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I remember sitting down one day to have a conversation with my wife. After we were done, I was totally stunned, because there were things that both she and I had no idea were issues. Some time had passed and it had been a while, maybe more than a year since we had sat down and really dug in to address some issues. You know how the routine of life gets. Wake up, get the kids dressed and ready for school, drop them off at the bus stop or at school, then you prepare to commute to work.
Get off work, commute home, help the kids with homework, prepare dinner, eat dinner, put the kiddos to bed, then you get a shower, and hit the bed. Then, the next day you do it all over again. In this fashion, time just flies by and before you know it, it’s the next year. You’re a little older, the children are taller somehow, and maybe some things about you or your spouse has probably changed.
How many times have you looked at your watch or your phone and realized that it was four or five o’clock in the afternoon, and you know you’d been working but the whole day just flew by?
(For some of you I know time seems to creep by when you’re at work, counting the hours before its time to go home.) But the same thing happens in relationships. You get into that routine, and you look up one day, and two or three years have passed.
How often do you sit down and actually talk with your partner?
If you’re like me, I used to HATE sitting down and just having a talk. When my wife used to say, “We need to talk,” I used to dread what would follow. That’s because we didn’t communicate on a regular basis, and so any time she said that, I thought something was wrong. It always had a negative connotation. This is why I developed what I call the Quarterly Relationship Assessment, or QRA. I like to keep things short, sweet, and to the point. Things always work out better that way. This tool will help you accomplish that if you both will commit to using it to resolve your issues.
It’s a tool used to address the issue of communication. I recommend having a QRA every quarter to see where your relationship stands. And this is a time when you both can be honest and say how you feel. Talking about where you are and what you can improve every so often will help you communicate where you honestly feel the relationship is at, and where it’s going. Use that time to have someone watch the kids, and the two of you go to some private place to have some alone time. My wife and I usually make some kind of mini vacation trip out of it. Travel a couple hours away from your home town and just get a hotel for a couple nights. Go out to a nice dinner the first night, and the second night, have your QRA in a nice quiet setting. Both of you lay out what you would like to work on in the relationship.
This will be the tool we use to measure the growth, and the health of the relationship. This is why this tool is so important. It will help us grow with each other, and change with the times in our life. It will help us realize when our goals change, when our ambitions and drives change, and when there are issues we may not have even been aware of until we open up about them. It will also help you notice when your partner’s goals, ambitions, and drives change as well.
Businesses conduct quarterly assessments to gauge the success of the company in each quarter, and make adjustments as they make those assessments to come up with solutions, and increase revenue for the next quarter. This is what our QRA tool will do for your relationship.
Every 3 months, it will bring up challenges that may exist, and assess those challenges, then come up with solutions and adjustments to mitigate those problems. It will create a Relationship Value Differential. This keeps us from getting so frustrated with “talking” all the time, but still allows us to address potential problems at regular intervals so they can constantly be pursued, and dispersed as you find them.
I have a created a quick QRA Worksheet (PDF) you can download (by clicking below). This is an example below. It’s a 3 page quick worksheet you can fill out. This tool will help to establish when things in the relationship change, because they will come up when you sit down and have this conversation.
Tips to Make the QRA Work for You
Make it a getaway. Make it a pleasant experience so the two of you can set the stage and expect good results and look forward to it every 3 months, or approximately around that time frame. Get rid of the kids, ditch the phones, have a nice dinner, then a nice conversation about the health of your relationship or your marriage. The both of you work hard to make it work, raise children, and whatever else may present a challenge for you. You deserve a break from the monotony life may bring at times, and this can give you that break. It gives you a chance to recharge. I recommend two days minimum for this getaway, but if you can manage three, that is ideal for this to impact your relationship in a more effective way.
- Day 1, set up a “red light district” special date night where lots of sex and nasty lovemaking or whatever you prefer takes place. Use toys and really embrace being with one another with no distractions.
- Day 2, set up a nice dinner, then the QRA discussion. Environment helps. Choose a nice, relaxing environment (it’s why the kids are gone and phones are ditched)
- Day 3, something relaxing like a swim in the pool, a massage, and more sex to close it out on a high note.
How many of you need a vacation? How awesome would it be if you got to take a break every quarter and relax, and also hash out some solutions to important issues? Wouldn’t you feel like you’re making progress?
You’re going to feel like a rock star when you get done with that thing. And, when the changes come, you will be prepared. You will look up one day and some time will have passed, but instead of wondering how the two of you grew apart, you will be rejoicing in the fact you stayed together. When the children grow up and leave, it will just be the two of you, and you don’t want that person to be a stranger.
That is exactly what happens over time. Once you are done building the family and the life with your husband and children and they leave, you end up not recognizing the person you’re sharing a home and a bed with. I don’t want that to happen to you. This stuff is important. Besides, that’s the pinnacle point when you can really enjoy each other, and walk around naked if you want to. This is when you can travel and do all the things you couldn’t pursue as much as you wanted when the kids were around. It’s celebration time. If you don’t have kids, well then you have a head start.
This is great for you! You can create great relationship habits before you even have that extra baggage. (I love my children as a disclaimer, but it’s a challenge to be a parent.) I know my parents are feeling me on that one.
Your Relationship Value Differential
First of all, for those of you who don’t like math, this one is simple! I’ve done it for you already. I’ve come up with a formula to discover your Relationship Value Differential (RVD) for your relationship, measured by our QRA.
Relationship Value Differential equals the problem over the proposed solution, by how effective the proposed solution is.
And to keep it simple, there are only 3 solutions.
- 1 means there are problems and they aren’t solved, or no compromise was reached.
- 2 means that things are okay, but they need work and improvement.
- if solutions have been implemented and both parties are satisfied then congrats!
Once you establish this, you can move forward to experience the forward growth in your relationship we all desperately crave.
I’m proud of you. You’re that much closer to a working, living, healthy and meaningful relationship. Don’t forget to check out the QRA Tool Checklist
These are a few ideas that you can implement right now to start building a healthy relationship, and watch a transformation take place in your relationships.
The area of relationships is such a major factor in people’s lives that it can affect their standard of living. That’s why I’ve devoted entire chapters to addressing these issues in my book. To get an in-depth guide to navigating relationships, check out my book, The Truth: Keepin’ it 100: The Blueprint to Relationships.
I’m dedicated to helping you build those quality relationships. Its all in the book! And if you want to learn even more tips, tricks and strategies behind the way men think, then you’ve got to listen to this podcast!
Sometimes your partner just doesn’t understand you. Maybe they don’t know how to communicate with you. Maybe you want to win in relationships but you need a little help to put that flame back in your relationship, or maybe you’re looking for a quality person to start a relationship with. If you want to learn how to do that, no matter where you are in your relationship journey, I have the answer for you.
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