LOVE RESOLUTIONS



Forget giving up carbs or finally signing up for the gym. If you’re going to make any resolutions remember that the health of your love relationships will affect your happiness throughout the year. 


Over time, that intoxicating rush of young love may have dimmed, but that doesn’t mean your relationship is over. The day-to-day living with each other isn’t all sunshine and roses. Especially if you’re married, and even more so if you have a family, much of your time together may be taken up with washing dishes, getting the kids to school and paying the bills. In the busy daily routine, it's easy to forget to prioritise your love life, make time for each other and let your partner know they’re still special.

So here are 8 tips to keep it strong. This year you and your partner should promise to…

1. BOOST THE POSITIVE
Give more compliments than criticisms, advises Sheryl P Kurland (author of Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls of Wisdom From Couples Who Have Been Married 50 Years Or More). She suggests giving three or more genuine compliments a day to your loved one. We all like appreciation, and this builds up a relationship, instead of breaking it down.

2. BE CREATIVE WITH ROMANTIC GESTURES
Perform random acts of romance like writing a love note to your partner and placing it in an unexpected place, or compiling a list of their 10 all-time favourite songs and surprising them with it when they get home from work. Love letters and mixed playlists also show your partner that you have taken the time to prepare something special for them.



3. MAKE TIME TO PLAY
Couples who take part in fun activities and laugh together will naturally feel closer. Try playing cards, Scrabble or Monopoly; perhaps learn a new sport together, like tennis or go jogging together. Disengaging from social media and watching TV, and choosing an activity together, is an important way of showing one another that you are paying attention to the relationship.

4. BE MORE PHYSICAL

Want to feel closer? Then get closer. Physical contact – including hugging, holding hands, cuddling and kissing – reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and releases oxytocin, says couples counsellor and psychologist Silvina Irwin. Intimacy is the glue of a relationship; it brings us closer, nurtures bonds and strengthens empathy and understanding.

5. SHARE YOUR FEELINGS, NOT YOUR THOUGHTS
During stressful times and heated arguments, we can so often get stuck in the ‘I am right and you are wrong’ trap. There will always be a measure of conflict in relationships, but the way you express yourself can go a long way in getting your point across and aiding resolution. Using the words ‘I feel…’ before expressing a genuine hurt or concern is far more productive than accusations and name-calling.



6. LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH
Be prepared to say sorry and forgive minor transgressions. Nobody is perfect, and therefore no relationship will be perfect. There will always be bumps along the road, but thinking or even wishing that life could be different with someone else ‘makes you less happy because it creates more potential for unproductive desire and regret', says Dr Joshua Coleman (author of The Marriage Makeover). You fell in love with your partner for certain reasons, so focus on those.

7. TRY TO SEE THE BLIND SPOTS
We all have blind spots in our relationships. These can be issues you and your partner clash on time and time again. Try to identify what they are by asking yourself: ‘What is making me uncomfortable about this interaction?' Usually, a blind spot is something your partner might notice in you, but of which you aren’t aware, and vice versa. Be open to discussion and any constructive criticism that might arise. Blind spots can hurt relationships, but bringing them into the light allows us to grow in ourselves and with our partners.

8. PRIORITISE YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER
Too often ‘life’ gets in the way, and we neglect the one person we have chosen to spend our lives with. This relationship is the most important one right now, so nurture it with time, attention and acts of love, be they gifts, a special date, kind gestures or unexpected treats. And say, ‘I love you’ and ‘Thank you’ – often!


LOVE RESOLUTIONS LOVE RESOLUTIONS Reviewed by Jet Club on January 17, 2019 Rating: 5

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