You know that your partner is the one for you, but perhaps it has gone a bit wonky over the last couple of months.
Maybe your work has grabbed a bit too much of your attention, you’ve had health worries, the kids have taken over your lives… It’s never too late to get the spark back and revitalise your relationship.
Check out our 10 relationship resolutions and bring a bit of the old 'deep and meaningful' back into your lives.
1. Spend time together - alone. Easier said than done if you’ve got a tribe of kids, but essential for harried young parents. Chuff them off to the grandparents, neighbours, babysitters… ANYWHERE! And then either have a nice cosy dinner together, a long walk in the forest, or a couple of romantic (or hot) hours in the bedroom. Whatever is meaningful and important for you to do together.
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2. Help each other. It’s easy for each person to get into their own little rituals and the ‘who does what’ at home can become a source of conflict. Okay, he is supposed to do the dishes every night, but you could do them every now and then if he looks really tired. And yes, she always does the ironing, but she has an important event at work this week, so you could surprise her with a big pile done when she gets home. Love, in fact does not count and calculate. Love pays attention and gives when needed.
3. Don’t forget to say thank you. No folks, this doesn’t mean polite manners of please and thank you all the time. Take a few seconds every now and then to let your partner know how much you love them, find them sexy/intelligent/amazing... In the humdrum that is daily life, we can take our partner for granted. Taking a couple of minutes out to rediscover what it is that you love about them and tell them out loud… this is a balm for the heart.
4. Stop aiming for perfection. Often a couple suffers as each individual strives for their own individual perfection. Men feel the need to be perfect at work, in bed, in the garden shed and with the kids. Women feel the need to be perfect mothers, lovers, cooks, home decorators and of course looking gorgeous all the time. Try and see yourself through your actual partner’s eyes, not what the magazines are telling you. Real life people have much less expectations of each other and as a couple you can find areas of compromise in the race to perfection, which will leave you more time and space for each other.
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5. Get a couple’s hobby. In modern times, it’s important that you, as a couple, have a common interest, in addition to your children and your house. You may both love watching soccer, so buy a season’s pass and get out there yelling for your team together. You may enjoy opera, so make it a habit to get all dressed up and out to a wonderful show once a month. Whatever it is that you would enjoy doing together – culture, sport, fun… whatever – find it and do it.
6. Get an individual hobby. Looks contradictory to the last one, but it’s not. This is especially important for stay-at-home parents. An outside interest, in addition to your partner, children or home, will help round out your personality, self-confidence and open the doors to new friendships. All this makes you a more fulfilled and interesting person and will give you more to discuss with your partner – as opposed to just talking about the kids or your financial problems.
7. Get it out in the open, positively. Strangely enough, in this age of open and global communication, many people have a problem communicating with their partner. And when we do communicate it’s just about all negative. Try to start your conversations on a positive point, even if you have criticisms to make. There’s nothing worse for a person’s self-esteem than constant nagging (ladies!) or never ending nitpicking (gentlemen!). It will always go better if you sound like you are trying to help, rather than just criticising, so listen to yourself a little and work to improve your communication skills with your partner.
8. Get back your mojo. So it’s gotten a bit boring in between the sheets. Not to worry, that’s relatively easy to fix. Most relationships go through downturns in the sex department at some time. The important thing is not to let it drag on. You need to tune back into your partner and then get a bit imaginative. We all know the clichés; men like to be turned on, women like to be seduced. You know what to do, now take the time, put in a bit of effort and do it. Doing it for the men; new lingerie in his favourite colour and a parade to show it off, surprise sex when he’s not expecting it… Doing it for the ladies; a sensual massage that isn’t a first quick step to sex, understanding what she wants from sex and giving it to her…
9. Unplug the electronics. What with iPhones, Twitter, Facebook, StarCraft, Wii, Skype, online shopping and cable TV, we could spend most of our lives plugged into virtual life. This is a big disruption in the lives of many a couple. All these ‘social networking’ tools are there to put us into relationships with people, so it does seem a bit odd that we’d rather be hooked up to the computer than spending time with the real life people sitting on our own sofas. Think about it and unplug. Real people, including your partner, are more interesting and are actually alive! This definitely makes for better sex at the least!
10. Enjoy each other! Being together should be fun and if you know that your partner is THE ONE, then you have already spent lots of fun moments together. Your partner is your lover, best friend – all rolled into one. So take a bit of time to enjoy them and enjoy yourselves together. Whether it’s having a drink together on the way home from work, unplugging your phones and playing Scrabble in bed all day Sunday, spending Friday evening squashed up together giggling in a bubble bath… rediscover the little joys of life and of each other and get back to the heart of your relationship.