Every relationship eventually hits a slump. Some call it relationship exhaustion, others the “meh” point, but what everyone agrees on is that it’s pretty much inevitable for all relationships at some point.
While this may be an indication that it’s time for a breakup, it could also just be a natural part of the dating process. If you’re truly dedicated to your relationship, it’s okay to stick with it and try to get out of the “meh” period. When you do choose to work through the slump, you should know it won’t always be easy. It will take some grunt work from both ends.
What better time to work on your relationship than the new year? Here are seven resolutions you and your partner can add to your lists to help improve your relationship.
1. Improve your understanding of yourself
Before you can really understand your relationship with someone else, it’s extremely important that you have a clear understanding of yourself. You may be thinking, of course I understand myself, I am myself! But having a fully conscious grasp on your desires, needs, and expectations is something you have to actively pursue. Sometimes it’s even more challenging to fully understand something we’re in close proximity too, and there’s nothing we’re closer to than ourselves.
You and your partner should each make a conscious effort to explore your own individual personalities. There could be a large cause of contention in your relationship if your partner isn’t meeting your expectations and you don’t even know it! Sometimes we don’t realize our own ingrained biases and expectations of how a relationship is supposed to be, and then we become frustrated when that expectation isn’t being met in reality. When you take the time to step away from your own biases, you can gain a clearer understanding of your relationship.
2. Work on living a healthier lifestyle
Many people put items like “lose weight” and “exercise” on their resolutions list, but end up falling off the wagon and forgetting about it. The resolution that should be on your and your partner’s lists is to live a healthier lifestyle. Being healthier is about more than testing out the latest crash diet. It’s about maintaining positive mental and physical health so you can be you best selves.
There’s no reason to not strive for a healthier lifestyle. All it takes is making sure you’re cleaning up your eating, staying active, and keeping up with your mental health. Working on improving your health can even be something you and your partner bond over. Cook healthy meals together, find an exciting exercise class or team sport to participate in, or pick out a better bed to help you both keep up with better sleep. In creating a healthier lifestyle together, you’ll both be able to be more present and build a better relationship.
3. Find a hobby for yourself
In relationships, we sometimes lose ourselves. It’s completely normal to become consumed in a relationship and forget about yourself for a bit, but eventually you need to reclaim yourself. A great way to do this is to find a hobby to enjoy on your own. It’s important to nourish your soul by doing the things you enjoy and having your own time and space for it.
A physical activity such as yoga, pilates, walking, or taking workout classes is a great option for personal time. Not only do you get to have some time away from your significant other for the activities you enjoy, but you also get to work up endorphins and help combat stress in the meantime.
You may also find a calming activity you enjoy such as doing crafts or exercising your creativity through writing, painting, or other outlets of expression. Whatever it is that you choose to do, make sure you make it a priority to have that time for yourself.
If you’re lost and don’t know where to start, check out this list of 30 things to do by yourself.
4. Find a hobby you enjoy together
Mending your relationship isn’t all about creating more distance. Finding a hobby that you enjoy together can be great for bonding closer and developing your relationship.
If you’ve already found partnership in each other, it’s likely you have more than a few shared interests, so finding a common hobby shouldn’t be difficult. Maybe it’s taking a monthly hike or playing video games together. Nothing is really out of bounds here. Use this time to enjoy each other’s company, have a few laughs, and open up opportunities for discussions of mutual interests.
5. Learn to compromise
After growing yourself individually and then growing closer together, you’ll need to dedicate some time to learning how to compromise as a couple. Everyone has their own opinions, interests, desires, and needs. When two people come together, there will inevitably be some crashes of opinion. In challenging times, it’s important that you know how to meet your partner in the middle.
One important lesson is that you don’t always have to meet halfway. Now, that doesn’t mean one particular partner should always be bending more than the other, but it does mean that it’s okay to take turns supporting one another’s needs/wants (as long as you aren’t keeping count and holding it against each other).
6. Learn to let go
If we held on to every hard feeling, we wouldn’t be able to maintain friendships or relationships with anyone. In a relationship, you’re bound to have a few fights every now and then. If you want to be able to grow from these hard times and move on, you’ll have to each learn how to let go of some things.
There are some things that are worth letting slide for the sake of your relationship. Happy couples report letting little things go to maintain their relationship including the small annoying habits your partner has, jealousy, and concerns over who does more. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember all of the reasons you love your S.O., not all the reasons they drive you crazy.
7. Communicate more honestly
Communication is clearly a key component in any relationship. Like mentioned before, we can’t read each other’s minds. Make it a goal for you and your partner to become more frequent and honest communicators with one another so you can make sure you stay on the same page. If communication is something you two struggle with, you may want to try out conversation starters [https://www.mantelligence.com/conversation-starters-for-couples/ ] or other guided questions that can help you two open up to one another. The only way you’ll make progress together is if you start openly discussing your thoughts.
Hopefully with these seven resolutions you and your partner can make 2019 your best year yet.