It is the start of a new decade! Can you believe it? This year, instead of setting a solo resolution, get together with your significant other (S.O.) to set some fun relationship strengthening goals together! Trust us, it will be fun! Here are 10 ideas that we have either implemented ourselves or plan to in the new year.
1. Date Each Other!
Sounds like common sense right? But how often do we forget to go on dates when you are in a rhythm of work, eat, sleep, repeat? It is easy to fill the weekend binge-watching Netflix, doing laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning the house. Maybe your weekends are full of commitments and activities with friends and families. When was the last time you dated one other? Make it a goal either once a week or once a month to date each other! Worried about the cost? Check out the various date ideas on our site like Thrift Shop Dates, Free and Fun Things to Do in Asheville and A Stay-At-Home Film Festival. Get creative, rotate planning excursions and think outside the box. Even shaking up chores like grocery shopping together if it’s usually a solo project can be exciting and new!
2. Welcome Home Hugs
Whenever you have reunited from time apart, be it the workday, a day full of separate activities or travel, greet each other with a hug every time you are reunited. The psychological effects alone are worth it but this small resolution will grow on you fast and be part of your routine in no time!
3. Play Together
Whether you learn a new hobby, teach each other your favorites or just break out a classic board game, make a habit of acting like kids again. You can have a pillow fight, talk in funny voices, make up a song to sing to your dog or child or just simply be goofy. Laughter fills the heart and these will be the memories that last.
4. Do Chores Together
Unloading the dishwasher can be an annoying task, but what if you are doing it with your loved one? Not only do many hands make light work but it becomes fun! I know, how can a chore possibly be fun. I challenge you to figure that out together. From making a shopping cart into a race car to creating a silly clean up song for after dinner tidying, you’ll immediately grow closer.
5. Take More Time For Yourself
We’ve talked about self-care before. Remember, even airplanes tell you to secure your oxygen mask before assisting others with theirs. Maybe you go out with your friends, take a solo run or hike, perhaps you read a book while they work on one of their hobbies. Be sure to take some time for yourself every week. It sounds counterintuitive but when you take care of yourself, you will be a better partner.
6. Fight Fair
Arguments are going to happen in any relationship, especially long-lasting romantic ones. Refrain from things like name-calling, criticism, attacking personality or character traits, and bringing up past issues into a current fight and instead try to use I statements and share your feelings. Try instead to say statements like “I’m upset/angry/sad about ____. In the future, I’d like it if you could ____.” Trust us, the results are amazing!
7. Shower each other with appreciation
Whether you buy a poster board and a package of gold stickers or simply speak your appreciation over your morning coffee or while cleaning up after dinner, find something every day to tell your S.O. that you appreciate about them. Do you appreciate when she takes the trash out on trash day or when he picks up your favorite kombucha while grocery shopping? Perhaps they did a chore that you hate like cleaning the bathroom. Share your appreciation and beautiful things will happen.
8. Power off to Turn Up The Heat
Getting away from our phones and other electronic devices is getting harder as the years progress. How often are you watching TV together and glance over at your S.O. scrolling through Instagram. I will raise my hand, I am guilty of this and so is my partner. Set a day, or two each week where the phones go off. Sound insane, then start with an hour. We leave our phones in a different room on silent, face down at least one night a week, but optimally for an entire weekend. When we don’t have our technology crutch, we play more, talk more, laugh more and do more. The weekends will feel more restful, you’ll sleep better and you may even have more sexy time!
9. TV time = Cuddle Time, Everytime
Physical touch, even just cuddling does wonders for the mind, body, and soul. So, if you are going to spend some time in front of the telly, be sure to snuggle up to one other. If you make a chunky blanket at AR Workshop on your monthly date night, you’ll have the perfect accessory to get cozy!
10. Volunteer Together
Serving your community together can bring you and your S.O. even closer together. Whether it is volunteering in person with one of our hundreds of incredible nonprofits, writing cards for those who need a little extra love or perhaps sponsoring a child in foster care, the bond these actions create while you make the world a better place will stick with you for years to come. Try picking the activity together or rotating who chooses so you try new things and explore the missions of different organizations.