16 Relationship Resolutions Every Couple Should Make
Surprise: It’s not enough to just tell your partner you love them! Pick one (or more!) of these expert relationship resolutions to make 2019 the year you star in your own personal rom-com, happy ending and all.
Avoid the ‘automatic no’ trap
“In 2018, resolve that you will do what your partner prefers unless you have a strong objection to doing it. This is important because it makes your partner feel heard and like their input matters. On the fence? Ask yourself: ‘Is this something worth getting into an argument about?’ Because very few things are.” —Judi Bloom, PsyD, licensed marriage and family therapist in Santa Monica, California. And make sure you’re not guilty of any of these 31 relationship habits that are actually dangerous.
Be a partner, not a player
“Resolve that you will focus on what is best for the couple and not just what is best for you, individually. This is important because a solid relationship requires putting the needs of the couple first whenever possible, compromising solutions to problems, and keeping communication flowing for a strong connection.” —Bloom
Don’t turn a molehill into a mountain
“This year, couples should resolve to not let little upsets grow into big ones. Little things can become big things if they aren’t addressed head on. So be honest with your partner if they have upset you. Tell them what they have done, why it upset you, and come up with a solution together.” Mitzi Bockmann, counselor and certified life coach for women
Don’t forget to have fun!
“Couples are told to spend time together, but it’s more important that their time together is positive. Having fun together results in a closeness that keeps couples feeling more connected, both emotionally and physically. So this year, chose to spend time together doing things that will make you laugh.” —Mitzi Bockmann
Answer this tough question—honestly
“Come up with a list of things you can do to improve your relationship. Instead of saying what your partner should or could do better, consider how you contribute to the challenges and how you can work on your part. After all, your power lies with yourself, you simply cannot change another person.” Linda Stiles, licensed social worker and psychotherapist in Lenexa, Kansas. Need an idea? Try one of these 8 strategies to reconnect and repair your relationship.
Question your feelings before letting them fly
“When you get upset, before you lash out first, ask yourself why? What is it about the situation that upsets you so much? How is that familiar in your past? The same applies for your partner. Think ‘Wow, he/she is having a strong reaction. What is that really about?’ If you can stay curious, you can avoid getting defensive and fighting. Look for clues to help you better understand and respond.” Linda Stiles. Still worrying? Use these 9 ways to stop paranoia from destroying your marriage.
Love is spelled T-I-M-E
“You can’t meet one another’s needs well if you aren’t spending enough time together. Happy couples tend to have at least eight to ten hours a week of quality time together. This can include date nights but also things like household projects or chores.” Wyatt Fisher, PhD, licensed psychologist and niche dating site founder, in Boulder, Colorado. Your busy schedule is just one of 9 common behaviors sabotaging your relationship.
Say the two most important relationship words every day
“Resolve to say ‘thank you’ every day this year. Couples often slip from admiration to criticism over the course of their relationship. Therefore, partners must intentionally look for the good and express it often to cultivate an attitude of gratitude within the relationship.” —Dr. Fisher. And it doesn’t have to be hard, try these 13 ridiculously simple ways to say thank you.
Remember: It’s not always so personal
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“Your attitude can change everything, so if your partner’s words or actions upset you, decide to keep it light and not to take it personally. Often what others say about you isn’t really about you, it’s about them and how they feel about themselves.” Angela Lenhardt, counselor, life coach, speaker and author of A Charmed Journey: An Inspired Guide to Personal Transformation
Dirty dishes in the sink? Let it go
“Everyone wants to be loved and accepted, regardless of their faults. This year, resolve to pay attention to what your partner’s goals and desires are, and focus on what that can teach you about the relationship. And when your own personal insecurities arise, they will do the same for you and you can grow together with acceptance and love.” —Lenhardt. Bonus: This is one of the 8 bad habits to break if you want to avoid marriage counseling.