The New Year sees many of us making resolutions, vowing to improve many aspects of our lives including our relationships. But how many of us then take that vague resolution to make our relationships better and turn it into a series of tangible action points?
1. Think positive. It’s so easy to fall into a trap of focusing on the negatives of your partner and your relationship,especially if you’ve been together for a reasonable amount of time. This year, instead vow to remind yourself of the things you love about your relationship and why your partner is amazing. It will change the way you handle challenges and lead to fewer arguments.
2. Let go of the past. That big argument you had last year (or even the year before)? Move past it. If you and your partner have apologised and made peace with the argument, it’s time to move forward. Instead of stacking up past ‘failures’ to prove a point, work on ways of building trust in the relationship to ensure that arguments don’t become recurring.
3. Be emotionally honest. Even the most direct individuals sometimes have trouble communicating their true feelings to their partner (out of fear of being seen as vulnerable or hurting the person’s feelings, or being unsure of what response will be received). It’s important to let your partner in on what you’re feeling so that they know how to help the situation. Focus on statements that don’t shift blame, either – take responsibility for your emotions. “I feel…” is an emotionally honest statement, whilst “You made me feel…” is an example of blame shifting.
4. Make quality time a priority. For many of us, much of the time we spend with our partner also involves a fair degree of multitasking – the TV is on, we’re checking our phones, they’re reading a book… the list goes on. Spend dedicated time with your partner where phones are off the table, the TV is off and you have each other’s undivided attention. Date Nights are a great way to implement this.
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