When it comes time to make a New Year’s resolution list, we often first think about how we can improve ourselves, whether that’s going to the gym more often or eating more veggies and less pizza at night. But what doesn’t always top our list is how we can be better with the people we care about the most, especially with our partner.
Whether you’ve been with your partner for a couple of years or the better part of a decade, there is always time to commit to acknowledging the aspects of the relationship that we may not measure up to. Perhaps you are being more patient when it comes to listening to your partner vent about work or remembering to remove hair from the drain after showering. To help inspire you to make relationship resolutions that both of you can follow through, we asked Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., relationship expert and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great , share the ones that she thinks are worth establishing.
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Take a look at the top 6 New Year’s resolutions for engaged couples!
Resolution: Appreciate each other more
Of course, you love and admire your partner, but how often do you tell them? It’s normal to neglect to show even the simplest forms of gratitude, but Bahar explains that doing so can work wonders in relationships. She suggests making an effort to be aware of what you might be grateful for in your future spouse first, and then create a plan to share your gratitude on a daily basis. “It can be as small as’ Thanks for turning on the front porch light before you go home,” he says. “This helps redirect the mind toward healthy bonding and relationship strengthening to create more considerate actions on the part of your fiancé.”
Resolution: Be more open about your thoughts and feelings
Just because you and your partner have been together for some time and he or she knows you better than anyone else does not mean that he or she can read your mind. “Couples often make the unfortunate mistake of assuming that, by handling daily tasks together, they meet the communication requirement for a relationship,” says Dr. Orbuch. “All couples need to have moments alone to share goals, feelings, and consider life and its meaning.” She suggests that one of your New Year’s resolutions should be to practice the 10-minute rule: Every day for at least 10 minutes, talk together about more than just day-to-day things like housework or your plans for weekend.
Resolution: Fight Clean
It is totally normal for couples to fight, married or not, and especially if you are dealing with the stress of wedding planning. But that’s no excuse for having regular yelling and screaming fights. One of the best New Year’s resolution ideas is to be aware of how you and your partner handle conflict. “Some disagreements are unavoidable and that doesn’t mean your relationship is in trouble, but don’t let your arguments escalate into destructive conflicts,” says Dr. Orbuch. “Yelling, name calling, and withdrawing from the conversation are not constructive ways to handle conflict.” Instead, he suggests that you stay calm and try to resolve disagreements, even if you agree to disagree.
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Resolution: Keep Intimacy Alive
Although, from the outside, the engagement period looks all sunshine and roses (and sometimes it is!), It certainly comes with its fair share of unsexy scenes. Whatever you do, Dr. Orbuch cautions against blaming your relationship or others for any loss of emotion you may feel. “Keep things fresh and gently change things frequently,” he says. “For example, doing new and exciting things together, moving away as a couple, holding hands, etc., as novelty or novelty, and mystery or surprise can rekindle passion and excitement as you progress through your marriage.”
Resolution: Don’t let the inconvenience get worse
When you’ve been together for a while, and especially if you’re already living together, the little things your partner does can get under your skin. It’s normal, but letting too many tiny things get to you can drive a wedge in your relationship. Dr. Orbuch suggests that you make one of your New Year’s resolutions by trying as hard as you can not to let small issues pile up until they become big problems. “Small things can work themselves out, but if small things add up over time, they can get big and then it’s much more difficult to unpack,” he says. Instead, bring up the things that bother you, but do so in a positive way. “You could say, ‘Honey, I find it very comforting when our house is tidy, and I feel stressed when I come home with dishes in the sink and clothes all over the floor. Let’s find a solution together ”.
Don’t let the agony of wedding planning distract you from the number one reason you are getting married in the first place: the love you have for each other. One of our favorite ideas for New Years resolutions is to remember all the wonderful moments you have shared in your relationship. Most likely, a lot of them had to do with big smiles and laughter. Strive to infuse more of that into your lives now, as an engaged couple. “Remember to reconnect with the happy side of your relationship, rather than always focusing on the more serious side,” adds Dr. Orbuch. “Laughing together keeps your relationship stronger over time.”