relationship worksheets

Couples Who Dream Together: Insipre a Shared Vision in your Relationship

The importance of inspiring a shared vision as a leader and at work has been well-documented.  Leaders who can inspire that vision among team members can more easily motivate for success, re-organize in conflict, and see the vision through to completion.

Why wouldn't a shared vision be just as important in personal partnerships?

This week I'm leading a workshop with 22 entrepreneurial couples to help them apply business success principles in their personal relationships.  We'll be talking about the importance of shared dreaming (join us here).  

Business leaders who succeed prioritize visioning by setting aside time to create and nourish a vision among their teams. You can do this in your family by spending time imagining what things will be like for all of you in a year, and five. Dream up detailed stories of the adventures you'll take and the lessons you'll learn together. 

SHARED DREAMING

Another way to develop your vision as a couple is to start a relationship dream list. A shared dream list is like a bucket list. It collects the dreams you have for this lifetime in one place. If we fill this dream list with interest, growth, and adventure it can help us live life fully, courageously, and intentionally.

Most couples informally share ideas and dreams over time, but clearly committing to shared dreams can be a must more powerful action step in creating a shared future. The act of writing anything out longhand helps you focus and remember it.

WRITE IT DOWN

Use the page below to start your shared list. Dream up all the possibilities you want to experience together and write them down. No dream is too big or too small- if it’s yours commit to it on paper.

This is a list that grows with you, so when you know you want to add something, simply write it down on your list, make it real in your mind, and then consider how to fulfill your dream today, tomorrow, or someday...your list is there when you’re ready. You can reorganize together it any time- I recommend you revisit it together every year.

Having a dream list helps you invest in making them come true. Keep it in a visible place to remind and motivate yourself to reach for your lifelong goals. Every day is a new opportunity.

Download the free worksheet below to help you create a relationship dream list at home.  If you'd like help strengthening your partnership please give me a call for couples coaching.  I'd love to help you!   


 couples coach | couples who start businesses | successful couples | couples who work together

Gina Senarighi has been supporting loving couples and healthy teams for nearly twenty years. As a former couples therapist turned retreat coach, workshop facilitator, and author she's transformed partnerships, leaders and communication strategy all over the world.  

Her uniquely non-judgmental, inclusive approach to couples work puts even the most concerned participants at ease.  She's not your average sit-and-nod supporter- she'll hold hope even when it's hard and always help you grow. 

Call for a consultation to see how she can help you deepen connection, communicate effectively, and passionately reignite your relationship.

Enhance Your Emotional Vocabulary

There are more words out there to describe how you feel besides sad, mad, and glad—in fact, there’s a whole world of words that can describe your emotions in incredibly specific ways. For most people, there's a significant deficit in our emotional vocabulary training growing up.

Having a rich emotional vocabulary means being able to recognize, label and understand feelings in ourselves and others.  Of course happy, sad, scared, and angry are four foundational emotions, but there are far more nuanced and complex emotions experienced regularly.

Having a solid emotional vocabulary helps us navigate complexity in relationships and deepen emotional intimacy.

Together the skills of identifying her emotions and reading and responding to other people’s emotions combine to create a skill known as emotional intelligence or emotional literacy.

Emotional literacy is necessary for us to regulate emotions, effectively connect with the people close to us, and manage social interactions successfully. The larger your emotional vocabulary the better equipped you are to discern different feelings, communicate your needs, and connect with the feelings of others. 

So how do you expand your emotional vocabulary?  Start by downloading this list. Use it for any of the activities below on your own or with someone you trust to expand your use and understanding of each word.  

How to use your feelings list

1) Choose one emotion each day and try to notice where you run into it throughout the day.  Maybe in a news story, or a book you're reading. Maybe someone talks about it on a podcast or you hear a story from a colleague at work. You might see it in a TV episode. Focus on noticing the places that emotion shows up for a day.

2) Choose one emotion at random and do a five-minute free write about where and when it has been present in your life. Think about the circumstances, players and resolution. Notice what physical sensations arise when focusing attention on this particular emotion. Notice if other emotions travel alongside the emotion you picked.

3) With someone you trust, randomly select an emotion from the list and tell a story about that emotion without naming the emotion itself. Have the other person guess what you're describing.  This practice helps you develop more effective empathetic communication.

4) Imagine the emotion as a living being and draw it. Give it a body and face and use color if helpful.  Notice if it's hairy or feathered, winged or legged. Most importantly, ask it what it wants most and how it might try to help you. Jot notes as needed to deepen your learning.  

