Love Maps: How It Helps To Build A Strong Relationship

Love and Romance
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love maps
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No, love maps are not ancient charts that guide you on a walk through deep woods and lead you to the ultimate love of your life. While it would indeed be convenient to stumble upon such a map that takes you straight to your soulmate, life is just not that simple. And love is definitely a lot more work than that. So don’t expect to cut any corners, and get to know one of the most important ways to work on your relationship.

A relationship is not just made of great sex, common interests, and similar goals. There is a level of understanding, intimacy, and knowledge about the other person that one needs to reach, 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 do you consciously build intimacy with someone? Read on.

What Are Love Maps And Why Do They Matter? 

So what is a love map? 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. The Sound Relationship House is a theory devised by Dr. John Gottman, from the famous Gottman institute, that applies a research-based approach to relationships. Consider this theory similar to a tall structure with levels and walls — A metaphor for the inner world of a relationship. Just like a sturdy house needs a solid foundation, thick walls, and well-organized floor plans, relationships are similar in that regard.

A person needs to build something similar in their intimate connections in order to have that kind of a secure relationship. Or else, it’s easy for your romantic life to go off track. That’s where the idea of Gottman’s love maps comes from. To build that Sound Relationship House and work on the ideal relationship, the very first floor in this home needs us to build love maps.

Building love

First date nerves, coy glances, flirting with one’s eyes, the first kiss, and all the other titillating sensations are enough evidence of attraction in your dynamic. But are they enough for building love in a relationship? No matter how close you two are, you don’t need to wait for a relationship to start falling apart to finally start working on yours.

Love maps are not for relationships that are on the verge of falling apart. They are a practice that people should routinely engage in, even if they are happy in their relationship and daily life. You can spot mutual attraction signs aplenty, and still need a map to the other person’s individuality.

Maybe you’ve been living together and know that they like to eat fries with mayonnaise. Perhaps you’ve grown accustomed to their habit of going for a run around the river each morning. After knowing them for so long, you’ve probably also understood what too much coffee in the morning can do to their mood for the rest of the day. You know your partner better than anyone at this point. Love mapping can help you take things a step ahead!

how to make a love map
Learn how to make a love map to keep the spark alive in your relationship

These subtle yet important elements of your relationship 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? Is there a region in your partner’s world that is still left unexplored? Do they have a secret ambition you don’t know about or pet peeve they never really discuss?

A study says, “Feeling that one understands and is understood by one’s partner appears to be more important to relationship well-being than actually knowing and being known by one’s partner.” So 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

Building a love map

According to Dr. Gottman, a deep knowledge of each other’s complexities, histories, past relationships, and very being is what makes any relationship strong and fulfilling. At the end of the day, knowing and understanding each other is far more important than loving each other.

But will a random number of ‘get to know me questions’ over a glass of wine one night do the trick? Dr. Gottman doesn’t think so. And that’s where building a love map comes in, to continue tapping into one another’s lives.

To really work on your love maps for you and your partner, 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. It’s not enough to know what they like to read or what their comfort food is. Consider asking them some other questions to keep revising your relationship and digging deeper into your person.

To make that boat cut smoothly through the waters, a well-planned love map is what you need to help you avoid any major obstacles. Intrigued to go on this quest on how to make a love map? 

Why Is A Love Map Important To Build A Strong Relationship?

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 John Gottman’s 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.”

  • The starting of a relationship is usually easy: The best thing about the early days of dating is that interest is at its peak and one is desperate to understand the other person better. You care about everything, from their hopes and dreams to what shoe size they wear. And somehow, you’re able to remember all of it too. Yup, that’s what love does to you! 
  • But it is harder to keep that momentum: Over time, when one starts to get occupied with other activities, distracted by other commitments and even gets a little bit weary and bored in a relationship (it is more natural than you think), they may begin to neglect or overlook many things about their spouse or their partner
  • This can spell future disaster scenarios: This negligence can have disastrous long-term consequences for that relationship. The idea of ‘build love maps’ activity recognizes this problem. It also helps one focus better on the other person during stressful events in the relationship or arguments

Related Reading: 8 Steps To Reconnect With Your Spouse And Strengthen Your Bond

How To Build A Love Map? 

To put it simply, building love maps or the love map psychology primarily relies on information. It is all about asking open-ended questions but also personal questions which dive deep into a person, 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. 

While the upside means that you get to constantly learn about a new side of your partner, the downside is just that it’s not very easy and takes a lot more effort. Love maps are all about channeling that curiosity within you 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.

