Love Maps [Re-Post]

As promised, I’m sharing the joy of The Sound Relationship House all over again.

Love Maps are the foundation of any relationship and they require consistent nurture throughout the lifetime of a relationship. I constantly work to update my Love Maps, asking Jesse weird questions like, “If you could be any constellation, which would you be?” to simple ones like, “What was the best part of your week?”

Each of these questions allows me to know him a little bit better and it’s fun to see why your partner feels the way they feel. I’m always interested in seeing why Jesse rationalizes something over something else as his favorite or preferred thing. I get to understand his values, his preferences, and that intangible stuff that you have to inherently understand in your partner to truly get them.

Building Love Maps is one of the simplest things you can do that will have some of the most profound effects on your relationship.

Without further ado, here’s my original post on Love Maps in The Sound Relationship House.

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This semester I’m enrolled in couples counseling. After being in this program for a year, I will definitely say couples are one of my favorite populations to learn about and hopefully work with one day in my own practice.

From the first class, we were introduced to the relationship guru John Gottman, a psychologist who has been doing research on couples and families for over 35 years. He and his wife, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, founded the Gottman Relationship Institute based out of Seattle. They are by far the most authoritative group on relationship therapies that work (based on research outcomes). A corner stone of their therapeutic teaching tools is The Sound Relationship House.

Now, I am no contractor, architect, or any building master. I am however, a mind-master-in-training. Also known as an MMIT or a brain ninja. That’s what my diploma will hopefully say anyway. This gives me no authority to talk about houses, but I know enough about a good foundation. In 99.99999% of healthy relationships (that’s an approximation), Gottman says we “Build Love Maps”. What is a Love Map, you ask?

A “Love Map” is the cognitive room you have for your partner. Their likes and dislikes. Their favorite type of food. What things happened to them when they were 7 years old. What was their favorite pet? Where would they go for their dream vacation? The types of things you would expect the person you are with to know about you.

How do you build your Love Map for your partner?

Ask them an open question.

What’s an open question?

A question they cannot answer with a yes or a no. You have to be curious about the person you’re with. You have to want to know things about them.

Question of the Day (if you are someone other than my mother who may be reading this):

What’s been the best question you ever asked your partner?

To view the original post, click here.



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Posted on by Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA Posted in Couples, Theory
Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA

About Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA

Hi, I’m Jen. I’m a mental health counselor newly residing in Seattle, Washington. I strongly believe in the mind-body connection as the cornerstone of my professional ideology, along with the healing possibilities of puppies, a good glass of red wine, the smell of a new book, and the importance of travel.