New This Month

8 Relationship Resolutions for 2016

As you are making New Year's resolutions for other areas of your life, it's good practice to do the same with your relationship. "The turn of the year is always a good time for reflecting and re-establishing the bond that created your partnership in the first place," says Folashade A. Butler, a relationship coach in Washington, DC. See how our eight relationship resolutions will keep you going strong into the New Year.

Photography by: dolgachov

Resolution #1: I will forgive and move on.

Forgiveness is probably one of the most important resolutions you can make since, like tight abs, it's not something that happens overnight. It's inevitable that you will stumble over a few challenges and offences during your time together, whether it's something minor or monumental, the New Year is a good time to let go of past hurt and move forward.

Resolution #2: I will prioritize my relationship.

Career, every day hassles and wedding planning can take over your life, inadvertently putting your relationship on the back burner. While it may seem that just because you two are together it's a given that you care for each other, prioritizing your significant other is the key to maintaining a strong relationship. Make a point to check in during the day, plan unexpected dates, and ensure you have actual face time.

Resolution #3: I will digitally detox on a daily basis.

You know that communication is an integral part of a relationship—that's why you should vow to take smartphone breaks. Your intimate relationship is way more important than anything that goes on in the social media realm, so make sure that you're present. This means no phones during meals or before bedtime. Trust us, pillow talk is way sweeter than a dozen Likes. Putting technology on hold sends a message that your S.O. comes first.

Resolution #4: I will be intentional about dating.

Falling back on a true-and-tried routine is easy—you know, same takeout, same Friday nights on the couch. However, scheduling unique date nights, even just once a month, shows that you are making an effort to spruce up your relationship. Take turns planning something new to inject an element of surprise. If you're single, make a point to go outside your comfort zone and venture into other parts of town or try a new activity.

Resolution #5: I will be more playful.

Yes, you're an adult, but lighthearted, even childlike activities—ahem, pillow fight—recharge your relationship batteries. Surely, you've heard that couples who laugh together stay together. With bills and busy work schedules, you've got plenty of things to be serious about, but committing to have more fun is bound to give you satisfaction in all parts of your life, including your relationship.

Resolution #6: I will invest in myself.

Alone time is just as important as couple time. Take a moment to evaluate what matters to you outside the relationship—whether it's mastering a headstand or finally learning how to cook. Paying attention to your well-being means that you're happier and happier people make better partners.

Resolution #7: I will have more sex.

Setting sex goals may not sound romantic in theory, but the reality is this: physical intimacy elicits feelings of desire and affection—orgasms send a surge of oxytocin, dubbed the love hormone, to your brain and intensify your bond. Maybe swap flannel PJs for a sexy chemise a few times a week.

Resolution #8: I will manage my expectations.

Disappointments tend to come from unrealistic and unmet expectations—if your partner tends to be messy, don't hope for a color-coded closet. Mention what you want out of the relationship and then find middle ground. Sticking to attainable goals, say taking turns with laundry, is bound to reduce stress.


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