For many of us, our romantic relationships are one of the most central part of our lives. When things go well, they are a source of absolute joy, but when they are not, our relationships can cause headaches. Although ultimately, our happiness depends really on how we manage our relationships and how we treat ourselves.
There are probably things we have done or said in our relations this year that have made things a little more difficult than we would like things. The good news is that we can change – and what better time to reflect and set intentions for a better relationship the end of the year?
If you want to be one in which you have the best possible love life this year, consider making these decisions relationship:
1. Look at your relationship with clear eyes.
Actually, not all romantic relationships are worthy of keeping. Therefore, start by taking an objective look at your current relationship. Is your abusive partner? Disrespect? Overzealous? Do you two are co-dependent? Can be your authentic self with your partner? Are you two make the best of each?
Reflecting on these questions, determine whether to stay. Sometimes the best things you can do for your love life is to move to greener pastures, if it means taking some time to work on yourself, or find someone to love the way you deserve.
2. Start with your own happiness.
A lot of people are mistaken in their belief that instantly become happier once they meet Mr. or Ms. Right. In fact, research shows that people who are happier in the first place tend to be more satisfied with their relationships long term. Therefore, resolve to do things that bring you joy, if it is a hobby, keeping a gratitude journal or have a regular night out with friends. Doing so will allow you to bring your best self to your relationship.
3. Do exciting things with your partner.
Because a process called habituation, we tend to adapt and get used to the constant conditions in our lives. (That’s why dinner and a movie with your partner may be charming like a first date, but becomes downright boring when done yet again two years later). However, there is hope!
A research study showed that couples who participate in activities they described as “exciting” reported more marital satisfaction than those shared experiences they describe as “nice”. In addition, new activities flood the reward circuitry of the brain, creating an experience that brings you so much pleasure. So to give your relationship a boost resolve to ramp up and try something new!
4. Learn the language of love from your partner.
Instead of the golden rule, I like the Platinum Rule – “Do unto others what you would have to do them.” You and your partner may differ in the ways they prefer to receive love.
Therefore, resolve to determine if your partner prefers physical contact, acts of service, quality time, receiving gifts, or words of approval, and intend to show love the way you prefer. And do not forget to let your partner know that your love language so you can have the favor returned!
5. Avoid the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”.
What the hell is that? Well, relationship expert Dr. John Gottman has identified four behaviors that are most harmful to the relationship: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. If you want to improve your relationship, resolving to dump these behaviors and find constructive ways to communicate.
6. Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness, or be intentional about staying in the present moment, is associated with greater relationship satisfaction, allowing you to savor the positive and be attentive to their partner. Research also shows that conscious people experience less emotional stress during the romantic conflict and are dedicated to improving communication in general.
So, if you have even one regular practice mindfulness, resolve to develop one this year. Have a positive impact on their relationship (and a number of other areas of your life).
7. Make the most of the good news.
Research shows that how we respond to the good news of our partner can help or hurt intimacy. Resolve to show an active interest, support and encouragement when their partner is proudly sharing something with you. Deepen their connection and bring both greater happiness.
8. Touch your partner every day.
From the moment we are born, we are meant to be touched. Touch is associated with feelings of security, trust and support, and the people receiving the report feeling more physical affection in a more positive way about their relationship and your partner. Therefore, resolve to kiss, hug, and squeeze to your heart’s content every day!