Partnership. Commitment. Friendship. Growth. Respect. These are the words that come to mind when I think about marriage. Just like meditating, or eating healthy, or exercising, having a flourishing partnership requires practice. Every. Single. Day.
July is a special month to me; on July 3, 2009 I met Dave, and on July 18, 2009 we went on our first date. Now our partnership has transitioned into marriage (I included a couple photos of our October wedding below).
Cultivating strong bonds requires diligent practice. Reminds me of John Lennon, singing, “Love is like a flower, you’ve got to let it grow.” Flowers need fresh air, sun, water, good soil. Marriages need attention, patience, friendship, and, well, tenacity.
In an effort to be proactive with our partnership, we’ve started a weekly check in. This check in has of late taken the form of a “book club” of sorts. Each week we’re reading a chapter of John Gottman’s book, “The Seven Principles that Make Marriage Work”, and discussing it, over juicy slices of homemade pizza:)
This week we learned about growing our love map. Love map refers to all the little details you know about your partner–their favorite foods and activities, their biggest fears, their goals for the future. Last night Dave and I played a game that is in the book, where we randomly asked each other 20 questions and took turns answering what we thought each other would say. It was validating, fun, and surprising. I learned things about Dave I didn’t already know, and we both delighted in the fact that we do know so much about each other’s worlds. It was a lovely mix of topics that had us laughing, and also had us pondering the deep stuff of life and love.
Keeping our lives healthy and joyful means spending time cultivating our relationships. How are you growing your love maps?