5) Keep this list handy while you watch TV at night and during the commercial breaks try to guess what the main character is feeling using words from this list.  If you're watching with loved ones you can each choose a character to guess emotions for.

There are many other ways to deepen your emotional literacy but starting with these practices will help you expand your vocabulary and ultimately deepen your connection with yourself and those you love.  

If you'd like support deepening emotional intimacy and expanding your emotional vocabulary give me a call, I'd be happy to help.  


 Gina Senarighi Relationship Coach | Couples Retreats Communication Skills

Gina Senarighi has been supporting loving couples and healthy teams for nearly twenty years. As a former couples therapist turned retreat coach, workshop facilitator, and author she's transformed partnerships, leaders and communication strategy all over the world.  

Her uniquely non-judgmental, inclusive approach to couples work puts even the most concerned participants at ease.  She's not your average sit-and-nod supporter- she'll hold hope even when it's hard and always help you grow. 

Call for a consultation to see how she can help you deepen connection, communicate effectively, and passionately reignite your relationship.

Three Questions to Ask Your Partner This Week

Thank you to Danielle LaPorte for this week's questions.  If you don't know her already, Danielle wrote the Desire Map years ago and it became a foundation for the couples work I do to this day.  In it she helps people re-orient their days around what they want most in life. 

I've now walked hundreds of clients through her process to help them reconnect with their core values, clarify intentions, and take meaningful action individually and in partnership.  Check it out here.

She's about to launch a new podcast and I'm really excited about it.  Even before it launches (next week) she gave a sneak peek on itunes.  In the preview, she asks three questions, and while I heard them I thought of all of you. 

You know I send out juicy questions to bring couples closer every week.  This week, try hers:

  1. Whats the drag in your life?

  2. What do you love?

  3. What do you crave?

  4. What do you want?

  5. How do you think I can help with that?



Gina Senarighi Love Coach | Couples Retreats | Relationship Coach

Gina Senarighi has been supporting loving couples and healthy teams for nearly twenty years. As a former couples therapist turned retreat coach, workshop facilitator, and author she's transformed partnerships, leaders and communication strategy all over the world.  

Her uniquely non-judgmental, inclusive approach to couples work puts even the most concerned participants at ease.  She's not your average sit-and-nod supporter- she'll hold hope even when it's hard and always help you grow. 

Call for a consultation to see how she can help you deepen connection, communicate effectively, and passionately reignite your relationship.

Eight Questions Happy Couples Ask Each Other

Every week I send out conversation starters for couples.  If you'd like to receive them enter your information here.


Remember the sweet beginning of your relationship? Streams of texts and emails, all-night talks that will kept you starry-eyed well into the next day. Fascination, desire, mystery, and excitement fuel you through restless days and nights.

As time passes and you begin building a life with someone life and responsibilities often come between you and that sense of wonder.  As you fall into a rut of talking about housecleaning, bills, and childcare daily conversations usually shift from loving flirtation and curiosity to mundane logistics.

Most new couples vow that this will never happen to them. Yet far too many couples become emotionally disconnected even after making that pledge. But it doesn't have to be that way!

Couples who maintain a feeling of connectedness do things differently. They're deliberate about sustaining and engaging real and meaningful dialogue with each other. Their methods don't involve large displays of affection and don't take a ton of time or money. In fact, the littlest things are usually far more impactful than infrequent grand gestures.

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to reconnect is actually the best.  By asking meaningful, open-ended questions and staying fully present in conversations couples can rekindle and maintain that sense of chemical attraction, fascination, and desire from the start of their relationship.

The following eight questions are the foundation of happiness in lasting relationships.  Use them to start a conversation with your sweetheart this week.  Set aside distraction-free time to talk and really listen (like you used to).  And begin with the intention to be vulnerable, open, and kind as you begin getting to know one another again.

  1. Who of our friends has a relationship you admire and why?

  2. What three ways can I make your life easier this week?

  3. Does anything worry you that you haven't told me?

  4. What is the best part of being in a relationship with me?

  5. What do I do that most annoys you?

  6. What dreams are you hoping to fulfill this year?  How can I support you in reaching them?

  7. How can we make our sex life better?

  8. When do you feel most loved by me?

If you'd like to get conversation starters like these in your inbox once a week add your email address below.  I'm happy to share these tools with you!


Gina Senarighi | Couples Retreat | Communication Workshop

Gina Senarighi has been supporting loving couples and healthy teams for nearly twenty years. As a former couples therapist turned retreat coach, workshop facilitator, and author she's transformed partnerships, leaders and communication strategy all over the world.  

