With 2020 newly beginning, you might be planning an entire roaster of new resolutions that to welcome in not only the new year but a brand new decade. With that, although a fresh, new year is a great time to evaluate your personal goals, it is also an opportunity to think about what you and your partner want the next 12 months to look like for your relationship! Therefore, if you’re hoping that January will usher in a whole new year of #relationshipgoals, then these 5 ways to improve your relationship might spark some inspiration for resolutions that you can make together.
1. Have tech-free time together
Even if you and your partner are spending plenty of time together, you might be surprised to find how little of it you actually spend truly focused on each other. The prime culprit for these distractions? Our smartphones. In fact, most of us interact with our devices an astonishing 2,617 times a day, leaving little time to give our loved ones our undivided attention.
Make an agreement with your partner to put your phones away for at least some of the time that you spend together. Without the distraction of group messages or the temptation to scroll through various social media networks, you will have more time to truly listen to and engage with each other.
2. Prioritize sex
Although scheduling in sex might sound a bit unsexy, it can also be a good way to ensure that you have the time to relax and enjoy yourself, rather than squeezing in a quickie when the time may only work best for you or your partner.
It’s also important to point out that good sex isn’t always about what happens in the bedroom. Try communicating about your sex life more often day-to-day. Talk about what you enjoy, what you would like to do more of and any fantasies that you’d like to test out. This will help to ensure that you’re getting the most out of the experience when it comes to getting down to it and might even be a turn-on for you and your partner in the meantime.
Lastly, be sure to note that all couples are different! Just because you’ve heard the average couple has sex twice a week, doesn’t mean that’s right for your relationship – it’s different for each individual couple! It’s up to each couple to decide what role they want sex to play in their relationship. If you believe something is off and you want to change things up, talk to your partner about it – but don’t go looking for problems where there aren’t any. Your relationship is about you and your partner and whatever it is, it’s uniquely yours!
3. Try something new
Trying out new things can be a fun and exciting thing to do as a couple, whether it’s experimenting in the bedroom, planning a trip, or taking a class together. But the time that you spend apart from your partner can be equally as important.
With that, when you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to start deprioritizing yourself and to forget about how you can grow as a person, as well as a couple. Taking up a new hobby, planning a solo trip, or learning a new skill can give you a chance to focus on yourself and to ensure that you have activities that you enjoy outside of your relationship.
If you and your partner both have your own interests that you’re genuinely passionate about, you will always have something new to talk about and avoid falling into a trap of becoming overly dependent on one another.
4. Talk about future plans
It’s important to know that you and your partner are heading in the right direction, and talking about the future can be a good way to do this. Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time? How would you like your relationship to develop? What exciting plans can you make over the next year?
Talking about the future not only ensures that you want the same things, a crucial factor in the success of any relationship, but can also ignite your excitement about what lies ahead for you both. Being comfortable talking about your life together will also help you to feel secure that you see your relationship progressing and that you’ll be making New Year’s resolutions together for decades to come.
5. Acknowledge the things that you love about each other
Although we hate to admit it, as time goes on, it can be easy to take our partner for granted sometimes. Whilst you might have once been singing their praises, it is easy to get to the point where you’re barely thanking them for doing little things that bring ease or happiness to you. Such as taking out the trash, doing the dishes, picking you up your favorite take-out on the way home, or simply getting you a cup of water when they go into the kitchen to get their own.
To go off of that, research from the Gottman Institute and Love Lab at the University of Washington found that one of the best markers of a long-lasting relationship is how often one partner acknowledges when the other does something positive, according to The Atlantic. This theory of the “culture of appreciation” suggests that if you regularly express gratitude, affection, and respect for your partner, you create a positive perspective within your relationship that prevents feelings of contempt arising later on. It suggests that the perfect formula for a healthy relationship relies on couples having five positive interactions for every negative interaction.
What is a New Year’s resolution you have for your relationship this year?
Let me know in the comments!