If you’re interested in giving this technique a shot, all you have to do is start and look into a healthy love map example. Here are some things to take note of to create a good love map of your partner. 

more on falling in love
  • Always listen intently: Listening is foremost when it comes to creating Gottman love maps about your partner. The moment you snooze, you lose. Stop thinking about something else; that’s the opposite of love map psychology. Stay, pay attention, and listen closely to your partner
  • 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 reach another level of excellence. Listening is good, but listening is not enough. You have to be more conversational as that is a key marker of healthy relationships
  • Identify cues to understand moods when love mapping: Knowing your partner’s cherished cake recipe or being well-versed with their medical problems is one thing. But to pick up on their cues and body language signs is just as essential to making healthy love maps. We give away a lot of what is going on in our heads in the ways we behave. Your love maps 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, or some major events from her last job to you over a round of wine the other night and now it’s your job to not brush it off. Add it to your love maps and try to get to the bottom of it. Don’t pry if they are uncomfortable but try to understand your partner, inside out
  • Keep your love map up to date: Building love maps is not something you do one day and then forget about for weeks. See if your love map technique is actually working. It 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 — That’s the ultimate love map test
  • 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

Love Map Questions

Think of it this way, love maps will lead you right to your partner. You may be present with them physically, but to really work on that emotional connection, use love mapping. It will take you farther on that journey. In the name of a love map, you are actually revisiting your partner and how they are changing or developing as a person over and over again. And that is the real goal here.

This is why, it is important to keep stressing that creating love maps is not a one-time thing. Rather, as people change, the love maps need to be updated. That’s how you do not lose touch of your person.

Now that we’ve gone over the basic steps of how to create love maps in a relationship, it would be helpful to further identify some root questions when it comes to the art of love mapping. If you and your partner know the answer to these for each other, chances are that your love map is pretty solid. If not, then you have some work to do but it is nothing to worry about.

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  1. What is my go-to snack when I’m tense?
  2. Why am I not close with my parents?
  3. Who are my closest friends? Who is my best friend in the world and why?
  4. What turns me on sexually when I’m away from you?
  5. Which is my favorite band?
  6. What do I look like to myself in the next 10 years?
  7. Name one of my major rivals.
  8. Which foods can I not stand at all?
  9. What is my favorite way to spend time with friends, even if we don’t get to do it often?
  10. Which is my favorite sports team?
  11. What’s the memory I hold on to from one of our favorite vacations?
  12. What do I need to do when I require some mental space to think?

You get the drift. These questions may seem random and a little all over the place, but they are a great place to begin your journey of love mapping with your partner. With these prompts, you can build your own love maps questionnaire whenever you want.

Love maps psychology

Love maps are indeed a map for love. While it may seem tiresome at first, remember that it only helps you 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 creating a love maps questionnaire with someone.

Some signs you may need a love map: 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 may be 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 love maps, you can’t really know your spouse. And if you don’t really know someone, how can you truly love them?’

Key Pointers

  • Building love maps, a concept by Dr. John Gottman, is a practice of asking questions to your partner to get to them better and storing that information in your brain like a relationship map
  • As the name suggests, a love map is a guide to the heart and inner workings of your loved one
  • The most important thing to remember is that this is a regular practice and not something that you stop doing after a while
  • The reason is simple: We all evolve as time goes on. And the aim is to know and love every version of your partner

An important question as we wrap up: How do people determine what to disclose about themselves and when? According to Verywell Mind, “According to social penetration theory, the process of getting to know another person is characterized by a reciprocal sharing of personal information.” So make sure you’re as vulnerable with your partner as you want them to be with you.

FAQs

1. What is a person’s love map?

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.

2. At what age does the love map form?

Just like people are always evolving and changing, so are love maps. You cannot pick a specific point in time and consider having learned 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. 

3. How do you create a love map?

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 in a relationship and consistency are key to doing so. Moreover, one has to strategically plan how to create them. Whether it is creating these maps during a specific hour in the day, or while talking to each other randomly, or coming up with new questions to learn about the other person every week – You can choose your own route.

4. What are the signs you need a love map?

Distance in a relationship is a biggest giveaway that your love maps are not up to date. If you two have been aloof, don’t find much to talk about anymore, or are not spending time with each other anymore, it is time to start love mapping again.

5. What are the main characteristics of a love map?

The thing with love maps is that the questions can be pretty random. They can range from favorite gelato flavors to one’s deepest, darkest desires. Just try to make sure that it covers a range of topics about your partner that can include silly little details, but also pivotal things about their personhood and life.

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