Her uniquely non-judgmental, inclusive approach to couples work puts even the most concerned participants at ease.  She's not your average sit-and-nod supporter- she'll hold hope even when it's hard and always help you grow. 

Call for a consultation to see how she can help you deepen connection, communicate effectively, and passionately reignite your relationship.

End of Year Reflection for Relationships: Envision a Shared Future

The turn of the year is a beautiful time for reflection. 

Having an annual pause for reflection helps us identify where we want to grow and how we want to change in the coming year.  

We reflect on our year and set personal resolutions for a better year to come.

Yet few of us use this awareness review and renew with our partner.  Give your love the attention it deserves, start a new awareness practice this season.  

Download this totally free 4-Part Annual Relationship Renewal Series and you'll get my simple process to reconnect with meaning and transform your partnership with intention as the year turns. 

Click the image below to download your free copy.


"What I like most about change is that it’s a synonym for ‘hope.’ If you're taking a risk, what you're really saying is, ‘I believe in tomorrow and I will be part of it'"

- LINDA ELLERBEE

One of the most critical differences in couples who move forward together and those who don't make it is their ability to cultivate and nourish a shared vision of the future.  

Those who tend their visions together like a garden- (diligently, gently, and frequently) are far more likely to move toward and fulfill shared aspirations.

Every great garden starts with a clear vision.  From that vision, we can create and follow a plan- together.

Today we cultivate that shared vision.  

Once again, give yourself time to sit on your own and reflect on these and write out your responses.  Use the power of your written words to cultivate new meaning together. Check in and share with your partner only after you've had time to really get clear on your own. 

Visioning is intended to be inspirational and aspirational only.  Let your creative dreams flow together.  

With each response, your sweetie shares notice your inner responses and try to ask for more information.  Often we feel pulled to critique and problem-solve when visioning.  If you feel pulled to either set those thoughts aside for a future conversation. 

Click the image below to download your free copy.

This shared visioning process is some of the most rewarding work I do with couples.  I'd love to share it with you!  Give me a call if you want to deepen this conversation.

End of year reflections for couples: transition seamlessly

The turn of the year is a beautiful time for reflection. 

Having an annual pause for reflection helps us identify where we want to grow and how we want to change in the coming year.  

We reflect on our year and set personal resolutions for a better year to come.

Yet few of us use this awareness review and renew with our partner.  Give your love the attention it deserves, start a new awareness practice this season.  

Download this totally free 4-Part Annual Relationship Renewal Series and you'll get my simple process to reconnect with meaning and transform your partnership with intention as the year turns. 

Click the image below to download the worksheet.


"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance."  

- ALAN WATTS

You're at a transition point together, looking forward to a new year, and looking back at the past.  

Over the last two days, we've reviewed many of the strengths you share and areas for growth in your partnership.  You're ready to grow.

But before we can move forward, like the leaves in fall, we must release and let go for a wintry transition.  Use today's guide to help you tie up loose ends and resolve necessary resentments as you move on to a bright and shiny new year.

Once again, give yourself time to sit on your own and reflect on these and write out your responses.  Use the power of your written words to cultivate new meaning together.

Check in and share with your partner only after you've had time to really get clear on your own.  Then for each response, they give notice your inner responses and try to ask for more information.  Notice what shows up for you, but try to stay open to what they have to share.  

Today's work requires openness and accountability of both of you.  But this is essential to moving forward into that bright new year.

Click the image below to download the worksheet.

END OF YEAR REFLECTION FOR COUPLES: ASSESS FOR GROWTH

The turn of the year is a beautiful time for reflection. 

Having an annual pause for reflection helps us identify where we want to grow and how we want to change in the coming year.  

We reflect on our year and set personal resolutions for a better year to come.

Yet few of us use this awareness review and renew with our partner.  Give your love the attention it deserves, start a new awareness practice this season.  

Download this totally free 4-Part Annual Relationship Renewal Series and you'll get my simple process to reconnect with meaning and transform your partnership with intention as the year turns. 

Click the image below to download the worksheet.


Assessment isn't about critique- it's about discernment.

In the past year, you've learned a lot about your strengths as a couple and can easily identify areas for growth.  Let's take a look at the tools of decision making and skills of communication that nourish your connection and deepen your commitment. 

This simple reflection is based on the science of trust and connection in relationships.  It's specifically designed to help you assess your strengths and grow in new directions with meaning and intention.

