5 New Year’s Resolutions for Couples

This New Year’s Eve do something a little different with your partner… make some resolutions for your relationship! Check out these top 5 New Year’s resolutions for couples from couples therapist and marriage counselor, Dr. Chris Tickner. 

#1 — Date Nights Without a Phone

Have you ever had a weekly date night? Many couples try this approach but get lazy and stop scheduling nights out. We suggest committing to a weekly date night and including a stipulation that the phone must be turned off or set aside. We so often reach for our phones out of habit and not out of boredom. Don’t give in to checking the phone and stay present with one another this year on date nights. 

#2 — Fight in a New Way

Arguing and bickering even about small stuff is a normal and natural part of any relationship. I don’t worry if the couples I see in my Sacramento Couples Therapy office tell me they fight. I worry if they don’t! Fighting is a sign that you are in relationship. However, there are ways to fight that can actually bring you together. Here is one tip to try this year, make it a resolution. 

Instead of trying to prove your point over and over again, let your primary purpose be to understand your partner’s position. Instead of blaming, explaining, pleading, turn to wondering, being curious, and asking clarifying questions. Instead of “You never want to snuggle with me and I’m done with it!” try “I’m trying to figure out what happens for you that you tend to sit so far away from me.”  

#3— Couples Therapy

It might sound like a weird resolution if you are not experiencing severe problems in your relationship but couples therapy isn’t only for relationships that are struggling. Couples therapy Sacramento CA is a great way to 

A middle aged couple hold hands as they walk along the beach. This symbolizes the benefits of couples therapy and marriage counseling in Pasadena, CA. Contact a marriage counselor to learn more about marriage counseling in Pasadena, CA for support! 91101 | 95814 | 95688 | 95765

#4— Add A Reunion Routine

A what? A reunion routine, a way to ritulize coming back together when you’ve been apart. Stan Tatkin of the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy talks about this a lot. And specifically he recommends the Reunion Hug. I use it all the time in my Sacramento Marriage Counseling office. Give it a shot, and make it a new resolution. 

When someone comes home, before you do anything, and without any words, stand in front of each other, make eye contact, and start breathing together. Wait until you see that your partner is really present with you and you feel connected to them. Then, hug! Again, no words, just hug. Use your hands to notice their body. Notice areas of holding or tension, use your intuition, and give them a squeeze, a jiggle, just to help them relax into you and the embrace. Again, hold as long as you need until you are both really being held by each other. Then, and only then, should you move on with verbal hellos and greeting other members of the family including kids and pets. Your relationship is the most important one in the household, and it deserves this level of intentional and loving focus. 

#5— Create a Workout Routine

Coming up with a workout routine together is a great way to increase the time that you spend together while also becoming healthier together. It can be difficult to stick to a workout routine and doing one together, as a couple, can motivate you to stay consistent. An accountability partner goes a long way when it comes to exercising. This is also an opportunity to show up for one another and act as a team. 

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Dr. Chris Tickner, MFT

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