A couple weeks ago, at a men’s retreat, a tool that I had not heard of, designed to help sustain healthy relationships was introduced. It’s called the Daily Temperature Reading or DTR.
A couple men I respect a lot; Pastor Jim Owens and Eric Moore, first introduced the DTR and then roll-played with it. As they roll-played, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room as the two men spoke of their journey together before and after the recent death of Eric’s life partner Carmen. Carmen and Eric had created this adaption of PAIRS DTR together over decades of marriage counseling and seminars.
I’m not even going to try to explain PAIRS Daily Temperature Reading (DTR), here’s a link to all history and many practical ways to put DTRs to action. http://participant.pairs.com/about.php The DTR text below is from Eric and Carmen’s DTR adaptation of PAIRS.
Daily Temperature Reading (DTR) by Eric Moore, adapted from PAIRS
Appreciations – We need to hear what’s good about us, and nobody is better equipped to tell us than a partner close to us. Hearing “appreciations” from our partners helps us feel loved, accepted, and special. An encouraging word or a gentle smile and hug can go a long way. E.g. I really appreciate…
New Information – It feels good to be in touch with our partners changing circumstances and new ideas. Intimacy thrives only when both people know what is happening in each other’s lives – the trivial as well as the import. e.g. I am really happy lately… we’re invited to the neighbor’s for dinner –
Puzzles – If there are things you don’t understand (or need clarification about) and your partner can help explain, ask. Don’t assume they know what you are interested in. Bringing up personal quandaries doesn’t mean you will always find answers, but discussing them can give them more insight about your internal conflicts and thoughts. e.g. Did you mean to slam the car door today?
Complaints w/Requests for Change – The small irritations and annoyances that arise every day and remain unspoken can fester and become destructive. This is not a time to be offensive or defensive, but a way to stay current about things that could become trouble. Body language is important – being able to complain in a tone and body stance that says, “I love you and respect you” enables the listener to hear “He loves me and this thing I do bothers him” rather than being fearful of judgement or rejection. e.g. I notice that you____________and I prefer that you__________.
Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams – Our hopes and dreams are vital parts of who and what we are. This part gives us a chance to reflect on what we want – for ourselves, for our relationships and from life. When we bring our expectations and hopes into our own and our partner’s awareness, we are more likely to find a way to realize them. e.g. I wish that someday I could have a house on alake… I hope to get back to school some day…