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6 Relationship goals for the new year

Posted at 2:39 PM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 16:39:05-05

Most people choose their New Year's resolutions based on what they want to improve about themselves like losing weight, saving money or stopping smoking.

But maybe this year, you want to focus on improving your relationship with your special someone.

Relationship Coach Val Baldwin joined us with six relationship goals for the new year that could make a huge difference for you.

Listen to understand, not respond.
How often do you listen to your partner talk and find that you are already creating your reply to their statements in your head before they have ever finished speaking? This is a common habit, but it is a disaster in the making for any relationship. When your partner speaks, you need to listen in order to understand their point of view instead of simply using the time to prepare for the next time you open your mouth. This is especially true when you are arguing with your significant other. If you do not try to understand where they are coming from, you will likely find yourselves having the same arguments over and over because neither of you has listened to the other well enough to be able to really address the issue. So stop and truly listen.

Sincerely tell them how much they mean to you.
'I love you' is one of the most potent and important phrases in the English language. It is a declaration of sharing arguably the strongest and most enduring emotion in the world with another human being. Couples say those words to each other often, as they should, but the commonality of the words means that sometimes their power can be lost. If you really want to improve your relationship, take the time to tell your significant other exactly how much they mean to you. Instead of just saying 'I love you', tell your partner what exactly you love about them and why you fell for them. Rather than simply saying they make you laugh, explain how they manage to lift the weight of a horrible week off your shoulders with a single funny comment. Tell them that you admire their integrity and that it pushes you to be a better person. Be specific, and be sincere.

Laugh together.
Laughter really is the best medicine. Focusing on having more funny moments together is a great way to improve your relationship with your significant other.
Couples who have been interviewed about their long and successful relationships often cite laughter as one of the keys to the longevity of a marriage. Laughing with your partner relieves stress and gives you two memories and events to bond over. It can remove tension to make difficult discussions more doable and keep a potential fight away as well as help both you and your partner avoid taking yourselves too seriously.

Return to childhood.
Sometimes the best solutions are those that are totally off the wall wacko. As such, it may seem strange to think that one of the best ways to improve or deepen your relationship is to go back to when you were both children. Nonsexual intimacy, however, is one of the most important things to focus on in your relationship. Oddly enough, playing together like children can be one of the easiest ways to bring that intimacy back into your relationship or increase it. Building a blanket fort, or jumping on the trampoline together encourages both of you to be silly, keeps you focused on each other and makes it natural to begin discussing favorite childhood memories and other important memories.

Find a faith.
'The couple that prays together, stays together.' It may sound like a marketing slogan for religious faith, but that does not make the statement any less true. Couples who are active in a religion are more satisfied and committed to each other than those who are not. This is true regardless of the faith the two of you practice. So, if you want to take a leap into a deeper relationship this year, you need to step into a wider world than the one you can see with your own two eyes.

Set guidelines for electronics.
Electronics are everywhere in the modern world. They can do a lot of good things, but they are also wreaking havoc on people`s lives. They are interfering with sleep patterns, keeping children from learning how to handle social interactions and have created an entirely new breed of addiction, one that is almost impossible to escape because electronics are required for so many daily activities. Technology is also likely interfering with your own relationship. In fact, some people are citing issues with electronics, internet usage and social media as a reason for filing for divorce. To keep the electronic misuse from haunting your relationship, set some basic guidelines about how to handle technology. Ban cell phone usage at the table or decide that social media cannot be accessed during date night. Only answer phone calls or texts after a certain time and leave posts and other notifications until morning. Most importantly, turn off your phones at night to avoid keeping each other awake all night.

Val says, "If you want to improve your relationship, you need to make sure your significant other is on board with the plan. Otherwise, you will be unlikely to reach your goal of deepening or saving the relationship. Everything in a relationship requires two people. The new year is the perfect time to take the steps you need to create a happier, healthier relationship."

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