Relationship Resolutions For 2020
You and your partner have a deal to lift each other up, to make one another’s lives better, to help make the tough things a little less tough, and to generally enhance each other’s experiences in this life as much as you can. That’s what a couple should do for each other. But, life has a way of distracting us from what matters, and even sometimes making us less-than-ideal partners. Life is a grind. You’re tired. You work hard. You’re irritated. You’re juggling a dozen things. You’re obligated to so many people. There’s traffic and dishes and bills and long lines and frustrating family members and disorganized colleagues. It’s hard to always be cheery and kind and loving. And it’s easy to slip up and become a little lax on being the type of partner you want to be.
The New Year is a great time to pause, reassess, and see how you’ve been doing in upholding your values—both in life, and in your relationship. When you are a good partner, and you have a good partner, everybody wins. A good friend recently said to me, “Care for your relationship, and then just let it bless everything else in your life.” I loved that, because it’s so true. We can make the mistake of feeling that prioritizing date night and things like that just interferes with our other responsibilities, but keeping that love alive with our partner actually makes us better in every area of our lives. Think of your relationship like the arms of your life: strengthen it, and it will easily lift everything up.
So if you know you’ve gotten a little lazy on keeping up those vows to your spouse, or doing those things for your partner you always said you’d do, this is the perfect time to find new energy to recommit yourself. Here are relationship resolutions for 2020.
When your partner wants to tell you about his day, listen. I mean really listen. Even if he needs to give you a backstory and explain certain terms to you so that you can understand what happened at his work, listen. Take in the information. Learn his language surrounding his industry, so you can be invested in his stories. Don’t just nod and say, “Uh-uh” to get those points for “listening.”
Watch your tone
This isn’t to say that you use a nasty tone with him often. Maybe you do. Maybe you don’t. But either way, are you responding to him with love? He isn’t your coworker. He isn’t your roommate. He isn’t your employee or your boss. Is it clear, when you speak to him, that he holds this very special place in your life that nobody else could fill? Is your tone loving?
Prioritize date night
Really prioritize it. Treat it like an appointment. Hold space in your calendar for it. Look at your calendars regularly, find your shared free time, and don’t accidentally let other people and obligations take over your month. If you’re invited to something that sounds really fun but it’s on date night, choose date night. Don’t flake on your partner.
Try new things together
Don’t fall into too much of a routine. Some routine is nice—healthy, even. But, don’t be lazy about trying new things. If you’re on the fence between trying that new hike or just staying in and watching Netflix, try the new hike. If you’re unsure about trying that new restaurant or just ordering from the same old place, try the new restaurant. Experiencing new things together brings you closer.
Be affectionate, just because
Be affectionate often and always. Touch each other, hug each other, kiss each other. Stop what you’re doing to flirt. Take advantage of having someone around that you love and can be physically close to. Walk across the home and give him a hug for no reason at all, multiple times a day. Demand cuddle time before bed, instead of just passing out.
Greet each other and say goodbye
When he comes home, stop what you’re doing and take just a couple of minutes to greet him. Get up, and give him a hug and kiss. Ask how he is. Your laptop can wait. Your phone can wait. That document can wait. Just taking those few minutes to greet one another when you get home or leave the home puts this nice loving bow on your days together.
Talk throughout the day
Call, text, email, DM. However you have to do it, stay in touch during the day—you know, the way you did when you started dating. Text him a funny photo. Email him a funny story that just happened in the office. Call him if you have five free minutes—don’t skip the call because you only have five minutes. Five minutes is better than nothing.
Don’t keep score
Over whose friends you see more, who emptied the dishwasher last, who got to choose the restaurant last time. If things are generally fair and you both try your best to let the other have their way often, there should be no need to tally up each and every score. It’s not good for the relationship.
Find ways to be of help
Always be thinking of ways to be of help to your partner. If you know he’ll have a very late night and come home starving, make extra of whatever you’re making for yourself, for him, so he can have an easy meal. If you know he’s completely under water with work, while you have a totally free day, pick up his dry cleaning for him.
Know that it’s an honor to help
Don’t see it as a burden, a nuisance, or an annoyance to help your partner. See it as an honor. You love him. It should make you happy to make his day easier. Hopefully, he is happy to help you when he can. See it as a blessing to have and to be a part of this support system.
Surprise each other
Never stop surprising each other. It can be small things, like making him his favorite meal, or big things, like helping his sibling purchase a plane ticket to come out and visit him. It can be reserving tickets to a show he wants to see or planning an impromptu weekend getaway. Never let that element of surprise die.
Remember how lucky you are
Take a moment every day to remind yourself how luck you are. You found your person. You found your best friend and lover. You have someone to share your stories with, you have someone who will comfort you, you have someone who will support you. So many people would give anything to have that, and you have that.
Don’t put flatterers before him
Remember who matters, and recognize who doesn’t—at least not to you. Date night with your partner—even if it’s just a quiet night in—is more important than that VIP party that socialite/famous person invited you to. Standing up for your partner is always more important than tolerating rude behavior from “important” people.
Pick your battles (not too many)
When you feel anger bubble up, stop and ask yourself if this fight is worth picking. Can it be resolved? Is it important? Does it really play a role in your experience of this relationship on a regular basis? Or is it perhaps a passing thing that, if you let it go, you’ll forget about in ten minutes, and then forever?
Your partner should be one of the stars of your life. You should always be paying attention to him. What’s happening in his life? What’s stressing him out? What is he looking forward to? Struggling with? Keep him on your mind, so you can think of ways to make his days better, just as he does so often for you.