Christmas is that loving and warm-hearth kind of time in every couple’s life that culminates in a New Year’s Eve of romantic bliss that is exactly what you were looking forward to, right? Ok, maybe not. Let’s be honest, for many couples, the romance fizzled out well before the second Christmas you spent together and all you have time for now is wiping the baby’s bottom instead of wrapping presents. (And god forbid you try to multi-task that one…) However, with the stress of Christmas behind you, the New Year is an ideal time to set aside your Christmas grievances and ‘bah-humbug’ winter cynicism, to re-kindle your romance. So I’ve put together this new years resolutions for relationships guide to help give you some ideas to make 2013 the year of romance once again!
New year’s resolutions that fail by the second week in January are common, probably because they weren’t life-enhancing tasks anyway. But it you see your relationship as your greatest asset, (or even if you don’t but know that it should be) then these romance-aimed resolutions will actually be worth making the time for. If the payoff is greater than the pain of organising it, you’ll actually do it, right? If you and your partner haven’t been on each other’s side lately, consider what a great difference it could make to the year ahead if you started rooting for each other like your own personal cheerleaders.
New Years Resolutions For Relationships list for 2013
January – Hand-holding month.
Why not try something as easy as holding hands to get the year started right? Lots of relationship coaches advise massages and long baths, but these involve a lot of preparation and effort, whereas the simple act of holding hands is spontaneous and instantly provides a meaningful connection. As such it’s a nice easy starter to get you warmed up and in the romantic mood from the start.
February – Love letter month.
There is nothing better in this world than receiving a heartfelt love letter from the person you love. Reading all the inner most details of how they feel about you and how they struggle to say them out loud. Additionally sitting down to write one is also a great way to be open about the state of your relationship and can be a very cathartic experience. So February needs to be your clear the air love letter month (especially in time for Valentines Day). If you need helping writing them then check out my for him and for her love letter tip guides to ease you on your way.
March – Listening month. (20 minutes per session each.)
Try this intimacy-generating activity by making time to sit down and listen to your partner talk about anything that’s on their mind for a full 20 minutes without interruption. And then swap. This is a great training technique and can really make a difference for it forces you to listen to someone and be listened to without any distracting interruptions. No pushing the conversation towards your agenda. Just listening.
May – List of worst traits-swapping month.
How about taking a leaf out of Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Committed’ book (which she wrote before getting married btw) and write a list of things you think are hardest to live with about yourself and ask your partner to do the same about them. Read them out to each other and lovingly confirm that you can live with those. Both of you will have to risk being open about your very worst traits, but if you’ve been together a long time, there shouldn’t be anything on the list that your partner doesn’t already know about, and it’s heart-warming to have the reassurance that it’s still ok. This will help affirm your commitment to each other in a profound way.
June – Perform a dance to your favourite songs month.
Make up a silly dance to your favourite song and perform it after a couple of glasses of wine on one cosy evening in. Better still, burrow a trick out of Jamie Lee Curtis’ book and try it in the bedroom… maybe tone down the sillyness factor and go for sultry!
July – Play a piece of music or sing a song month.
Additionally, things like learning to sing a song or play a piece of music on an instrument to ‘perform’ on a set date could be both fun and a nice challenge to feel proud of when you’ve achieved it. (It could be ‘Hot Cross Buns’ or the ‘Moonlight Sonata’, it’s up to you!) Better still learn to play your favourite love song on the guitar and properly wow your partner.
August – Take up a new hobby together month. (E.g. learn to surf while on holiday).
How about trying a creative activity together, such as painting or learning to surf? You can even involve children in this one so it can be a fun family activity to try through the school holidays. Make sure everyone’s committed to the activity and set aside time every weekend so you can all do it together.
September – Wishlist month.
Try writing a wishlist of 3 little acts of kindness you’d love to have happen this month and swap lists. Now both of you need to make a commitment to do them at least once that month. (I.e. buy a box of chocolates, do the washing up without being asked, breakfast in bed, prepare a candlelit bath for your partner to get into, etc.) I’m already looking forward to September!
October – Volunteer to do something to help others in your local area month.
Volunteering with a local charity is a great way for you to both give something back whilst giving to each other. Spending time with other whilst helping out is a great way to come together to do some good. It also helps you appreciate what you have and stops you in your tracks the next time you even dare think about trying to “keep up with the Joneses”.
November – Research and donate to a charity you decide on together month.
Hopefully the giving in October has stirred such a bond that you decide to donate in November. Take some time to research together the charity you both want to give to.
December – Repeat your favourite activity of the previous 11 months to consolidate the year’s progress! And celebrate completing the year’s resolutions!
If all these things seem like frivolous nonsense to you, be warned. The world needs frivolous nonsense. Humans need silliness. You can’t dabble in the precarious dance of a relationship without a sense of humour. If you take everything too seriously, everything will become seriously “un-take-able”. Your relationship is the most important investment you’ve ever made and if you don’t nurture your investments, you won’t retire happy. Have a Happy, healthy-relationship, New Year!