How to Get your Relationship off to a Strong Start in the New Year Jan 2019
With the beginning of a new year, it is an opportunity to reflect on your personal relationship and what if any changes you may wish to make. If you have found that you have been struggling to find time for your partner over the last year, now is the time to identify how you can ensure your relationship is a priority. When couples have busy lives, it is easy to get caught up in the demands of work and family. For those with children, it is a constant balancing act trying to be good parents dealing with babies, toddlers or school children and making time to be with your partner and relax together .
A good way to start the year is for you and your partner to sit down and talk about how you want your relationship to be and set some goals which you both commit to. Some examples are set out below:
1. Identify some activities you both enjoy as a couple and agree on specific times in your schedule for these and put them in your diaries. Guard these fiercely. Some couples love to do joint sports or workouts or decide to take up a hobby or learn a language. Parents will often opt for a regular date night to rekindle some romance into their relationship. Find ways to have fun together.
2. Plan any major holidays now. Do your research and have costings and options to discuss and book early. This way you have something to look forward to and break your routine.
3. If there have been areas of tension around household chores and how to make these more equal, talk about them now and come to a plan about ways these can be divided up.
4. Review your finances and look at ways you can reduce costs and increase savings so you feel more comfortable about your spending patterns and decisions. Many people have found the book The Barefoot Investor very useful in this regard.
5. For those with teenagers, behavioural issues can be a source of stress. Make sure you agree on matters of discipline, boundaries and freedom. Discuss your approach together and make sure you stick to it and back each other up when children try to negotiate.
6. Conflicts with in laws can be an area which needs to be negotiated as a couple. Where there are disagreements, it is important to respect the other partner's relationship with their family and even though you may not get on so great with them, you can learn to manage this through limiting your time during visits or finding ways to avoid topics which cause conflict.
7. Have a look at your environment. Is it time to update your furniture or create some new features which give you both pleasure? Just as it is necessary to turn over our clothing regularly, our environment also needs to be looked at critically to keep it well maintained, fresh ,inviting and a calm place for you both to return to after your busy day.
Relationships are like a garden. They need time and care to flourish, so take time now to commit to tending your relationship and it will reward you both.