1) As a couple, commit to working on your communication skills. A year from now you will be amazed how your everyday way of interacting with each other has become joyful, respectful, and filled with great honesty tempered by kindness. This means that you have to choose your words carefully. In other words, say what you mean and mean what you say, without being mean about it. This way, you will stop bottling up all your emotions to the point where they have to come out in an angry and explosive way.
2) Encourage each other to have some separate hobbies, interests, and friends outside of the relationship. Allowing each of you to do your own thing some times will ward off that “trapped” feeling that can be so deadly to a relationship. When you come back from your solo adventures, you will have much to talk about as you share your experiences with each other. This way, there will always be something new to learn about each other, and the relationship won’t become dull or stale. Thinking that you or your mate knows everything there is to know about each other can be a real deal breaker.
3) Vow to really listen to each other when you talk. Stop multitasking when your mate is talking. Shut off the television, iPod, cell phone, and computer, and look directly into your mate’s eyes as he/she talks.
4) Find a new fun and healthy activity you can do together. Try power walking, skiing, going to the gym, joining a ballroom dancing class, or a bowling league together. You could also try signing up for a cooking class or any class the two of you would find interesting. Don’t worry about the outcome of doing these things. Don’t make it competitive. The key word is -- fun. New interests will certainly spice up the relationship and give both of you something to look forward to.
5) Make a pact to schedule an affair with each other. Block out a couple of hours in advance, at least once a month, in which making love, being romantic, and seducing each other is your top priority. Allow plenty of time for massages, caressing, and kissing. Allow time for cocooning afterwards. Cocooning is the art of deliberately locking the world away, so two lovers can timelessly and intimately embrace, energize, and enjoy each other. Bask in the afterglow of lovemaking by talking, touching, kissing, and hugging. Remember to schedule your affair in the day or early evening, so that you’re not too tired for post-sex intimacy.
6) In these tough economic times, agree to give gifts of the heart, and not ones that break the bank. Help each other with mundane tasks that need doing. Help clean, fix, or repair things for each other. Wash each other’s car, make dinner, or delicious, money saving bag lunches for each other. Also, come up with some inexpensive, but fun dates to go on with each other. For instance, plan a picnic, or go to the park, or stay home and play a sexy board game for couples, such as Indecent Proposal or Passion Game.
7) You have 365 days a head of you. Think of creative ways to say “I love you,” and be sure to say those words to each other at least once a day.
8) Write loving, funny, or sexy emails to each other throughout the year. Reinvent the art of the love letter. Writing is an activity that comes from the heart and soul, and these loving emails will ignite romance and passion in your relationship and keep the flame of desire burning all year long. Don’t just do this on special occasions, but do it on a regular basis.
9) Since this is a new year, let go of last year’s grudges. Let bygones be bygones. Stop bringing up old fights. Forgive the past. Forgiveness means letting go. Letting go of past offenses, both the once you’ve committed, and the ones your mate has committed, will give your relationship a new lease on life.
10) Let this year be a year filled with laughter and humor. Make your time together fun, no matter what. Try not to take everything so seriously. Use the expression --It doesn’t matter, as often as you can, particularly when things seem to be going wrong. In other words, if life seems to be handing the two of you a lot of lemons, learn to make lemonade together!
Wishing you a peaceful, joyful, and love-filled New Year!