'It is like a man who looks in the mirror and,
when he walks away, immediately
forgets what he looked like.'
Last month I presented 'intimacy' as the topic for the next series. This month I am presenting an intimacy questionnaire you can use to discover where you and your relationship are strong and where you need to grow.
Please view the questionnaire as a self-awareness tool and as a challenge not as a judgment.
Questionnaire: There are three exercises that go with this questionnaire.
(a) Using a scale from 1 to 5 - with 5 being the highest - score the following statements.
If you think your relationship is strong in a certain area, give it a score of 4 or 5.
If you think the statement is an area that needs attention, score it with 1 or 2.
(b) Have your partner do the same.
1. We give each other space apart from each other in order to have outside interests, support and hobbies.
2. We share hobbies, sports, leisure activities and do fun things as a couple.
3. We share time together, making time for each other by activities such as a date night.
4. We share feelings, joys and sorrows.
5. We share household tasks, projects and other chores.
6. We share and stimulate each other with what we have read and share ideas and thoughts.
7. Our sexual intimacy/love-making is good.
8. We share what we did when we were apart for a few hours or at work.
9. We share in earning money and deciding how to spend it; working on the checkbook together.
10.We share experiences we had before we met, growing up and in previous relationships.
11. We share personal and marital goals, hopes, and plans.
12. We share beliefs and experiences about God or the meaning of life.
(a) On a separate sheet of paper, rank the intimacy statements according to how important they are for you in your relationship. For instance, if sharing your feelings is the most important item you want in your relationship, mark it with a '1.' Then choose the next most important and mark it with a '2' and so on.
(b) On another sheet of paper, rank as to how you think your partner will rank what he or she wants in your relationship.
(c) Have your partner do the same: rank for himself and then rank according to how he/she thinks you will rank them.
After you have completed the scoring and ranking, compare by putting your list next to the list of how he/she thinks you ranked them. Do the same for his/hers. Then process it by exploring the differences and similarities among the lists. How well did we size up intimacy in our relationship? Where do we see our strengths and growing areas?
Next month I will be writing about each of the twelve intimacies and present ways that will help you grow in those areas.
Dr. William E. Austin is a licensed psychotherapist and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree. He is a therapist with Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services . He is well known for his warmth and sense of humor. His book, Creating Our Safe Place - Articles on Healthy Relationships, can be purchased through www.amazon.com.
Tidewater Pastoral Counseling: 623-2700