Do your relationship homework

Dec 17, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Sometimes it's hard to assess what's wrong with your relationship or see where you are headed as a couple. Here are a few things you can do to get a handle on what's happening. Try these relationship exercises to learn more about your partner and yourself.

Happy couple

Write a bitch list

Each person should write a 50-item complaint list about their partner. Exchange lists, read them and learn from them. You have to be thick-skinned to handle this exercise. It can be very harsh but very eye-opening.

Define love and intimacy

Write a one paragraph definition of love, and a one paragraph definition of intimacy. Talk to your partner about your definitions and what you may be missing from each other.

Talk about sexual fantasies

Fantasies can be healthy, even if you never act them out. Open up and talk to your mate about your most erotic, desirable sexual fantasies and then find some common ground on how to explore them.

Share your dealbreakers

What are the things that would make you break off your relationship or get a divorce? Talk to your partner about your personal dealbreakers. This exercise can be very helpful early on in a relationship to make sure you are your partner are on the same page.

More relationship advice

4 Ways to deal with romantic rejection
The sex moves he will always remember
4 Ways to keep your marriage fresh

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