While your single friends are making dating resolutions for 2020, if you’re in a monogamous relationship, you’re all set, right? Nope — long-term relationships need care and attention too.
Sit down with your partner to create some 2020 goals you two can work on as a couple — whether it’s trying a new kink, making time for a romantic stay-cation, or moving in together.
#RelationshipGoals are more than just a cheesy Instagram hashtag, after all. "Goals are what you envision for the relationship; how you'd like it to look based on your shared values, not what you see in social media," Kristin Zeising, PsyD, a relationship therapist in San Diego, previously told Refinery29. "It could be a certain level of commitment, a feeling you'd like to have, or experiences you'd like to have."
Everyone is different, so a relationship resolution that works for one couple won’t necessarily be a great fit for another. But here are some ideas to get you started.
Prioritise date night
Dating isn’t over just because you’re in a relationship — it's a cliché, but it's true. “Make time for a date night once a week," recommends Maria Sullivan, dating expert and VP of Dating.com. "Schedules can get hectic and it might become hard to put time aside to spend with your S.O. Blocking out time once a week to give all of your attention to your partner is important to get to know each other more and show how much you care for each other.”
Make a long-term plan
Whether it’s going on an international vacation, planning your wedding, or getting a dog together, this goal should be something that takes collaboration and work. “Set a long-term goal and work together to accomplish it,” Sullivan says. “For example, pick a vacation spot that you would both love to go to and strive to save money to book the trip. This shows your partner that you are committed to them and you will even have a fun trip at the end of the year to look forward to.”
Break a bad habit
Have you gotten into a nightly routine of scrolling through Twitter while your partner re-watches Breaking Bad? Choose a habit you want to break together, then work to set a new routine. “Everyone has bad habits, whether it be choosing to watch TV rather than spend quality time with your S.O. or not listening to your partner as much as you could,” Sullivan says. “In the New Year, both you and your partner can choose your worst habit and try to break it, to help strengthen your relationship.”
Every day, tell your partner one thing you appreciate about them. It sounds cheesy, but it works. "Passionate partners in long-term relationships have the skill of overlooking what they don't like about their partners and hyper-focusing on what they cherish," Samantha Burns, LMHC, a dating and relationships expert, previously told Refinery29. "Those who express appreciation for their partners on a daily basis also have a more positive perception of their partners, and feel more comfortable voicing concerns about their relationship.”
Set a sex goal
Maybe you want to try bondage, or you want to have sex more often. Set a sex goal with your partner, and create steps to work towards it. For example, if you want to have sex more often, start scheduling sex a few times a month "Setting sex-related goals for yourself is a great way to step outside your sexual comfort zone," Zhana Vrangalova, PhD, LELO sexpert and NYU professor of Human Sexuality, previously told Refinery29. If you’ve never shared fantasies with your partner, now is a good time to start.
Whatever you decide, if you focus on building your relationship, 2020 might be your best year as a couple yet.