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New Year Resolutions for Couples

by Samantha De Bono

New Year's Eve is the time we look back at the past and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's the time to reflect on where we've been, what we've done and then to make decisions about what we want to change.

The most common resolutions are; lose weight, get fit, stop smoking, stop drinking, get a better job, make more time for friends – but relationship resolutions don't come top of the list. All of those listed above are important, but look at how they can translate into Relationship Resolutions too. This way it's a win-win resolution.

Lose Weight = Kitchen Date Night

When we're all coupled-up, it's easy to get cosy on the couch and feed our faces. It's cold and wet outside so let's order Chinese and bring out the biscuits while we watch the tele. Not only does this habit pack on the pounds, but it also kills off the fun and intimacy that can come with preparing and sharing food. Choose healthy recipes, and make your date nights special by cooking and eating together. Both of you in the kitchen cooking, encourages chat and banter, we tend not to talk about heavy-duty subjects when we're doing other things, but it makes time to talk about little things that come to mind. Play music, don't have the TV on in there just chat and enjoy each other's company. Better than an overpriced restaurant any day!

Get Fit = "Mmm! you're fit!"

Enlist your partner as your workout buddy. You don't have to be overweight to hit the gym, cycle or jog and exercising with your partner gives you a common interest and a way to support and praise the work they're doing. Sharing what your goal is with your partner is a way of including them and trusting them to help you to achieve it. The better you start to feel about yourself, the more sexy you're inclined to feel too. Heavy breathing and glistening bodies brings to mind other things that make us breathe heavily and makes our bodies glisten, so, what are you waiting for, get down that gym!

Stop smoking, stop drinking = We are in this together.

Do you and your partner share a 'bad habit'? if so you can make this work for you individually and for the relationship. Decide to help each other break the habit. It's important that you work collaboratively and not competitively, you want to bond, not isolate and instead of enabling your partner's bad habit, get on board and enhance their belief in their ability to stop. Instead of trying to get your partner to join you in a sneaky fag outside, or asking him/her to pick up a bottle of wine on the way home, make a pact to limit yourselves and back each other no matter how grumpy or tough it gets.

Get a Better Job = "I'll Support You"

When we spend a lot of time with someone, it becomes easy to overlook the things that are great about them. Instead of dwelling on your partner's bad habits, remind yourself of the reasons you fell for him/her in the first place. Then once you've reminded yourself, remind your partner! It doesn't take much for us to feel bad about ourselves and if we feel our partner thinks very little of us too, we are likely to lose our confidence. Once we lose our confidence, we are far less likely to have a "go get em" attitude, so along comes New Years Eve, your partner tells you they want to get a better job in the new year and you take no notice, or even worse, you tell them they must be mad or say something like "I'll believe that when I see it". Criticize less, Praise more! Couples who have been together for a long time tend to forget to compliment one another. Try to dish out three compliments for every criticism. Shared appreciation breeds kindness and consideration, and what couple couldn't use more of that?

Make more time for friends = I'm going to treat my partner as well as I treat my friends.

It's easy to take our romantic partner for granted, and sometimes we don't treat our lovers as well as we should. For the most part, it isn't done intentionally or maliciously, but like family, we assume they're going to be there no matter what, so when we're stressed, our romantic relationships take more abuse and it's not fair. Ask yourself "do I treat my partner in a way I wouldn't dream of treating my best friend?" If you answer "yes" to this question it's probably time to change your behaviour. It takes practice to change a habit so don't expect instant results, but stick at it.

Wishing you all a very happy new year and may your relationship grow stronger than ever in 2012.