2018 is here and we are already approaching the end of January. Whew!! That was fast. As many of us approach the second month of the year you must ask yourself “Am I staying true to my resolutions?” Well if you are in a relationship or marriage I hope you made some resolutions that focus on them. If you didn’t…don’t fret it is not too late.
Here are 7 resolutions to make 2018 the best year yet for your relationship:
1. Thank Each Other MORE Often
Easy, right? You would be surprised how saying “Thank You” more often can have a big effect on your relationship. Take time to thank your partner for all the things they do for you, the house, the kids, etc. It is about recognizing them for their efforts. Now… be careful to not go overboard, but rather see them with thankful eyes. You would be surprised how couples that have been together for years simply fall out of the habit of verbalizing their gratitude. This will make them feel “seen.” You will thank me later.
2. Prioritize Your Quality Time Together
When you wake up in the morning I want you to do one simple thing. That is to think about your partner and prioritize when both of you can spend quality time (QT) together. The truth is you likely wait until you both get home to think about QT, but then you run the risk of simply being too tired, and the only thing you want to spend QT with… is the bed. Instead, leave your electronics in the other room, go to the bedroom when your schedule permits, and spend the time you have been thinking about since that morning together. Plan… then DO!
3. Encourage Common Interest
It is so easy to do things YOU like to do, but when was the last time you learned new hobbies with your significant other? This year, find some common interest that BOTH of you would enjoy. There may be a few trial and error attempts, but once you find an interest you must do it often. If you want to learn more about your partner, then what better way than to have fun with them.
4. Fight Fair
This means refraining from things like attacking each other’s personality or character traits, name calling, criticism, and bringing up past issues into a current tussle. You want to fight about the topic that lead to the argument, and talk about it until there is a feeling agreement or disagreement.
Here is how I recommend stating your issue: “I am sad/annoyed/frustrated/angry about ________. In the future I think it would help if you could ________.”
5. Be Affectionate… Non-Sexually
This one is actually super simple. Are you ready to hear it? Okay… here it is: Sit next to each other more on the couch, at a friend’s house, in a waiting room, etc.
This increases the probability of affection, a commodity often seen far too little in long-term relationships.
6. Have an Honest Conversation About Sex
Ask yourself when was the last time you talked about your sex life openly with each other or have you ever? There are so many assumptions that we carry about sexual intimacy with our partners, and the worst part is that we assume that they know what we want in the bedroom? Resolve by start communicating about sex in 2018. It will take some courage and discomfort to bring this up with each other, so make sure you start with questions that stem from positivity, like, “what do you like the most about our sex life?” and what are your favorite sexual memories with me?”
7. Make Investments in Your Relationship
Your relationship warrants your time, energy, and resources.
Book a couples therapy or a sex therapy session. Read sex and relationship books together simultaneously. Go to marriage and relationship workshops and retreats. The best unions could still benefit from these investments.
It is never too early or too late to start working on your relationship and building a happier, healthier future together.
*Post written by Dr. Angela Jones