New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, which means a lot of us are busy making our resolutions for the new year. This year, use the fresh start to add some positive habits…and make your relationship stronger and better than ever.
1. Start every day with a compliment. Everyone likes to feel appreciated in a relationship—and at one point or another, everyone feels like their partner isn’t appreciating all that they do. So start every day by complimenting or thanking your significant other—thank them for making breakfast so you can sleep in a little, tell them they look great in a new outfit, let them know you’re proud of them for getting up early for the morning yoga class. Your partner will start the day feeling loved and appreciated, and those warm and fuzzy feelings will come right back to you.
2. Get the most out of quality time together. Before tackling the logistics of when to spend more quality time together, you first need to define what you and your partner consider “quality time” to be. Sound obvious? Not always—you may look forward to spending your Friday night cuddled up on the couch with a movie, but your partner may need a more engaging activity to feel like they’re connecting with you. Talk to your significant other about what you both want more of—uninterrupted, TV-free conversation over dinner? A fun board game? A walk around the park together?.
3. Schedule a date night. Now that you’ve figured out how you want to spend your quality time together, schedule it. Just like any other to-do on your calendar, from your kid’s soccer game to the PTA meeting, make quality time a priority, not something you do if you find yourself with a few hours to kill every few months. Take turns planning date nights every week (or whatever frequency you agree on), put it on the calendar, and stick to it.
4. Make your sex life a priority. It takes two to tango, both of you need to be on board when it comes to making your sex life better—and that means telling each other what you want to change. Talk specifics and frame them in a positive way—instead of saying “You’re never in the mood for a spontaneous quickie,” try pointing out something your partner does that you appreciate: “I love when you surprise me by hopping the shower with me. How about we do that this Saturday when we’re not rushed to get ready for work?”
5. Hug at least once a day. Did you know it only takes 20 seconds of hugging to start the flow of oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone”? The release of oxytocin makes partners feel connected and loved. However, the average hug only lasts three seconds. In 2013, resolve to hug it out—hold your partner tight for at least 20 seconds each day. Just leave the calendar and kitchen timer out of it this time—surprise them with a lingering hug when they walk in the door after work, reach over for a squeeze while you’re grocery shopping, or wrap your arms around them first thing in the morning.