When we first start dating someone, we start to pay attention to everything about them, from what they eat to how they react in a particular situation. We might observe, for instance, that they enjoy pineapple on their pizza or that they like their coffee black. As a relationship develops, we might begin to inquire about our partner’s preferences, desires, and feelings towards particular circumstances or scenarios. We get more curious as we want to understand what makes this person tick.
.Love maps are details we learn about our partners as we grow to know them, says Vagdevi Meunier, Psy.D., a registered clinical psychologist with the Gottman Institute who is based in Austin, Texas, for SheKnows. We could even be creating love maps for our relationships without being aware of it. It just one of those things that develops naturally.
Meunier claims that these “love maps” eventually turn into a database for our connection.
How does your relationship benefit from love maps?
Meunier contends that the way we express interest in a partner and begin to develop a relationship is through our love map. “A foundation is built when the love maps are reciprocal and you’re both asking inquiries. You begin to develop a friendship. It demonstrates shared interest,” claims Meunier. You actually learn stuff about this individual that you adore, admire, and appreciate as you construct this database. You increase that interest and attraction as you create love maps.
What occurs if you stop using love mapping?
Meunier counters that if I ask someone what toppings they prefer on their pizza and they don’t respond or turn away, it will be clear to me that they are uninterested in me and I will cease asking questions. This could result in a split or indicate that a couple has been together for a long time without developing curiosity about one another and taking the effort to get to know one another better.
When both spouses have gone for a long time without sharing what is going on in your everyday life with one another, Meunier believes this type of scenario can occur frequently among long-distance couples. It may also occur when a partner has a highly demanding or private job and is unable to disclose to their partner what they’ve been doing all day. According to Meunier, this creates space for disengagement and detachment over time. “And after a while of being estranged from your lover, you start to feel lonely and alienated. You start to feel like a stranger is residing with you, which may make you wary and suspicious. The more unfamiliar you feel with someone, the more probable it is that you will become guarded and unwilling to open up to them.
How to start a love map
The nicest thing about love maps, according to Meunier, is that they don’t require a lot of work or time. By asking your partner a variety of questions throughout the day, you can practically develop love maps all day long. She counsels couples not to limit their weekly date night together to just one occasion.
“That one night was subjected to a lot of pressure and expectations from you. Additionally, if you haven’t spoken to each other all week, you can feel distant from one another and rapidly become anxious or angry with one another. She advises taking the time, whether it’s five or ten minutes each day, from Monday through Thursday to ask each other illogical questions. These could be on any subject at all. Meunier advises looking back at earlier talks you two had five years ago and asking your partner about an old memory or a forgotten dish. “Reminiscing is a wonderful method to bond with others. Never assume that someone would continue to respond to a question in the same manner just because they did so in the past. One of the essential components of love maps is to maintain your interest in your companion.
Meunier advises knowing how to ask open-ended questions if you want to create the most effective love maps. Don’t pose difficult or laden questions. Learn to ask questions that prompt a narrative, she advises. Yet another crucial point? Set aside time for your spouse. “While you may get away with texting your partners to ask them things, try to see them in person and offer inquiries that aren’t too superficial. As you ask further questions, consider the answers to your previous inquiries. Make an ordinary discussion into a chance to create a more beautiful and detailed love map.
Why the core of your relationship must include love mapping
According to Meunier, “We want to promote the idea that even if you’ve been with someone for 30 years, you’re dying to ask them questions when you go to dinner with them.” “You can’t wait to ask them questions about the past and the future. It doesn’t need to be difficult or in-depth. It may be the most straightforward or absurd query. Asking you questions about which I’m curious and being interested in your response are healthy love maps. What really makes for a healthy love map is being more interested in the response than the query.
Meunier argues that it’s as crucial to acknowledge and appreciate when someone uses a love map for you. Even if your partner regularly takes out the garbage, expressing your appreciation and saying, “Thanks for doing that, you know how much I detest taking the trash out,” can make them feel good and encourage them to use their love maps for you more frequently.
In the end, love maps provide us a sense of being heard and seen by our companion. We feel like we belong in relationships when we feel seen and heard, according to Meunier. “We feel closer, more at ease, and more appreciated and loved. So, it doesn’t require a lot of big, dramatic gestures and vacations to make your partner feel all those things. It requires little things you can perform repeatedly. Every day, you can use love maps to show your partner that you’re considering them and are curious to learn more about them.
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