While many people’s New Year’s resolutions will likely involve health and fitness, we suggest taking stock of your relationship. Here are a few important resolutions you can make that will help boost your bond, increase intimacy and improve communication.
Try new things — together
Once you’ve been with someone for a while, it can be easy to become complacent. You have your routines, your favourite restaurants and even your preferred vacation spots. But this year, resolve to inject some new energy into your relationship. Sit down and talk to your partner about what you both want to do, whether it’s going on a trip somewhere exotic (or at least someplace new to both of you), trying a new hobby or sport as a couple or just crossing some new restaurants off your must-try list. The point is to keep boredom at bay and actively work on keeping your relationship fresh and interesting.
Get rid of old grudges
Certain arguments and issues are hard to move past or forget about, but there comes a time when holding on to old resentments can do a lot more harm than good. If either of you still has some unresolved issues from the past and needs to let go of once and for all, make this the year to do it. Resolve to discuss old grudges and find ways to alleviate any lingering relationship doubts. Failing that, seek out a mediator in the form of a close friend or (if need be) a therapist. Excising emotional baggage is one of the best ways to move closer as a couple.
Stop jumping to conclusions
If either you or your partner (or both of you) has a habit of jumping to negative conclusions rather than talking about your feelings first, it’s time to put a stop to unhealthy assumptions. We all make assumptions, but before you convince yourself your partner is in the wrong without even talking to him, resolve to be a more open communicator. You can stop fights before they happen by simply bringing your concerns directly to the table rather than stewing in silence, allowing whatever issue that has you upset to get worse in your own mind.
Build in more quality time
Work demands, family responsibility and everything in between can make it hard to spend quality time as a couple. But as the year ends, think about new ways to ensure you and your partner stay connected. A few hours on the couch watching TV side by side isn’t exactly a bonding experience. Instead of staring at screens, build at least 30–45 minutes into each evening to catch up without any distractions (digital or otherwise). Use the time to talk about whatever you want, but avoid complaining, nagging or nitpicking.