How Well Do You Know Your Partner?
Can you name your partner’s two best friends? Do you know what their biggest stressor is right now? What are some of their deepest fears?
These are examples of details stored in what Dr. Gottman calls your Love Map.
Dr. Gottman uses this term to describe the part of your brain where you keep all the relevant information about your partner’s life. Emotionally intelligent couples remember all the major events in each other’s history, and continuously update this information as the facts and feelings of their partner’s would change.
Knowing your partner not only deepens your bond, but also prepares you to better manage stressful events and conflict. In one study, Dr. Gottman found that after the birth of the first baby, 67% of couples experienced a decline in marital satisfaction while the other 33% remained stable or saw an improvement in their marriage.
What caused the difference in satisfaction between these two groups? Love Maps. The couples whose marriages thrived had a deep understanding of each other’s worlds. The couples who didn’t start off with a deep knowledge about each other were thrown off course when they faced a dramatic shift in their lives.
Enhancing your Love Maps is really just about intentionally building