No, a love map is not an ancient chart that is going to guide you on a walk, through deep woods and lead you to the ultimate love of your life. While it would be convenient to just stumble upon such a map that takes you through the maze of life and takes you straight to your soulmate, life is just not that simple. And love is definitely a lot more work than that.
Hearing about these for the first time? Well, don’t worry, because here we are to tell you all that there is to know about a love map. It’s definitely not a nerdy love for maps, so you can rule that one out if you’re confused and wondering about, “What is a love map?”
A relationship is not just made of great sex, common interests and similar goals. There is a level of understanding, of intimacy and of knowledge about the other person that one needs to strike at, in order to make a great relationship. Love maps may not give you a direct path, but are still guiding devices that help you create a better and lasting relationship with the one you love. But how exactly does that happen?
What Is A Love Map?
The Sound Relationship House is a structure devised by Dr. John Gottman with levels and walls that are a metaphor for a deep connection. Just like a sturdy house needs a solid foundation, thick walls and well-organized floor plans, so too does a relationship need to build something similar in their intimate connections as well in order to have that kind of security in a relationship. Or else, it’s easy for your romantic life to go off tracks.
That’s where the idea of Gottman love maps comes from. To build that Sound Relationship House and work on the ideal relationship, the very first floor in this home is called, ‘Build Love Maps’.
First date nerves, coy glances, flirting with one’s eyes, the first kiss and all the other titillating sensations from the one you love may be enough to recognize those mutual attraction signs at first. But are they enough for building love in a relationship?
Maybe you’ve been living with him and know that he likes to eat his fries with mayonnaise. Perhaps you’ve grown accustomed to his habit of going for a run around the river each morning. After knowing him for so long, you’ve probably also understood what too much coffee in the morning can do to his mood for the rest of the day.
These subtle yet important elements may seem like the largest cogs of running a healthy relationship and loving somebody else. But it’s time to dig deeper and figure out, what more is there to know about this person? While remembering each other’s ticks and turn offs is one thing, getting to know someone on a deeper level goes further than that. That’s where the idea to ‘Build Love Maps’ comes in.
Related Reading: 13 Signs You Are Deeply In Love With Someone
Build love maps
According to Dr. Gottman, a deep knowledge of each other’s complexities, histories, past relationships and being, is what makes any relationship strong and fulfilling. But will a random number of ‘Get to know me questions’ do the trick? Dr. Gottman doesn’t think so.
To really create the right love map, one has to think strategically and structurally. Love at first sight might be based on sheer luck. But a full-fledged commitment is a boat that needs the sails of labor and effort to maintain a steady balance in the relationship. So to make that boat cut smoothly through the waters, a well-planned love map will help you cruise through, avoiding any major obstacles. Intrigued to go on this quest on ‘How to make a love map?’ We have that covered too.
Why Is A Love Map Important?
A love map is a plan that leads to you creating a storehouse of valuable information about the person you love. That’s what Dr. Gottman love maps are all about. In his book, “The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work”, he describes love maps as ‘that part of your brain where you store all the relevant information about your partner’s life.’
In the early days of dating, when interest is at its peak, the want to understand the other person better comes naturally. You care about everything from their hopes and dreams to what shoe size they wear. That’s what love does to you!
But over time, when one starts to get occupied with other activities, distracted by other commitments, and even gets a litte weary and bored in a relationship, they may begin to neglect or overlook many things about their spouse or their partner. This negligence can have disastrous long-term consequences. The idea of ‘Build love maps’ recognizes this problem and does exactly what one needs to do to undo the same.
Related Reading: 7 Steps To Reconnect With Your Spouse And Strengthen Your Bond
How To Build A Love Map?
To put it simply, building love maps is all about asking the right questions and keeping the curiosity alive. No matter how long you’ve been together, there’s always something new to uncover about the person you are with. A new layer to peel, a new chapter to start – the greatest thing about a long-term relationship is that the discovery of it never ends.
And love maps are all about channeling that curiosity and heading in the right direction with it. In fact, we always keep evolving as people, changing over the years. When you build a love map, you keep unearthing and learning more about all the new things your partner might have become. Here are some things to make note of to create a good love map of your partner.
- Always listen intently: Listening is foremost when it comes to creating Gottman love maps about your partner. The moment you snooze, you lose. Stop looking away or thinking about something else entirely in your head if you want to make the most of love map psychology. Stay, pay attention and listen closely
- Ask good follow up questions: The art of asking good questions is one thing. But when you have a serious goal of building love maps, your art of questioning has to another level of excellence. Listening is good, but listening is not merely enough. You have to be more conversational
- Identify cues to understand moods: Knowing your partner’s favorite condiments or cherished cake recipe is one thing. But to pick up on their cues and body language signs is just as essential to making a good love map. We give away a lot of what is going on in our heads in the ways we behave. Your love map should include your partner’s ticks, microaggressions and other behavioral cues
- Love maps should be deep: People are full of complexities, hidden secrets and depths that take time to uncover. Maybe she revealed her childhood difficulties to you over a round of wine the other night and it’s’ your job to not just brush it off. Add it to your love map and try to get to the bottom of it. Don’t pry if they are uncomfortable but try to understand your partner, in and out
- Keep your love map up to date: To see if your love map technique is actually working, your love map test starts when you realize that this is an ongoing process and not a one-time thing. So know that your interest has to be recurring and your efforts cannot come to a standstill
- Try journaling: The effects of journaling in building love maps cannot be underestimated. To really understand the progress of your work in this relationship, consider writing private journals about yourself for introspection. Then, sit down with your partner and reveal these things to one another
Related Reading: 11 Ways To Be Patient In A Relationship
A love map is indeed a map for love. While it may seem tiresome at first, remember that it only helps you grow to better understand your partner and to have even more love for them. The more you learn about them, the more you fall in love each day and that’s the magic of making love maps!
So if you’re stuck in a sexless relationship, only ever discuss what to eat for dinner together or have indefinitely stopped making romantic gestures for each other – the root cause of it is that your love maps are not up-to-date and withering away. The more you work on those, the more your problems will wane and your love will stay afresh. And as Gottman says, “Without a love map, you can’t really know your spouse. And if you don’t really know someone, how can you truly love them?’
A person’s love map refers to their understanding and knowledge of their partner. From their quirks and idiosyncrasies, to their decision-making styles and their hopes for the future – a love map knows it all.
Just like people are always evolving and changing, so are love maps. You cannot pick a specific point in time and consider having learnt everything about that person then and there. Their experiences and tussles in life will develop their personalities and make their thought process richer, which will only further add to their love map. So to put it simply, the formation of a love map is endless.
By practicing earnest love and affection. When you love someone truly, you want to know every fiber of their being. Creating love maps is exactly that. Effort and consistency are key to doing so. Moreover, one has to strategically plan how to get to creating them. Whether it is creating a specific hour in the day just spent talking with each other or coming up with new questions to learn about the other person every week – you can choose your own route.