Today we'll get specific about decision making and communication as well as the roles and responsibilities you share as a couple.

Once again, give yourself time to sit on your own and reflect on these and write out your responses.  I mean it, write a full response.  Forcing yourself to put things into written words has incredible power, and your relationship deserves your full attention.  

After you've written out your own responses and feel complete, check-in and share with your partner.  For each response, they give notice your response and try to ask for more information.  This is a great opportunity to get to know this special person all over again. 

Click the image below to download the worksheet.

End of Year Reflection for Couples: Review Your Strengths

The turn of the year is a beautiful time for reflection. 

Having an annual pause for reflection helps us identify where we want to grow and how we want to change in the coming year.  

We reflect on our year and set personal resolutions for a better year to come.

Yet few of us use this awareness review and renew with our partner.  Give your love the attention it deserves, start a new awareness practice this season.  

Download this totally free 4-Part Annual Relationship Renewal Series and you'll get my simple process to reconnect with meaning and transform your partnership with intention as the year turns. 
 


PART 1: REFLECTION & RENEWAL

The end of the year is my favorite time for reflection and review.  We look back to help us move forward.  I'm honored you decided to download the reflection tools I've offered to help you and someone you love grow closer as the year draws to a close.

Click the image below to download Part 1 of the Annual Relationship Renewal Series and begin reflecting on your year's successes and growth together.

Getting the Love You Want in Relationships: Clear Requests & Meaningful Support

One of the biggest complaints new clients come to me with is a need for more support in their relationship.  Most folks tell me they've asked and asked (maybe a thousand times) for support but just don't feel like they're getting it.  

Usually, when we talk with their partner the other side of the story includes just as many attempts at support as requests.  And on their side, these attempts are as overlooked or missed as the initial requests.  

So how do you meet in the middle?  It can help to shift the conversation by getting specific right from the beginning. While you might think you're being clear in asking for more support or telling them you feel unsupported, getting more clear will help them learn to meet your needs.

In sessions, we work to identify what meaningful support looks like to each partner- and often in each situation.  For those of you who can't make it in, I've outlined key themes in support and given examples of each on this worksheet to help you in identifying your unique support needs.  

With greater awareness and specificity you can make clear requests and your partner can more easily work to meet you where you need them most.  

Start by asking yourself, what would meaningful support look like in this situation?  What specific behaviors would help before, during, and after the situation I'm working on?  If you need inspiration download this guide for help.  

I hope this framework can help you get clearer about what you need from your sweetie- and can help them better meet you.  Let me know if you'd like my support in this conversation, I'm here for you.  

 Support in Relationships | Supportive Partner | How to be supportive

A Month of Kindness for Couples

So many incredible couples reach out to me to help them reconnect with each other.  While there are lots of ways to get there, starting on the path of reconnection can be easier than you think.

The biggest challenge is shifting your patterns to take tiny daily actions that move you towards more meaningful connection in the smallest of ways.  Most long-term couples need a reminder and a serious commitment to change in order to re-establish these smallest connections.  

So I created a little calendar to help you two commit to daily action.  Click the image to download a copy to give it a try this month.  

As always, if you'd like help nurturing the connection between you, I'm happy to support you. Give me a call. 

Know the Phases of Your Relationship

Within every long-term relationship lives multiple shorter relationships. Although we stay with the same person, different transformative phases of our time together shape our connection in meaningful ways.

For some, there are phases with children and without, others include dating, living together, and engagement. Changing jobs and locations impact our relationships in many significant ways.

Knowing and naming the phases you've been through and reviewing your learning together will help you move forward with clarity and purpose.  I've created a simple easy-download pdf to help you and your sweetheart walk through a little review of your relationship's phases and stages.  

Click here to download a copy of this free tool. 

If you'd like help diving deeper for this review give me a call, I'm happy to walk you through it.  


 relationship coach | couples coach | couples retreats

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC has helped thousands of couples review their growth together, and renew their connection moving forward. 

For nearly 15 years she's specialized in strengths-focused, positive psychology-based relationship advice and coaching to nurture lasting joy and and resilience in her client's relationships.  

She will help you:

  • develop a shared vision and goals- and create actionable steps to move in that direction
  • overcome outdated patterns and establish new intentional, healthy ones
  • strengthen trust or repair it after infidelity or dishonesty
  • connect in meaningful ways during and well after life transitions
  • design rituals of connection that will keep you close for many years
  • break stale or unhealthy communication patterns and learn new skills 

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Five Questions for Clarity: Kiss it Goodbye or Kiss and Make Up?

