Starting the New Year with a Fresh Relationship
Hey there lovebirds! Let’s welcome 2024 and all the potential it brings with it! The New Year marks a time to reevaluate and reflect on the past year. For many of you, this includes the state of your relationship and the goals of where you want it to be. Whether you have been together for a few months or many years, it’s never too late to start fresh. The new year offers an opportunity to improve communication, build support, and create a stronger, healthier connection with your partner. Let’s dive into some of the ways to have that fresh start with your relationship this year.
Focus on Effective Communication
When it comes to building any relationship, communication is key. Do you feel that you and your partner are not communicating as well as you would like? What does effective communication even look like? Do you know? Maybe, you know that the way the two of you try to talk things through is not working. Someone still feels unheard or feels like they compromise more than the other. What if it feels like you are carrying a heavier load than your partner, but you aren’t sure how to tell them without hurting their feelings or it turning into a comparison match.
This can be the year we change that and make it so our conversations lead us to solutions and healthy compromise. Let’s make it a goal to take time to have honest conversations about our communication styles. Giving space to slow down and understand each other’s communication needs helps us avoid misunderstandings and the buildup of resentment. Listen to each other without judgement, with the willingness to be open to feedback. If this still feels difficult or that it makes things worse when you do try, consider seeing a couples therapist for additional help in this area.
Show Love Through Support
Relationships have their ups and downs. The comfort found in the safety and security of knowing my partner is there for me when things get tough makes the easy moments that much more enjoyable too. How do the two of you show support during the hard times? Do you know how your partner feels most supported? Have you shared with your partner what feels most impactful for you?
We often get stuck in our day-to-day routines and trying to survive until the weekend that we forget to ask our partner how THEY are doing….or we wonder, why didn’t they ask me how I am doing. Let’s not get stuck here and get curious about what feels hard for each of us but what feels good when we show up for each other. Do you feel supported and encouraged by your partner? Having open discussions about what kinds of support each of you needs during challenging times gives you the information needed to show up for our partner so they can feel the love. Whether it’s picking up more slack around the house when someone feels overwhelmed, being there to listen instead of solve, or picking up take-out it’s these seemingly little things that make the lasting impact and the trust that my partner can be there for me.
Create a Safe Space in your Relationship
When in doubt, use kindness. Be kinder to each other by actively avoiding criticism and judgment. Falling into negative habits can sneak up on you in a relationship, even when you don’t intend it to. Criticism is one of John Gottman’s four horseman that predict divorce/separation. Criticizing your partner chips away at their sense of security and safety. Criticism is an attack on one’s character. When we feel attacked for who we are as a person it feels hard to believe that the other person loves us no matter what. Or, just for being me. For relationships to reach their full potential of connection it is essential to create a non-judgmental and accepting environment where you both feel valued. Approaching each other with respect and curiosity to truly understand each other’s perspective will foster the closeness and trust we all yearn for in our romantic relationships.
Share Vulnerabilities Together
Being vulnerable is incredibly hard. Taking the risk to open up to our partner is so rewarding and is the path to ultimate acceptance, understanding and connection. It’s tough to let someone in, especially someone who is so important and such a big part of the life we are building. Vulnerability is a necessary piece to building an honest and meaningful connection. Sharing your thoughts, fears, and feelings will bring you closer together and create a deeper understanding. When we share, we allow ourselves to be seen and vulnerable plus it provides space for our partner to offer comfort and support. We want to be able to show up for our partner as much as we want them to be there for us. In this new year let’s make space and take the risk to be more vulnerable together.
Remember Why you Fell in Love
Think back to that moment the two of you first locked eyes. What was that like? Where were you? What were you doing? Seriously, I want to know 😊
Take a moment to sit with your partner and remember this time too. What were some of your first thoughts in those moments? What still rings true today? What has changed? If we have work to do this can be hard but even taking a moment to remember what brought the two of you together in the first place helps give you fuel to keep going and change the places you get stuck.
As you remember why the two of you fell in love and were drawn to each other, remember the reasons for that connection. Focus on your shared goals and values, as well as the good times you have shared over the years. This focus on the positive moments and celebrating your successes can help you create a foundation for the future together.
Let’s Close This Out
Starting the new year with a fresh relationship requires communication, support, creating a safe space, vulnerability, and never forgetting the reason why you fell in love. These strategies will help you create a new way of relating to your partner and foster a closer and more meaningful connection. Remember that it takes time to establish a strong and healthy relationship. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you need it. Wishing you and your partner the best as you start your fresh journey.
Until next time.