How Solid Is Your Relationship?

May 13, 2020

We are living in unprecedented times. This pandemic is testing our relationships in ways they have never been tested before. The reality is, we’re all on edge, feeling varying degrees of fear, anxiety, uncertainty, irritability. Even the most even-keeled amongst us is worried about our jobs, our finances, the economy, our health, our family, our friends, our co-workers, our community, and the list goes on. And, strange as it may sound, it’s human nature to take it out on those closest to us, particularly our intimate partner.

Whether we are forced to live apart or are isolated together in close quarters, we will either struggle, or we will thrive and grow. We will either be at odds with our intimate partner, or we will pull together and deepen our connection.

Are you wondering whether your relationship will make it through this pandemic?

The following questions are borrowed from Dr. Gary W. Lewandoski Jr., a social psychology professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey and co-author of The Science of Relationships: Answers to Your Questions about Dating, Marriage and Family. Dr. Lewandowski has focussed his entire career on relationships. He has published over 30 journal articles and 20 book chapters on the topic of love. He says the top question he gets asked is “Am I in the right relationship?” It is the most pressing question people have about their relationship; yet, it’s the one that people are least able to answer for themselves.

Answer each question below honestly. If you answer “yes” to these questions, your relationship is likely to stand the test of time. If you answer “no” to any of these questions, you may need to make some difficult decisions about your relationship or, at the very least, get some support to strengthen your relationship:

  1. Does your partner make you a better person, and do you do the same for them?
  2. Are you and your partner both comfortable with sharing feelings, relying on each other, being close, and able to avoid worrying about the other person leaving?
  3. Do you and your partner accept each other for who you are, without trying to change each other?
  4. When disagreements arise, do you and your partner communicate respectfully and without contempt or negativity?
  5. Do you and your partner share decision-making, power and influence in the relationship?
  6. Is your partner your best friend, and are you theirs?
  7. Do you and your partner think more in terms of “we” and “us,” rather than “you” and “I”?
  8. Would you and your partner trust each other with the passwords to social media and bank accounts?
  9. Do you and your partner have good opinions of each other – without having an overinflated positive view?
  10. Do your close friends, as well as your partner’s, think you have a great relationship that will stand the test of time?
  11. Is your relationship free of red flags like cheating, jealousy and controlling behaviour?
  12. Do you and your partner share the same values when it comes to politics, religion, the importance of marriage, the desire to have kids (or not) and how to parent?
  13. Are you and your partner willing to sacrifice your own needs, desires and goals for each other (without being a doormat)?
  14. Do you and your partner both have agreeable and emotionally stable personalities?
  15. Are you and your partner sexually compatible?

These questions are not meant to give you a definitive conclusion but, instead, to cause you to take a thoughtful look at the strength of your relationship. In Dr. Lewandowski’s words: “The questions focus on what matters for serious, long-term, committed, sustainable love.”