Ring in the New Year with Relationship Resolutions

By on January 1, 2012

By Anita A. Chlipala –

Lose weight. Check. Quit smoking. Check. Improve my relationship. Che…eee, wait.

Never thought of making your relationship part of your New Year’s Resolution? Whether you are married for the first or third time, or with a partner long-term, here are five resolutions to rock your relationship in the New Year!

1. Prioritize it.

A relationship cannot survive without attention – daily attention. Think of “The Relationship” as a third entity – how will you both nurture it? How will you let your partner know that you have made space for him or her in your life? No matter how demanding life can be, carve out special time for you and your partner. Your relationship will thank you for it.

2. Practice the positive.

Every day, deliberately look for the positive in your partner. Whether it is an extra chore he did, or how she spoke to you, acknowledge and praise your partner. You, too, can pump positivity into your relationship by your actions – leaving her a loving note, getting his favorite chocolate, etc. Positivity begets positivity.

3. Don’t take things so personally.

A common belief for some couples is that they think their partner is “out to get them.” Very often, this is far from the truth. Your partner is not deliberately trying to annoy or hurt you. If he wants to go out with the guys on a Friday night, it is not because he does not want to spend time with you. If she turns down sex, it is not because she does not find you attractive.

It is quite easy to slide down a negative slope in a relationship, especially because negativity makes more of an impression than positive things. It may be true that some needs are being unmet, but it is most likely not a deliberate action on your partner’s part. Have a discussion about what you want and need more of in your relationship.

4. Try new things together.

Researchers have found that feelings of romantic love wane, on average, within three years of meeting someone. Can the spark be reignited? Yes! One of the best ways to keep the passion alive in your relationship is to try novel things. Whether it is taking a vacation to a new place, seeing a new band you both love, or visiting the latest exhibit at the local museum, doing something new or different is key. According to anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, novelty stimulates dopamine and norepinephrine systems in the brain, which trigger and sustain romantic feelings. So get out there and make an effort to experience the unique!

5. Have relationship status checks.

People go to the doctor, optometrist and dentist for yearly check-ups. What about a check-up for your relationship? Are you both happy? Have you created the kind of relationship you both want? Are any needs being neglected? Having open, honest conversations can help you tweak a few things without needing a major overhaul. Pick a few days throughout the year to do a relationship status check – anniversaries, holidays or random days that you can stick with to. Being aware and in tune with your relationship’s strengths and weaknesses will go a long way toward a fulfilling, lasting union.

 

Anita A. Chlipala is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in individual & couples therapy. Anita is the Founder of Relationship Reality 312, Inc., specifically designed to provide results- and research-based relationship information and skills to singles and couples in all stages of dating and marriage. www.relationshipreality312.com

About Anita A. Chlipala

Anita A. Chlipala is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in individual & couples therapy. Anita is the Founder of Relationship Reality 312, Inc., specifically designed to provide results- and research-based relationship information and skills to singles and couples in all stages of dating and marriage. www.relationshipreality312.com. Anita received her M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego, her M.Ed. from Arizona State University, and her B.A. in English and Religion from the University of Iowa. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and is a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

One Comment

  1. Janet Harllee

    January 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Great article! It takes working at a relationship every day. Thank you!
    Janet Harllee

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Ring in the New Year with Relationship Resolutions