The article I read this morning was thought provoking, and I’m sure allowed the readers to go deep inside themselves and think about their lives. I hope the questions I’ve listed will benefit you and your relationship.

Dr. Lateefah Wielenga works as a life and relationship coach and is also an ordained minister. She has a private practice in Long Beach. Call 895-0516 or visit www.thecounselingkitchen.com for details.

 

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