Relationship resolutions - KMSP-TV

Relationship resolutions

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You make resolutions to lose weight, save money and make new friends, but do you give much thought to making New Year's Resolutions for your relationship? Adrienne C. Laursen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage& Family Therapist and owner of The Engagement Coach, gives 4 Relationship Resolutions to consider for 2013.

• Set One Positive Intention For Your Behavior

Think about YOUR role and YOUR behavior in your relationship. What changes do you {not your partner} need to pursue to make your relationship function better in 2013? Start by setting just one positive intention for your relationship, and then decide what you can do to make that happen. {i.e. "My intention for our relationship is to have better conflict resolution this year. To make that happen, I am going to be more aware of how I speak to you when we're fighting and I'm going to practice staying calm and taking a time-out before it escalates."} It's important to set just one intention at a time… if you master it, make another one!

• Daily Relationship Talk Time

Taking just 5-10 minutes out of your daily schedule can transform your relationship. Spend this time talking about what is good about your relationship. Focus on something you appreciate about your partner, and include some form of physical touch while talking {i.e. holding hands, cuddling on the couch, etc.} This time together is extremely important, especially for parents, especially for couples who are feeling more distant in their emotional intimacy. A lot of couples are unsure of what to discuss during this time, but don't sweat it! Focus on learning something new, check in about your day, compliment your partner, ask your partner if they are happy, do they feel safe and loved, is there anything can would make the relationship better for them – but stay away from making this time all about work or the kids!

• Learn Something New Together

Find a fun and new activity that you can both learn together. Experiencing something new and different together can bring you closer and deepen that feeling of "togetherness". Some ideas are to: learn a new sport, take a cooking class or dance class, go to yoga or a gym class, go rock climbing, experience a wine tasting, learn to make your own beer, etc. My favorite suggestion is to buy a couples book that you're both interested in (buy 2 copies so you each have access to the book at all times) and schedule meetings around the book's exercises. A lot of couples are able to improve their relationship without counseling and this is a great start to improving your communication. It's fun, I promise!

• Go To Bed At The Same Time

Couples who choose not to go to bed at the same time are missing out on a very important connection period. Newlyweds especially can fall into this habit, and it's a habit that's hard to break. Going to bed together is something that couples do, something that no one else gets to share with you. It's the perfect time to connect emotionally and chat about your day.

For more information on Adrienne's counseling services and relationship tips, please visit her website at www.TheEngagementCoach.com.

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