How would you know what you are aiming for if you keep on saying what you DON’T want?In the book, Getting the love you Want, author Harville Hendrix emphasizes that we would benefit from focusing on positive statements. The book provides an in-depth explanation of designing a vision statement for your relationship.
Individually make a list
Compile a list of short sentences that describe characteristics of a deeply satisfying romantic relationships. This can incorporate things that are already present, and qualities you wish you had. Be sure to write it in the present tense and to focus on what you do, as opposed to don’t do (we don’t scream vs we talk to each other politely).
Share your list and add to it
Share your work with your partner. Underline things you have in common even where the wording is different. Add things to your list if your partner thought of it and you agree with it. Don’t focus too much on differences.
Rate the qualities on your list
- Rank your list: all the items that are most important to you receives a score of 1, all the items least important receives a score of 5, etc. Multiple items can have a score of 1, as long as all the items are ranked from 1 (very important) to 5 (less important).
- Circle the two qualities that are the most important to you.
- Put a mark next to the qualities you think would be the most challenging for you and your partner to achieve.
Design a combined vision statement
In this final step you will work with your partner to design a mutual vision statement for your relationship. On this list:
- Write down all the items that are most important to both of you (these qualities scored 1 on both of your lists)
- Place a mark next to the characteristics you mutually agree will be challenging to accomplish
- Add the other items that are relatively unimportant – if there is conflict, see if you can reach a compromise (else leave it off for now)
Review your vision statement
Place this list somewhere you can both see it easily. Create a weekly ritual of reading it aloud together.
If you are getting stuck along the way, I would love to assist you to design a satisfying vision statement to set the tone for your relationship. Contact me to book a session or sign up for my newsletter to receive notifications about upcoming date night events.