The most important aspect of our lives are the relationships we have, how we connect with other people, the impact we have on them, what we give and take in return. Of all the relationships we have, the one with our partner is the most significant and deserves special effort and care. This year, make a New Year’s Resolution to focus on your relationship.
Make love and romance your priority and the other areas in your life are sure to be the better for it.
Spend More Quality Time Together
Cook dinner together, play games, cuddle, or do anything that will allow you to talk and have fun together. Dedicate time, an hour here and there, an evening, even a weekend just to be together. Lovingyou.com has a lot of great resources and ideas for places to go and things to do. Remember your commitment to more quality time by putting reminders in your schedule ahead of time.
“My fianc” and I have very hectic schedules and sometimes find it difficult to find an opportunity to spend quality time together. Just before bed each night, we take a few minutes to be with each other. We lie down on opposite sides of the couch, rub each other’s feet with lotion and share stories about our day. It has been a great way to relax and catch up with each other. Sometimes, we fall asleep on the couch and other times, we stay up late making love.”
–submitted by Renee
Tackle A Relationship Issue
Take time to address the challenges you face in your relationship and get closer as a couple as you work through them. The issues might be anything, such as parenting techniques, quality time, household chores, or financial management. Take a class, go to counseling or read a book on the subject. Make time to talk with each other about it and journal your feelings, challenges, progress, epiphanies, and thoughts.
“My partner and I have been together for 17 months. At the end of every month, we fill out a report card for our relationship. We “grade” topics like sex, honesty, and communication issues. It gives us a place and time to discuss concerns and come up with ideas. It’s fun to take the opportunity to tell each other all the good things as well.” –submitted by Anonymous
Light The Bedroom Fires
Do what you can to make opportunities for sex by helping to free up your partner’s time and reduce their stress. Take the time to arrange a sensual ambiance (no TV, good smells, candlelight, music, wine, etc.). Indulge your lover’s fantasies, invest in better sex aids, and most importantly, listen to your partner. Instigate spontaneous quickies utilizing every possible space (car, kitchen, shower, back yard, hotel room, etc.) to add variety and excitement. Remember that most women require you to romance their hearts and minds to arouse them sexually.
Plan A Romantic Getaway
It could be a weekend together in the country, a tropical paradise vacation, a camping trip, or whatever you’ve been dreaming of. Take care of whatever has stopped you from getting away in the past. For many, it is the financial commitment. Make a goal for yourselves and be consistent in saving money until you have enough to pay for your trip. It may seem like you won’t ever be able to afford it now, but that is not so. Be faithful with your contributions and you will be surprised with the result! One idea that will work for any budget is to start filling a jar with your spare change. Make some little sacrifices (like turning your daily cup of coffee into a weekly treat for yourself. Budget in a monthly or weekly amount of money to add to the jar. The more you see the jar filling, the more encouraged you’ll be to continue. You will be amazed at how quickly you reach your goal and fund your romantic vacation without going into debt!
Romance Your Lover
Everyone wants to be romanced. It means that you are adored and cherished. Take your love on dates, dance with them, serve them breakfast in bed, and give them gifts. Surprise them with flowers, a picnic, or a bubble bath for two. You can also make candlelit dinners and take walks together. Ask them about their lives, their hopes for the future, and tell them how much you love them. Take their likes and dislikes into account when planning things. Do the little things that matter so much to your lover: hold their hand, compliment them, bring them flowers, send them little messages in the form of love notes and surprise them with romantic gestures. Pay attention to how they show you love and return it in the same way. Don’t expect that your lover knows how you feel. Let them know every day in every way.
“My husband and I are both very busy professionals who rarely have a chance to spend quality time with one another. With this in mind, we have devised a way that helps to bring us a little closer while we are away from one another. We take turns leaving a small wooden heart for each other to find as a romantic reminder of our love. I’ll find it my lunch or under the pillow and hide it in his car or in the refrigerator. Every time I find it and hide it, I feel so lucky to be with such a great guy. I always kiss the heart before I hide it in hopes that he feels the same way, too.”
–submitted by Anonymous
Keep A Couples’ Journal
Commemorate your love in a book you will cherish forever. If you are one that keeps saving photos and mementos, but never seems do the project, commit to certain dates this year. Invite a friend to join you or organize regular scrapbooking parties with a group of people. Love journals can also be a collection of writings about you and your lover’s relationship. Take turns writing in it and occasionally look back at all the good times you had together.
“This idea takes a lot of patience, but I’m hoping my girlfriend will appreciate the gesture. We’ve been together for just over a year. It’s New Year’s Eve tomorrow and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to keep everything from my dates with my girlfriend for the next year – ticket stubs, dinner receipts, labels, photos, any mementos I can get my hands on – and put them all into a diary I’ve bought just for this purpose. I’ll tape each thing onto the date we did it on, and fill the days we were apart with cute doodles and messages to her. The plan is to fill the diary for a whole year, then give it to her next Christmas, so she can remember what a wonderful year we’ve had. Shame I didn’t think of this for the first year we were together!”
–submitted by Anton
Turn Your Bedroom Into A Love Nest
Take your time, setting small goals along the way. Reduce the clutter, invest in sexy bedding, and decorate with colors, textures, and shapes that evoke passion. Use scented candles and other romantic lighting, paint your walls, and arrange your furniture in a way that invites romance.
Make a difference in your community as a couple. The rewards are much greater than the effort, and you are sure to get closer to your lover in the process. Talk to your partner about what kind of things you are interested in doing. There are volunteer opportunities doing almost any kind of service with kids, adults, the elderly, animals, or environmental work. If you don’t already have an organization in mind, try getting in touch with your local volunteer community through your local city hall. There are also many national and worldwide organizations that you can be a part of locally. Volunteering brings the best out in people, so prepare to fall in love with your partner all over again. For more resources on volunteer opportunities, visit these great websites: http://www.volunteermatch.org/; http://www.redcross.org/donate/volunteer/ and http://one.org/.
“Volunteer for your favorite charities together. Spend a Saturday building homes for Habitat for Humanity or cleaning up the city you live in. If you have a skill or hobby that you enjoy doing together, share it with others. Doing things for others while spending the day together will not only make you appreciate your mate a little more, but it will also make you feel good about helping others.”
–submitted by Elizabeth
Join A Couples’ Book of the Month Club or Start One of Your OwnYou can choose clubs with books on a large variety of topics or you can join genre specific clubs. Find other clubs through book stores or forums that can recommend books. You’ll have so much fun journeying through the pages together and comparing your thoughts on each book. You may also be able to connect with other couples that have joined the same club.
Try New Things
This is a great way to add excitement and variety into your relationship. Try a new restaurant, take a cooking class, hike up a trail you’ve never been on, make cocktails you’ve never tried, etc. Make every Wednesday a day to try something new, or pick a weekend out of each month. Put it on your calendar and stick to it no matter what!
Committing to any resolution together is romantic, while following through and supporting each other can bring you closer as a couple. Help each other create action plans and be each other’s accountability partner, while also making it fun. Compete with each other, reward each other, tell each other what a great job they are doing on a regular basis and you will surely make this a year to remember!