The 13 months of long-distance that we survived when Boneto and I first started dating (and as we got pregnant and got engaged and started planning a wedding... ) have actually become a huge advantage to our relationship. We spent so much time talking and getting to know each other that we built a really strong foundation for our marriage.
We are slowly working our way through the book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. (See my post about Exercise 1 here!) Principle 1 is Enhance Your Love Map and for the second exercise in this chapter, you are encouraged to make your own love maps. Taking turns as listener and speaker, you interview your partner and record the answers to the topics below. This is a judgement-free zone and while our love map is pretty up-to-date, you can definitely learn some things about your partner and spark some interesting conversations!
We spend an enormous amount of time and money preparing for weddings, which are just a single day in the grand scheme of things. It should be equally (or, really, much more!!) important to prepare for your marriage, which will - hopefully - last the rest of your life.
So, take some time and make your love map with your partner! Make it fun and enjoy the conversation. Whether you are dating, engaged, or have been married for 30 years, it can't hurt to sit down and work to understand each other.
The cast of characters in my partner's life
Rivals, competitors, "enemies":
Recent important events in my partner's life
Upcoming events (What is my partner looking forward to? Dreading?)
My partner's current stresses
My partners current worries
My partner's hopes and aspirations (For self? For others?)