If you’ve been following along this year, you know that I recapped 2018 and set my intentions for 2019. The trend there is 2019 is all about being a goal-getter and going after what I want so I can live a more fulfilled life instead of being the girl that says “no” to a boat ride because I’m too insecure to wear a bathing suit.
I’ve set my intentions for work, wellness, finance…etc – and then some of you asked about my intentions for my love life…yikes! That was something that I didn’t really think about, but a lot of you wanted help with, and frankly I could use a little help as well. Plus it’s the first day of the month of love so why not talk about relationships. When I first started writing this I was going to tell you to write this list with your significant other, however I am going to retract that. I think it’s important to have your own intentions and be mindful of them – plus this might just lead you to being in the best relationship of your life by 2020. For those of you that are engaged, married and such this is for you too. These ideas are general ones that everyone could be implementing into their relationship.
1. Focus on finding the good. It’s no secret that optimism and gratitude make for a happy life, I even have this as one of my intentions for the year. Finding the good isn’t just an individual effort, it’s critical for a happy and healthy relationship too. It’s easy to notice and vocalize what your partner is doing wrong, which can lead to resentment on both side. We’ve all found ourselves thinking about our partner’s flaws, but try to reframe from these negative thoughts and think about what you like about them and what they do to make your life better. Start noticing more of the good, instead of the bad.
2. Plan more dates. With busy schedules sometimes the word “date” needs to be reevaluated. A date should be any time the two of you get quality alone time (dinner, a movie, grabbing coffee together, etc). If you have to schedule the date and say every Wednesday night we will do something just us, do that.
3. Learn your partner’s love language. I highly recommend picking up a copy of Dr. Gary Chapman’s #1 New York Times Bestseller, The Five Love Languages (there are various additions – I read the singles one). At the end of the book there is a quiz each you and your partner should take. This quiz will tell you what your love language is: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts and Physical Touch. Once you each know your love language, this will help you interact with your partner better, which will help make both parties feel more appreciated.
4. Tell him/her what you want. No one reads minds, I don’t know if you know that or not – but it’s true. You have to say what you want, and mean what you say. Working on communicating exactly what you want from your partner and listening when they communicate with you will be key to a success relationship.
5. Set career and life goals to achieve together. It’s that time of the year where we are all setting our own intentions for the new year, but did you ever think of including your partner in on them. Your partner is someone (well should be someone) who will help hold you accountable to reach the career goals they know you want to accomplish. When you share personal goals and make goals together it will help you feel like you’re on a team, which leads to a more confident relationship.
6. Try something you both haven’t done before. It’s easy to get into the routine of I have done X before, but you haven’t so lets go try it. While that’s great for a few things get a little adventurous and make your relationship fresh and new. Try a new type of food together, go rock climbing, visit a city neither of you have been to…etc.
7. Plan a trip. Scheduling and going on a trip together could be a complete game changer for your relationship. Not only does it get you both out of your comfort zone, you’re forced to spend quality time together which leads to gaining a stronger connection. Even if you can’t afford a trip away, do something that gets you active in something besides a simple dinner out together.
8. Affection. You know the high of a new relationship, you have hand holding, kissing and intimacy whenever and whereever. If you don’t keep things new, fresh and spicy eventually this fades and you’re left wondering why he just won’t hold your hand anymore or kiss you on the forehead when you’re laying on the couch. Bring it all back, hold hands while you watch movies on the couch or get close and snuggle, random hugs and other things can score you points to bring back what you thought was lost.
9. Laugh more. Easier said then done sometimes if you’re not a comedian, however laughing doesn’t have to come from you – you can watch a comedy together and share laughs that way. One of my favorite memories is when A and I went bike riding and were coming up with “pet names” for each other as a joke – they were HILARIOUS and I don’t think I have ever laughed so much in my life, even now writing about it I have tears running down my face. Share and make those moments!
10. Say ‘I Love You’ more. Life is short, don’t miss your chance to tell someone who means everything to you that you love and appreciate them. This is something I struggle with, I’m afraid to say it because I am afraid of the pain and hurt that it can bring – however you never know when something can happen and you don’t want to live in the moment of regret because you didn’t say what you wanted to.
11. Forgive and forget. If you’re forgiving your partner that means you should forget it, because you’ve worked through it. You’ve seen their perspective and they have seen yours. Once you’ve forgiven that means it’s a past issue, you understand the miscommunication and you’ve worked through it. Enough said, period.
12. Change your argument language. The way you speak has a major impact on everything from your intimacy to the way you two communicate. I tend to get loud, obviously this solves nothing and makes the situation a million times worse. I’ve learned that I get loud because I am so little I feel like I am not being heard (girl EVERYONE hears you) – therefore that is something I am actively working on. I learned that I need to focus on why I felt hurt, instead of what they did that made me feel that way. Instead of saying “I understand” when the other person would make a point I would get defensive, which just made the whole situation worse. Acknowledging their defense makes a world of a difference, because now you’re both actively listening to each other. Fix the problem now so it’s not one in the future.