Relationship Resolutions for the New Year

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I am sure we have set down resolutions for the New Year to get fit or to get rich or to get back to something you haven’t done in the longest time. But have you made a resolution to strengthen your relationship? Here are a few things you have chose to do.

Breed your creativity:
It’s no secret that creativity is sexy: Think about how artistic types such as musicians, actors, and writers seem to ooze sex appeal. “Studies find that creativity is powerful in attracting a mate, but we often let our passions and interests fall along the wayside once we’re married,” This coming year, resolve to keep pursuing your own passions (think: picking up the guitar again or taking painting lessons) and watch that joyful feeling transfer over into other areas of your life.

Do something nice everyday:
If you go an entire week without doing anything that is explicitly kind for your partner, it’s a signal that you’re not investing resources and time into the other person. The more we bestow one another with sweet nothings, the more attractive we are. And it doesn’t have to be big stuff. Next time you’re out to dinner with a friend, why not bring home dessert for your partner? The littlest random acts of kindness can go a long way.

Recognize the chinks in the armor:
It’s all too easy to assume that just because you love each other it should always be easy, but no relationship is guaranteed. There will be times where the plates begin to shift in your relationship’s most terra firma (your “rock of a husband” declares he wants to quit his job to pursue his Into the Wild dream, for example). Rather than fight change, realize it’s just time to come up with some new ways to come together.

Class it up:
Never kiss and tell. While you may be tempted to spill a few intimate secrets about your husband’s sex habits over a bottle of wine with the girls or reprimand him for not helping with the holiday duties in front of your in-laws, these little betrayals ultimately diminish your relationship. Safeguarding your marriage means knowing when to keep the intimate details mum.

Laugh Together:
Funny people tend to be smart, and smart people tend to be good mates because they can solve problems together. If you’ve entered a period of bickering, or worse, a resentment-filled impasse, admitting your fault with some self-deprecation can help you see one another as only human again — which will bring back that “you really get me” connectedness we all crave.

Give Props:
Whether you scored a big promotion or finally lost those stubborn last 10 pounds, don’t forget to share your successes with your partner by acknowledging how you couldn’t have done it without them. Heap on a wholehearted “thank you, honey” when they help you brainstorm a major proposal, or for watching the dog on Saturday mornings when the only hardcore spin class is happening.

Be your TRUE self:
This coming year, try to stop worrying about what other people think and play up, rather than deny, your idiosyncrasies for you partner. After all, they’re likely the reason they fell in love with you in the first place. And, interestingly, the vulnerability you show by letting your freak flag fly is actually attracts your partner the most.

Share your love:
We’re not talking about those overly-gushy TMI, overly-gushy updates, but publicly declaring the sweet little things he does signals to the world that you’re proud he’s your guy or she’s your girl. Be expressive about the connection you have, but make you’re classing it up and not being the overly mushy PDA types. Be Subtle!

See sacrifices as “giving permission”:
Putting your partner’s best interests above your own needs at times and thinking like a team member helps you achieve your biggest goal — keeping your relationship strong and satisfying for both people. It’s normal to feel resentful when you, say, leave a home you love to relocate for your husband’s new job, or have to rise early to take the kids to the bus every day. But making these sacrifices with an open heart will make your partner feel grateful and loved — and more likely to “be the bigger person” the next time you need it.

Put sex on your top priority list:
If that mental shift isn’t happening on its own, sit and brainstorm and come up with a list of all the stuff that’s making you too stressed to get it on, and ask for help tackling it. For example, if a messy house has got you in constant gripe-mode, maybe he’ll agree to purchasing a few housekeeping Groupons. You’ll both feel more satisfied — sexually and emotionally — when you share your feelings and come up with workable solutions together.

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