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Resolution to be a better partner

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  It’s that time of year again.  The holidays are over and many of us start to reflect on the past year and make plans for the upcoming year.  Often times people give up on their new goals after a week or so  because they are too complicated or unrealistic.  Here are three ideas for things that you can do as a partner to make improvements in the new year.

  1. Take time for self…and each other

After the busy holidays full of family time you may look at your partner and realize all that time together was with other people.  Prioritizing time as a couple is very important.  However, it is also important to take time for yourself and maintain or build hobbies and interests that nourish and regenerate your energy.

When you take time for yourself and encourage your partner to do the same it can reinvigorate the relationship…and give you something to talk about over dinner.

  1. Positive reinforcement- compliments and gratitude

More and more studies are coming out reinforcing one of the keys to happiness is gratitude.  According to an article in Business Insider September 2015 one of the 4 rituals that will make you happier is “to ask what you are grateful for?”  In a relationship identifying what you are grateful for in your partner can create a positive feedback loop for both of you.  “Gratitude towards others increases activity in social dopamine circuits, which makes social interactions more enjoyable…” ( Barker, Business Insider, Sept. 2015).  So tell your partner what you feel grateful for and start reinforcing that connection.

  1. Opportunities for touch- to maintain connection

A touch of a hand, a shoulder rub, a hug- small gestures that can make a huge difference.  These types of affection come easy early on in the relationship, but as time goes on these “small” acknowledgements often fall away and leave couples feeling detached and sometimes lonely.  Fitting touch into your daily routine with your partner can help boost mood and leave feelings of connection even when you aren’t right next to each other.

Taking time to take care of yourself, set aside couple time, express gratitude and show affection-on your way to a happier relationship.