A Guide to Relationship Check-Ins by UnderneathTheMoon.com

Posted On: June 3, 2024

A Guide to Relationship Check-Ins

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy for couples to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, often neglecting to nurture their relationship. This is where the concept of a relationship “check-in” comes into play. As a relationship counselor and clinical sexologist, I have seen firsthand the positive impact that regular check-ins can have on a couple’s bond and overall well-being.

So, what exactly is a relationship check-in? Simply put, it’s a designated time for partners to come together and discuss the state of their relationship openly and honestly. This can involve sharing feelings, addressing concerns, setting goals, and reaffirming their commitment to each other.

But should every couple have these kinds of check-ins? In my professional opinion, absolutely. Regardless of whether you’re newly dating or married for years, regular check-ins can help strengthen communication, deepen intimacy, and prevent potential issues from escalating.

Now, how often should you have a relationship check-in? The frequency can vary depending on the health of your relationship and individual preferences. For couples facing challenges, weekly or bi-weekly check-ins may be beneficial. On the other hand, couples in a good place may opt for monthly or quarterly sessions. Ultimately, it’s essential to find a schedule that works for both partners and allows for meaningful discussions.

Who might benefit from relationship check-ins? Anyone looking to enhance their connection with their partner, improve communication skills, or address underlying issues in their relationship can benefit from regular check-ins. Additionally, couples experiencing conflicts or feeling disconnected can find value in these sessions.

To ensure a productive relationship check-in, consider the following tips:

  1. Setting: Choose a comfortable and private setting for your discussions.
  2. Be Mindful of Timing: Choose a time when both partners are relaxed and not distracted by other commitments. Avoid having check-ins during stressful or busy periods.
  3. Schedule it: Schedule the check-in in advance to prioritize it in your busy schedules.
  4. Topics: Discuss a range of topics, including feelings, goals, challenges, and desires.
  5. Set Clear Goals: Discuss and set specific goals for your relationship during check-ins. This could include improving communication, planning future activities together, or working on individual growth.
  6. Practice Vulnerability: Be open and vulnerable with your partner during check-ins. Share your fears, insecurities, and hopes for the relationship to deepen emotional intimacy.
  7. Use “I” Statements: When expressing feelings or concerns, use “I” statements to take ownership of your emotions. For example, say “I feel overwhelmed when…” instead of “You always make me feel…”
  8. Listening: Practice active listening and empathy when addressing sensitive topics.
  9. Express Gratitude: Take time to appreciate and acknowledge the positive aspects of your relationship during check-ins. Express gratitude for your partner’s efforts and qualities.
  10. Way forward: Focus on finding solutions and compromises rather than placing blame.
  11. Follow Up: After each check-in, follow up on the action items discussed and track progress towards your goals. This shows commitment and accountability in working towards a healthier relationship.
  12. Seek Professional Help When Needed: If you find that you’re unable to resolve conflicts or deepen your connection through check-ins alone, consider seeking the guidance of a relationship counselor or therapist to support you in navigating challenges effectively.

When it comes to what you shouldn’t do or say during a relationship check-in, avoid criticism, defensiveness, contempt, or stonewalling. Instead, approach the conversation with an open mind, respect, and a willingness to listen and understand your partner’s perspective.

If your partner isn’t receptive to check-ins or struggles to engage in meaningful conversations during these sessions, couples therapy may be a beneficial next step. A trained therapist can provide guidance, facilitate communication, and help both partners work through their issues effectively.

Relationship check-ins are a valuable tool for fostering healthy relationships and promoting emotional intimacy. As counsellors specialising in relationship and intimacy, we encourage couples to prioritize these sessions as a way to nurture their connection and address any challenges that may arise. If you’re ready to take your relationship to the next level, do schedule a check-in with us today. Together, we can work towards building a stronger and more fulfilling partnership.

For relationship counseling and/ or sexuality counseling, do contact us here. 

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