I was driving to work the other day and heard DJ’s on the radio talking about how many people broke up on New Year’s Eve. This got me to thinking about New Year’s resolutions.
Everyone talks about losing 10 pounds, eating fewer sweets, saving money to pay off debt – but how many people talk about what they want to work on in their relationship?
Now that the holidays are over and things are starting to go back to normal, it’s important you talk with your partner about what you expect from the relationship in 2013. Sit down and have a conversation about what you want to work on and what you want your partner to focus on as well.
So where do you start?
Think about your own character. Ask yourself what you want to bring to the table. If you haven’t noticed, it’s very difficult to change someone else. Put that energy toward your own habits.
Act happy. The genuine feeling will come soon enough. In therapy, we discuss that you feel how you think. So if you think you’re happy and live like you’re happy, you will soon be happy. Make plans with your partner that will create a fun atmosphere. If your partner likes going to movies, plan a date night. If he or she likes outdoor sports, look for opportunities to share that interest.
Give out gold stars. Most people know how great their partner is, but in reality, how many of us tell them that? Verbalization of appreciation is important. Everyone can agree that when someone acknowledges them, it feels good.
Don’t overreact to problems. Flipping out over things like the dishes not being done, trash not being taken out and clothes not being put away is common. Reacting to these things will only add tension. Keep calm and see the humor in these situations – it can be a great way to defuse the mood.
Make plans for sexual intimacy. I know many of you want spontaneous sex, but I often hear, “We don’t have time.” So when does romance happen? In these cases it doesn’t. Set a time during the week to be sexual, and stick to it. Give it your full attention, even if it’s for a short time. Come up with fun ways to initiate sex instead of waiting for the “right moment.”
Individual and couple resolutions are so important for growth. Make 2013 the best year yet for your relationship.