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Sex with Dr. Jess


August 12, 2021

The Relationship Check-In


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This week we share our relationship check-in — short(ish), sweet and unscripted.

Most couples invest in the start-up phase of their relationships (e.g. the wedding and honeymoon) and then they set themselves on autopilot without formally discussing their feelings, desires, goals and needs — until something goes wrong. By scheduling weekly or monthly check-ins, you can reduce tension, improve understanding and nip issues in the bud before they erupt into bigger problems.

Relationship check-ins do not need to follow a specific format. They can be semi-formal (e.g. a conversation with notes over brunch) or more casual (a text chain you update every afternoon). It’s up to you to decide what works for you knowing that the more you talk about your feelings, needs and concerns, the more likely you will be to meet one another’s expectations.

You might start with these three simple prompts:

How are you feeling right now?
How are you feeling in this relationship?
How can I support you at this moment in time?

Or you can take a little more time to delve into some additional topics:

1. How are you feeling today?

This is your opportunity to let your partner know where you’re at emotionally. This can help set the tone for the meeting, so be honest so that your partner understands how you’re feeling and responds with support.

2. How are you feeling about our relationship?

This is also an important question to ask yourself. Consciously consider how you feel about the relationship so that you can make changes and requests as needed. With kids, work and other commitments, we don’t have the time to resolve every conflict, discuss every moment of discomfort or talk about every concern.

3. Is there anything on your mind that is bothering, worrying or stressing you out?

Because you have your own life outside of the relationship, your partner may not know what’s going on with your work, business and friendships.

4. Is there anything you’re working on that you’d like to discuss?

This question might relate to health or fitness goals, something your therapist suggested you work on or a desired mindset.

5. What is on the horizon for the next week/month?

This is an opportunity to ensure you’re both on the same page. You might discuss schedules, workloads or family responsibilities. Planning ahead is essential to happy, harmonious relationships.

6. What can I do to support you?

The previous questions focus on how you’re feeling, and this one allows you to shift the focus to your partner. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be as specific as possible when making requests.

7. How are you feeling about our sex life?

Most people don’t talk about sex until something is wrong, but couples who make sex talk a habit have more frequent and satisfying sex. When they run into sexual challenges (e.g., lack of desire or a decline in frequency), they’re equipped to work through the issue, as sexual communication is the norm, not an exception that becomes associated with problems. If this broad question feels too daunting, consider an alternative: What did you like about the last time we had sex?

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If you’ve got questions for the podcast, submit them here. As well, you can now record your messages for us! Please record your message/question in a quiet room and use your phone’s headphones with built-in mic if possible.

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