The new year is here (well, almost!) and we all know it’s time for resolutions. What’s a better resolution to make than creating a better relationship?
It might be one you actually keep, too!
Here’s our list of 5 things to start doing to create a better relationship
1. Be The First To Say “I’m Sorry” and “I Forgive You”
Relationships are full of mistakes, big and small. We’re talking mainly the small ones here. Being able to quickly apologize and forgive will make a world of difference—as long as it’s genuine.
Challenge yourself to be the first to apologize and the first to forgive. Most of those quick, unintentional mistakes only need an, “Oops, my bad. I shouldn’t have done that” to smooth them over. Most of those issues that have our undies in a bunch, are really not that important. Be the first to take that step in removing your ego and looking at the bigger picture. Your partner (and your future self) will thank you!
This is going to take practice, but remember, apologizing and forgiveness is about valuing your relationship more than your ego—it’s not about who’s right or wrong.
2. Schedule Check In’s
Busy is a relationship status. Don’t let your relationship pass by neglected in the new year. How can you prevent that? Schedule check in’s. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, schedule time to check in with your partner.
Really ask how they are doing, what they need, what’s awesome, what’s not. Is there something you need to sort out? Is there something that made them feel super loved up?
Checking in with each other will allow you to answer those questions and also voice what you need and want from your partner. Added bonus – if your check in’s are date nights, even better!
3. Turn Towards
By doing this one thing 86% of the time or more, almost guarantees you’ll stay together. The Gottman Institute has conducted long term research on married couples and this one action is what allowed the researchers to predict, with alarming accuracy, which couples would stay together and which would divorce. They determined, when your partner makes a bid of affection, you can respond one of three ways: Turn Towards, Turn Away, Turn Against.
It looks like this:
“Hey honey, how was your dinner at work?” (bid of affection)
Turn Towards: “Hey babe, it was pretty good. We talked about stats and new research. The boss loved how I improved on last quarter.”
Turn Away: “Hey, it was fine.”
Turn Against: “Why do you always nag me the minute I walk in the door? Don’t you have something else to do?”
So turn towards! It’s an intentional decision that will give amazing results. You can trust us, cause y’know, science.
4. Express Daily Gratitude and Willingness
In relationships, one of the biggest killers is being taken for granted and shutting down. It’s so easy to slip unknowingly into those ruts and this tip will combat it. Everyday, make it a point to tell your partner one thing that you love a little extra about them that day.
Did they remind you to grab your keys, did they empty the dishwasher, did they send you a cute text? Let them know you appreciate it.
The second part, increase your willingness. When relationships get hard we think of what we want our partner to do or change, but instead, think of asking yourself, “What am I willing to do or change?”. Gratitude and willingness is contagious in a great relationship. You may be surprised by the results found by yourself and your partner!
It’s so easy to celebrate the anniversaries, birthdays, holidays and when things are going well. By all means continue that. But, what we are suggesting is also celebrate the smaller things, the harder things, and most importantly the stumbles.
Did you get in an argument today? Celebrate that you got past it, or that you brought it up to be addressed.
Did you have a loss this week? Celebrate that you have an understanding partner (or one that is trying to be!) to support you through that.
Did you fall off your diet, stuff your face with chocolate you weren’t supposed to have that was left over after the holidays? (No? Just me?) Celebrate that with your partner that knows your goals, has compassion for your stumbles, and together renew your motivation to keep going!
This little change will not only allow the two of you to grow closer around the stumbles, rather than be pulled apart or ashamed, but it will also create more shared experiences to build the foundation of your relationship on. That will only make you stronger!
There you have it. 5 things to start doing (or keep doing if you’re ahead of the curve!) to create and maintain a better relationship!
Share this info with your special someone, they’ll be glad you did. Remember to comment and let us know if we missed any points!