How to Get an A+ on Your Relationship Report Card
How to improve your relationship using a report card.
Is your relationship earning a passing grade or do you need a tutor?
If you're flunking "Relationships 101" you're certainly not alone, but you can improve your situation with a relationship Report Card. In relationships, as in school, knowledge is power and it pays to do your homework.
How do you grade your partner on love, passion and romance without turning your relationship into an academic exercise and becoming a big turn-off?
Couples in fulfilling relationships have learned that being practical and pragmatic about managing the relationship basics allows you the freedom and time to be more loving, passionate and romantic. When grading, focus on the behaviors and actions, not the words and feelings.
Here are 10 simple tips to help you improve your grade:
1. Create a relationship report card
Begin by asking your partner to help you create a relationship report card. Decide together which areas, such as compatibility, goals, values, teamwork, communication and sex, you want to be graded on. The more specific you are the more helpful it will be. To download a PDF Report Card listing 52 relationship challenges, visit http://www.ImproveYourRelationship.com/reportcard.html.
2. Evaluate your grade
Once you've received your grades, discuss each one with your partner. Are the grades you've received fair? What have you done or not done to receive them? This is a great way to begin a dialogue.
3. Know your partner's grading scale
If your partner has given you a "C-", what will you need to do to get a "B" or an "A"? Ask your partner to define what activities, behaviors, knowledge or skills you must demonstrate to be rewarded with an "A+." Be specific and concrete and make a checklist so it's measurable, tangible and verifiable. If the instructions are unclear, ask for clarification.
4. Decide what grade you want
Not everyone wants to go on to Relationship College. Not everyone is willing or capable of putting in the effort to receive straight "A's". If you're both happy with "C's", that's fine. A report card simply gives you an opportunity to evaluate your current situation.
5. Know what you did to receive your current grade
If you're not satisfied with your current grade consider how much effort you put forth. Have you taken advantage of relationship courses, books, tapes or therapy? Have you asked and do you know what your partner wants? If you were putting in the effort to earn an "A" and received a "C," you need to reevaluate your actions.
6. Benefit from past mistakes
If you've been making an effort for some time and have seen little or no progress, you may be reluctant to try again. This time ask your partner and others for guidance or coaching. You may have a blind spot. Sometimes we're too close to ourselves and to our relationships to see the obvious.
7. Know what you're willing to do to raise your grade
Are you willing to increase your effort, to ask your partner for tutoring, to try something that feels uncomfortable, to take a course, to read a relationship book or to be the first to give what you most want to receive from your partner? Write down at least five things that you're willing to do differently and run them by your partner. Will these things make a difference or are they the wrong activities to earn you a higher mark?
8. Know your level of commitment
Are you willing to work on improving your grade until it becomes boring, until you get frustrated, or until you get the results you want? Most people and most couples give up too soon. How badly do you want a better grade? Is your effort contingent upon your partner also improving his or her grade? How committed have you been in the past? What's your usual pattern? Do you follow through? Making a commitment means you're willing to work at it until you achieve the goal, no matter how long it takes. Take time out of the equation.
9. Prepare for stumbling blocks
What are your stumbling blocks'you, your partner, not enough information or knowledge, the wrong tools? Has your situation changed or are you still hitting the same blocks? If you're old blocks are still in the way, take them one at a time and ask for assistance in overcoming them. Every problem situation has an answer. In school, instructors use books, lectures, field trips, presentations and lots of other tools to help students learn. Use all of the tools available, not just the ones you're comfortable with.
10. Schedule regular reports
It's important to receive regular feedback and reports from your partner. In school you have to wait a quarter or semester to receive a report card, but you and your partner don't have to wait that long. Schedule a weekly or monthly report, whatever is most helpful for the two of you.
Once you've received your grade then reverse the process and grade your mate.
Finally, don't play hooky and don't skip classes. You never know when there might be a pop quiz.
About the Author
Relationship coach, author and speaker, Steve Stewart's new book "52 Simple Rules to Improve Your Relationship" is available at http://www.ImproveYourRelationship.com. For 100s of relationship tips, techniques and tools to help you improve your relationship, you can also subscribe to his free, monthly "Relationship Tips" e-newsletter.