4 Relationship Resolutions To Make In 2019 That Will Bring You & Your SO Even Closer Together

A new year presents the perfect opportunity to improve in many areas, whether that means eating healthier, sweating it out more, pursuing your passions, or being more productive at work. But while you’re trading the Kit-Kats for kale and streaming those educational podcasts, you might also want to consider some relationship resolutions to make in 2019, too. In other words, take a step back and consider how you can be a better partner.

What might you be doing now that’s having a negative effect on your bond? Better yet, what can you do to make the relationship stronger? Taking responsibility for your role in the relationship is super important. Maybe it’s something as simple as committing to saying “thank you” more to your boo. Or maybe it’s a long-term goal to work on improving your conflict resolution strategies so you can keep small disagreements from blowing out of proportion. Whatever you choose to work on, there’s hardly a better way to kick off a new year than resolving to make some positive changes for you and your partner.

Whether you’ve just started seeing someone new or have been dating your boo for years, here are some relationship resolutions to consider that could potentially bring you closer in 2019.

Limit your screen time.

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I don’t care how stellar you are at multitasking: when you’re using your phone to text, email, tweet, or check Instagram, you simply cannot be fully present with your partner. So make it a point to put down the phone for a set amount of time every day while you and bae are together. It could be for 45 minutes over breakfast or dinner, or for two hours right before bed. Deciding on a set amount of time you both agree to is key, as you’re more likely to stick with the resolution if there are clear guidelines around it.

Going device-free for a bit allows you to give your full attention to you boo, whether you’re whipping up dinner together, watching a movie, or simply catching up over takeout after a long workday. And while you’re at it, try not to put your phone on the table while spending QT with your boo — when it’s visibly present, you’re more likely to get distracted by it. Not to mention, it signals to your partner that your phone takes priority, as your attention could be taken away from them in any instant by a “ding.”

Not sure you have the self-control necessary to make this happen? There are plenty of apps that can help you in your efforts to limit your screen time by tracking data on your habits and actually setting time limits on your usage of certain apps.

Do something new together every month.

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Ever feel like you and bae are stuck in a bit of a romance rut? In 2019, make it a point to shake things up by trying something new together — perhaps every month, or every week if it’s feasible. Start a bucket list so you can keep track of your ideas, and set a date to cross each thing off by. The list could include everything from a hike on a particular trail you’ve never been to, a dance class you’ve always wanted to try, or enjoying a type of cuisine you’ve both been curious about.

You don’t need to shell out a lot of cash for these activities, either. The idea is to get out of your comfort zone together and feel more connected, so that could mean something as simple as watching an instructional yoga video on YouTube at home, or giving each other a 20-minute massage.

These experiences are sure to bring you closer, as well as result in some memories you’ll have for years to come. And who knows? You may even discover a new passion you both can share.

Learn your partner’s love language — and use it.

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One of the biggest downfalls to any relationship is when one or both partners stop feeling appreciated. Fortunately, if you know your boo’s love language, you can prevent that from happening. The concept of love languages dictates that different people like to receive love in different ways. Dr. Gary Chapman, who came up with this concept after studying couples for decades, determined that there are five possible languages: gifts, physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, and acts of service.

Once you know your SO’s, you can start making an effort to show your love and appreciation in a way that translates for them. For example, someone who’s love language is quality time is far more likely to swoon if you set aside a whole lazy Sunday to hang with them then if you work late and come home a bottle of their favorite wine. And a back rub or a hug might mean far more to someone whose language is physical touch than if you did their laundry or fixed something in their car.

Not sure what bae’s love language is? There’s a short quiz on 5lovelanguages.com that can help you to figure it out. Or, you might just ask them what makes them feel most appreciated.

Be a better listener.

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Ever notice how during a conversation — particularly during an argument — you’re often thinking more about how you’re going to respond than actually absorbing what the other person is saying? Communication skills are oh so important to a healthy relationship, so this year, vow to hone in on listening to your partner.

It’s a little bit easier said than done. Listening with your whole body and mind means really investing the effort to understand what the other person is trying to say. Work on letting your partner talking until they have completed their thought, as interrupting them shows a lack of respect and can lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings, thus escalating a conflict. Make eye contact while they’re talking, and turn your whole body toward them. When you do finally respond, make a validating statement to show that you’ve been listening — something that starts with, “I understand that you feel…”, for example. It may take some practice, but truly listening to your SO can have so many rewards for your relationship.

When your partner feels heard and understood, they’re more likely to honestly share their thoughts, feelings, and opinions with you. And when you really listen to them, you’ll be privy to all kinds of helpful info that may be crucial for allowing your relationship to thrive. As my wise bestie once said to me: “Feedback is a gift.” So next time bae is letting you in on something that’s bothering them, or something they want more of, or anything in between — just listen.

Every person in a relationship has an opportunity to improve in a variety of areas. So why not start now? Make 2019 your most romantically fulfilling year yet by taking on any or all of these foolproof resolutions, and watch your relationship soar.