Dr. Laura Berman
Looking for a better relationship? There's no time like the present to create the relationship you want. The New Year brings new possibilities for love, whether improving the relationship you have or finding the relationship you seek. Ultimately, love matters more than any other resolution on our list, and I've got 10 of them to let more love into your life this year. Up first, couples.
Lennon and McCartney had it right: All you need is love! Shall we make it our motto for 2007?
For the Couples
- Remember why you fell in love. Instead of keeping a running list of annoyances, grievances, letdowns and resentments, think about the person you initially fell in love with. He or she is still there -- it's just your perception that's changed and become more complex. Go back to the glory days when you totally idealized each other, and remember that your partner still has these qualities now.
- Think marathon, not sprint. Relationships are full of peaks and valleys. The bad times can sometimes feel unbearable or like a loss of what once was, but you never know when a new positive cycle is around the corner. Managing your day-to-day expectations increases your odds of long-term happiness. Take away the pressure of needing constant excitement and passion, and you'll ironically find more of both -- unexpectedly.
- Take five when you are upset. Every couple knows when they are headed into the danger zone of a bad fight. Words cannot be taken back once they've been spoken. Take a five-minute timeout to prevent the situation from escalating and allow both of you to respond more constructively.
- Kiss your honey! A daily kiss is a must for every couple. Too many of us forget this simple pleasure in the daily grind of life. Take a moment to give your partner one good kiss a day. A real, loving kiss.
- Get away from it all. You may already have this on your New Year's list, but a vacation is more than just self-indulgent. Vacations are good for your relationship, too. A nationwide survey I did found that couples who get away from it all at least once a year are more satisfied with their relationships. The rules are no kids and at least several days away.