Part of working with beautifully complex couples means working through really difficult problems.  I have seen it all, break ups, affairs, forgiveness, and reconciliation.  People often ask me if I believe they can make it through these difficult times.  It would be so much easier if there was one right answer.

I have seen people make it through unbelievably challenging situations with remarkably resilient relationships after everyone in their support network gave up and I've watched pairs with great support networks and resources and kindness choose not to be together and build beautiful divorces.  And I have seen people make messy choices along the way that make reconciliation extremely unlikely.

I believe it's especially beneficial to work with a coach or counselor in emotionally heated times but while I can try to make predictions, the truth has to come from within the couple.  Prediction isn't really in the counseling job description anyway.

So how do you know if you can forgive?  Here are five questions I recommend asking yourself to help clarify if reconciliation is something you want.  Let me emphasize before you read these that relationships are not all or nothing, they are continually redefined and renegotiated and just because you decide reconciliation is not the best choice right now DOES NOT mean there will never be a time or space for forgiveness.  It just means now may not be the time to try to continue as things were.  Ask yourself:

1. Can you stay in this relationship and maintain self-respect? 

Trust your gut.  if you aren't able to feel good about yourself when sticking with a friendship, partnership, roommate relationship or any other relationship after some distance, disagreement, or concern you need to move on.  Take time to heal on your own, turn to your community of support, talk to a counselor or mentor and be gentle to yourself as you move on.

Remember, a no answer may mean now is not the time to proceed as things were.  Take some more time (read #3 below) and take care of yourself right now.

2.  How important is this relationship in your life?  

What level of priority is this commitment in your life?  Do you see this person daily?  Do you have shared responsibilities?  Do you share enough history and community with this person to work through the difficulties?

It's important to get clear about which areas of your life are connected to this person, these elements can help inform your decision to reconcile and how to redefine your commitments to one another.

3.  Have you worked through your own anger and pain in this situation to really move toward this person in a new way?

My favorite relationship expert, John Gottman talks about something called the "harsh start-up" and its negative impacts on couples conflicts.  Research has shown entering into conversation with an abrasive, sarcastic, critical, or resentment-laden energy will likely end on a negative note.  96% of the time you can predict the outcome of a conversation by the first 20% of the time spent talking (three minutes out of a fifteen minute interaction).  Taking care of some of your own anger and time to heal, rest and refuel will greatly increase the success in your reconnection attempt.

4.  Is there potential for this relationship to evolve into something new and different from what it was before?

Your relationship will likely never be the same again.  That doesn't mean it won't be good again, but the question is; are you open to creating something new with this person?  Can you detach from the ideas you had about what you were and look forward on new horizons of what you could be now?  And, will the relationship be worth is to you even if it doesn't change?

5.  Do you have the time, energy, and support resources necessary to really invest in rebuilding this partnership?

Despite what my favorite rom-coms might show, rebuilding a connection after a conflict can be very difficult and will take time.  There is no fade away scene at the end, there is some remaining awkwardness, some distance, and some grief that can come with major relationship evolution.  Ask yourself what resources you have to support you each individually and in your partnership moving forward.  If you need professional help, I am happy to step in or refer you to a great provider.

The decision whether or not to reconcile is personal.  The decision can also differ greatly within your partnership.  Be gentle with yourselves and take plenty of time to reflect individually and discuss together.  Remember, follow your heart, and take your brain with you.

Relationship Advice: Your Relationship is Risky Business

One of the most important things we can do in a couple is continue to learn about one another.  When we stop being curious and start making assumptions about the people in our lives we start running into problems.  Take some time over the weekend to get to know this person in a new way by asking these ten simple questions.

Even if you think you know their answer, ask and see if their response has changed or grown since you last checked in.  Try to accept their answers with warmth (the goal is to create openness for more sharing).  It might be exciting to learn how your partner has changed over time.

Ask your sweetie:

1.  Do you identify as a risk taker?

2.  Whats the riskiest thing you've ever done?

3.  Where would you like to adventure if you could go anywhere?

4.  What adventures haunt your daydreams?

5.  What holds you back from taking risks?

6.  What inspires you to act boldly?

7.  Who is your bravery mentor?

8.  What is the bravest thing you've ever done?

9.  What informs your decision to take a risk?

10.  How can I support you in taking brave action?

(Check out previous conversation starters here)

I am so excited to hear from you about the conversations these ignite.  Leave a comment below and let me know!