How to Improve Your Relationship in the New Year, According to Therapists

 

1. Give each other the best of your time rather than whatever’s left at the end of the day.
There’s a huge difference between quality time and whatever you allot to your partner after an energy-zapping day at the office. Don’t spend another date night slumped on the couch, drifting to sleep to the sounds of “Parks and Rec.” This year, make a point to create the space and intention for quality time together.

Have quarterly “How can I help you achieve your dreams or goals?” meetings.
Your partner is your biggest fan, your ride or die, and your sounding board ― and the same should be true for them. To remind your S.O. just how much you’re rooting for them, create a quarterly ritual in which you ask them what their current career goals or aspirations are. Then ask what you can do to help them make that happen.

2. Take time to check in on how you feel about the relationship.
It’s easy to go into the relationship equivalent of cruise control after years together. You do so at the risk of becoming complacent.  Stay active in your relationship, check in with your partner and self-reflect to make sure you’re both still happy and content.

3. Make a new year’s resolution specific to your relationship.
We all do one thing that absolutely irks our partner: Maybe you leave globs of hair in the shower drain or forget piles of plates in the sink. Maybe you interrupt their stories, or phub them at dinner.Whatever it is, resolve to cut back on it, for your partner’s sake.

4. Treat your relationship like the prize it is.
Finding a worthwhile life partner is rough going these days. (Don’t believe us? Ask your closest dating-app-using friend.) Cherish what you’ve created together and be very deliberate in letting your S.O. know how special they are.

5. Be a little selfish.
Feeling guilty about taking that girls’ trip to Austin or buying that kind of pricey CrossFit pass? Don’t. Taking time for things that leave you feeling rejuvenated ― whether it means exercising or spending time with your friends ― pays off dividends in your relationship. Guard against sacrificing too much by making sure you care about yourself, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.

If that sounds a tad self-centered, balance it out by looking out for your partner and making sure they’re taking care of themselves, too. Caring about yourselves in these areas is the best way to ensure that your relationship will thrive and no one will carry too much resentment, which is the only emotion that can destroy love.

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