How Self-Expansive is Your Relationship?


Young beautiful couple having romantic dinner on rooftop

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The science makes it abundantly clear that couples with more self-expansion are better relationships. - more passionate love - higher relationship satisfaction - have greater commitment. - more physical affection - greater sexual desire - less conflict - happier sex life.

What is Self Expansion? Self-expansion refers to people's inherent desires to improve themselves and relationships serve as a key route to accomplishing this goal. 1 However, many relationships are in a rut or otherwise feel a bit stagnant, stale, or boring. Test Devised by: Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., Monmouth University Author of “Stronger than you think.”Give yourself a score of 1-7 as you answer each question.

1. How much does being with your partner result in you having new experiences?

2. When you are with your partner, do you feel a greater awareness of things because of them?

3. How much does your partner increase your ability to accomplish new things?

4. How much does your partner help to expand your sense of the kind of person you are?

5. How much do you see your partner as a way to expand your own capabilities?

6. How much do your partner’s strengths as a person (skills, abilities, etc.) compensate for some of your own weaknesses as a person?

7. How much do you feel that you have a larger perspective on things because of your partner?

8. How much has being with your partner resulted in your learning new things?

9. How much has knowing your partner made you a better person?

10. How much does your partner increase your knowledge?

Before adding up your score, know that these categories are generalizations. They suggest where your relationship may need attention, but also where it’s already strong. Relationships are complicated, so you should see your score for what it is: one small piece of the puzzle about what makes your relationship work. - 60 and above – Highly Expansive. You likely have a fulfilling and sustainable relationship. - 45 to 60 – Moderately Expanding. You have some room for improvement. - Below 45 — Low Expansion. Consider making an effort to seek out more new and interesting experiences with your partner. You may even rethink if this is the right partner for you.


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