16 New Year's Resolutions Every Couple Should Work On
As the New Year approaches, it presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on the last year of your relationship. You’ve done a lot together, right? As awesome as your relationship is, it never hurts to put in the effort to make it even better.
In addition to your own personal New Year’s resolutions, it’s important to make a separate list for your relationship. What can you resolve to do in the New Year as a couple? How can you strengthen your bond, build trust, boost emotional closeness, and improve your overall connection?
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Luckily, we have some tips! After the ball drops on New Year’s Eve and the New Year’s Day hangover subsides, you can start focusing on how to take your relationship from great to totally amazing.
Here are 16 New Year’s resolutions any couple should work on:
1. Commit To Regular Date Nights
Sure, you probably spend most of your time together, but it’s still important to have actual date nights. Planning a weekly or monthly date night gives you a much-needed escape from everyday life and the chance to have some fun together.
Regular date nights help keep you feeling connected, improves your sex life (really!), and leads to greater relationship satisfaction.
2. Try Something New Together
Trying new things together helps keep the spark alive! In fact, research has shown that trying new things with your partner can help prevent boredom, make you feel closer, create more happiness in your relationship and help you feel more satisfied with life in general.
Pick something neither of you have tried before but are both interested in — cooking, painting, a new workout class, hiking — you name it. Give it a try and enjoy the adventure together!
3. Volunteer Together
There’s no better feeling than helping those in need. When you and your partner volunteer together, you work toward a shared goal, learn new skills, and even make new friends. You’ll both be feeling better about yourselves, each other, and your relationship after doing something so selfless.
4. Make Sex A Priority
We get it — life is busy! You don’t always have time to focus on your sex life (or maybe you’re just not in the mood), and it’s totally understandable. This New Year, make it a point to increase the amount of sexy time in your relationship.
And here’s the deal: It doesn’t have to be every day for you to feel satisfied! Researchers have found that having sex just once a week leads to happier relationships. That’s it! (Of course, if you want to do it more, have at it!)
Learn more about how to improve your sex life with Relish, our award-winning relationship coaching app! A professional coach is just a text away. Download the app and unlock your 7-day free trial.
5. Stop Sweating The Small Stuff
Life is short! Why waste your time on trivial things? This is where the phrase “pick your battles” comes into play. Whether it’s a disagreement between you and your partner, or a personal problem you can’t seem to shake (even though you should), make an effort to let the little things go.
6. Implement More Alone Time
Space is healthy for any romantic relationship! The key is to find the right balance. You and your partner both need time for yourselves, but you don’t want so much that you end up growing apart.
Alone time doesn’t have to be complicated! For example, if your partner is a movie buff and you’re more into reading, then you take the bedroom to cozy up with a novel while your partner watches a movie in the other room. Alone time is the chance to focus on your own needs and well-being. The happier you are with yourself, the happier you will be in your relationship.
7. Put The Phones Down When You’re Talking To Each Other
The term “phubbing,” coined by relationship experts, is a real downer for your relationship. It refers to the times you “snub” your partner with your phone while they are talking. It can actually lead to decreased trust and a less satisfying relationship!
Try implementing a “phone-free” time every day, whether it’s while you catch up after work or eat dinner together at the table. It’s important to truly listen to each other when you’re talking, and you can’t do that if you’re focused on a digital screen.
8. Exercise Together
Did you know there are actual, scientific benefits to working out with your partner? Research has found that working out as a couple can increase relationship happiness, boost your emotional bond, and makes you more attracted to each other.
When you exercise together, you’re also likely to meet your fitness goals. Why? You hold each other accountable! Not to mention, working out with someone else is always way more fun.
9. Cook Together
Cooking together is a great way to strengthen your bond. It facilitates curiosity, appreciation, creativity, and teamwork, which are all essential for a healthy relationship!
Just as important, cooking meals together helps improve your communication skills. From reading the directions to chopping and dicing the ingredients, you’ll need to talk to each other throughout the process. In the end, you’ll have a (hopefully) delicious meal you can share together!
10. Practice Active Listening
The New Year is the perfect time to start working on your listening skills. Aside from putting the phone down, you should really try to practice active listening. While your opinions and feelings are important, you should also make the effort to understand where your partner is coming from. It’s critical for resolving your issues!
Check your own body language when your partner is talking. Are your arms crossed, making you appear closed off, or are you sitting in a more open position? What is your facial expression like? Are you making eye contact? Are you nodding and acknowledging what they’re saying? By practicing active listening, you are also practicing empathy, which is crucial for putting yourself in their shoes and being able to reflect on how they feel.
11. Learn Each Other’s Love Languages
There are five different love languages that describe how a person either prefers to give or receive love:
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
- Receiving/giving gifts
While you may enjoy the benefits of multiple love languages, there is usually one preferred way we like to receive and give love. Do you know yours? What about your partner’s? At their core, love languages show what you and your partner prioritize and care about. By understanding each other’s love languages, you’re both more likely to feel understood, appreciated, and valued.
Ready to learn your love languages? Take the quiz on Relish! Our relationship coaching app provides all the tools you need to keep your relationship thriving. Download the app and try it out free for one week!
12. Take Time At the End of Each Day To Talk
Communication is a key factor in happy couples. It’s so important that it has the potential to make or break your relationship! More importantly, good communication helps keep you feeling close and connected.
At the end of each day, take some time to sit and talk to each other. Think of it as your daily relationship “check-in.” Talk about your days, bring up any concerns you have (whether they are regarding your relationship or not), and remember to practice active listening. Making time to talk should be a priority when it comes to maintaining a happy relationship!
13. Show More Admiration
Admiration is so critical to your happiness as a couple! In fact, it’s admiration (not sex) that most people are looking for when they end up having an affair. The small things really matter!
Admiration is enriching for your relationship in so many ways. It helps you both feel visible, appreciated, and loved. You’re admiring your partner not just for how they act with you, but for how they operate in the world as a whole. Make it a habit to tell your partner what it is you truly admire about them — and do it often. It’s a total game-changer for your relationship!
14. Set A Shared Long-Term Goal
Think of a long-term goal that you want to accomplish together. Do you want to buy a house, get married, or have kids? Maybe you want to finally run a marathon? Travel to a different country?
When you set a long-term goal for yourselves and work toward it together, it helps boost your bond and give you something exciting to look forward to in the future.
15. Argue In A Healthy Way
One of the biggest New Year’s resolutions for couples should be to fight fair. Avoid name-calling, don’t condescend each other, and offer sincere apologies. Instead of aggressively bringing up any issues with your partner, try a softer approach. Some tips include:
- Start with "I feel..."
- Describe the situation objectively. Only state what you know to be true
- Use "I need..."
- Be polite
- Give verbal appreciation
Arguments are inevitable in any relationship, so learning to fight the “right” way can save you from a lot of heartache!
16. Try Relish
Sometimes you need a little help navigating your relationship, and that’s where Relish is happy to step in! Relish is a relationship coaching app that offers couples personalized quizzes, articles, games, and tailored relationship advice. Our team of expert coaches personalizes your experience and helps you achieve your relationship goals.
The New Year is the start of a “new you” — and that goes for your relationship, too! Making the effort to work on improving your relationship is an essential step in creating a happy, secure, healthy, and loving relationship. Plan your relationship resolutions, keep the communication open, and work toward achieving them together!
Relish is an award-winning relationship coaching app that offers therapist-approved quizzes, expert advice, personalized lessons, and more! Download the app and try us free for one week.