Orienting Questions for the Eight Zones of the Four Quadrants

By Dr. Keith Witt
April 29, 2024

A primary relationship is a friendship, a love affair, and abilities to solve problems. The following are orienting questions about relational friendships, love affairs, and problem solving in each of the eight zones of the four quadrants.

Upper Left Quadrant—The Individual Subjective

Zone 1:

  • Friendship: Do I mostly look forward to seeing my partner and mostly enjoy hanging out with my partner?
  • Love affair: Do I feel fulfilled as a lover? Do I believe my spouse feels fulfilled as a lover?
  • Resolving problems: Am I confident that I and my partner are able and willing to get back to love if either of us is hurt or angry?

Zone 2:

  • Friendship: Do my friends believe I’m growing as a positive life partner with my spouse?
  • Love affair: Do I believe our love affair is becoming stronger and more conscious as we grow together?
  • Resolving problems: As our relationship progresses, am I spending less time feeling hurt or angry with my partner and more time feeling loving and grateful?

Lower Left Quadrant—The Intersubjective with Another

Zone 3:

  • Friendship: Do we enjoy hanging out? Do we have an intimate vocabulary of warmth, humor, and love?
  • Love affair: Do we both know how our shared erotic territory (Candyland) feels and how to get there reliably?
  • Resolving problems: Do we feel safe when either of us is irritated or angry?

Zone 4:

  • Friendship: Is there a shared feeling of warmth and safety when we are together that has matured over time?
  • Love affair: Do we consistently prioritize a shared sense of play and sexual fulfillment?
  • Resolving problems: Do we feel more confident in transmuting disconnection into connection, distress into warmth than previously in our relationship?

Upper Right Quadrant—The Individual Objective

Zone 5:

  • Friendship: Do my biomarkers adjust to balanced and safe when I’m in the presence of my partner? Do they when I think of my partner?
  • Love affair: Do I reliably enter sexual arousal with my partner, or light up romantic circuits (as determined by Hellen Fisher) at the sight/thought of my partner? 
  • Resolving problems: In conflict, do I rarely have a stress HR above 100 (diffuse physiological arousal), and does my HR quickly go down as my partner and I process conflicts?

Zone 6: 

  • Friendship: Do I routinely report satisfaction and gratitude for my partner? Do we laugh together frequently?
  • Love affair: Does the quantity and quality of romance and sex feel satisfying to me and to my partner?
  • Resolving problems: Is resentment and hurt both consciously experienced/acknowledged and easily processed into positive social engagement? 

Lower Right Quadrant—The Interobjective with Another

Zone 7:

  • Friendship: Is the tone of communications consistently warm and collaborative? Is there a coherent set of shared values and harmony practices?
  • Love affair: Are there regular times where we engage in satisfying behaviors that feel romantic and sexy?
  • Resolving problems: In conflict discussions, is the ratio of positive to negative statements equal to or greater than 6 to 1?

Zone 8: 

  • Friendship: Do we seek each other out with emotionally charged good news or bad news? Are our expressions and communications positive and empathic?
  • Love affair: Do we have rules and roles that are consistent with each of our sexual natures and needs?
  • Solving problems: Do we have the non-violent communication practices, and habits of continually turning positively towards bids for attention?

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