4 New Year's resolutions to make as a couple - KMSP-TV

4 New Year's resolutions to make as a couple

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by Adrienne Laursen

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 four relationship resolutions to consider for 2014.

1. Start each day with a compliment for your partner

Before you head out for the day, pay your partner a sincere, thoughtful compliment. Try to get in the habit of doing this on a daily basis. It's a great way to start the day off on the right foot, and to let your partner know you're noticing them.

2. Change one behavior for the better

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 2014? 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!

3. Make touch and affection a top priority

With everything we have to do in a day's time, somehow touching each other doesn't seem to make the list. Focus on holding hands, hugging, cuddling, or providing any kind of affection on a daily basis. When couples stop touching each other, they're missing an important part of their emotional connection. It's also important to make the distinction between loving touch and sex. Affectionate touch, separate from sex, is key to feeling connected and loved by one another.

4. 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!

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

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