- Enhance your relationship with simple and achievable New Year resolutions, such as recreating your most intimate moments and thoughts
- Life coach Sonia Samtani recommends paying attention to your emotional as well as sexual needs
Never underestimate the power of subtle changes you can make in a romantic relationship to increase intimacy. Sometimes, even a small positive gesture can enhance a relationship because a thoughtful intention not only makes your partner feel loved, but also helps nurture and strengthen your connection.
No matter how long you and your partner have been together, it's always a good idea to try to create effective and lasting resolutions to enhance your relationship.
And what better time to do it than now, at the start of a new year? Remember, sometimes it's not about what the new year can bring you but what you can bring to the new year. First and foremost, be positive and proactive if you want something nice to happen to your relationship.
Before setting out to plan and achieve your new year's resolutions for your relationship, observe some useful ground rules so as to prioritise what to focus on and what to avoid.
First, you must remember to keep your resolutions simple and achievable, says Sonia Samtani, a clinical hypnotherapist and a relationship and wellness coach.
"Sometimes couples get overly ambitious and set too many goals that don't set the stage to win. To begin with, set aside some quality time with your partner because you don't want to have this conversation in a rush."
She says it is important to set an intention about what you want to get from creating your resolutions and how you want it to impact your relationship.
Samtani also recommends making some ground rules. "Only talk about the past from the perspective of what was positive or what you can learn.
"Talk about how something made you feel as a means of sharing and that you will not use this as an opportunity to criticise or blame the other; focus on what you want rather than what you don't want, and make it plausible so you can both visualise what it looks like to achieve it."
And to identify what to focus on, be aware about what worked and what didn't work in the past, she says.
"Ask yourself: 'What was our most romantic/intimate/ sexual moment with each other in 2019, and what made it so special?' Allow that to help you commit to what you will make an effort to do more of. Let each other think of one big thing that did not work for them in the relationship in 2019, what they have learned from it, and what solution they would like to propose," she adds.
For this to work, you have to make sure you are not just stating issues but providing possible resolutions too.
When it comes to enhancing closeness and connection in a relationship, Samtani suggests, "It's good to give individual attention to both the emotional and sexual aspects. If you are in a monogamous relationship, acknowledge that you have sexual needs and you have chosen your partner as the space to get these needs met, so it's important to maintain sexual attraction. Quite often, couples view their long-term partner as a cuddly roommate they can kiss on the forehead or as the mother or father of their child."
And be mindful and not to be judgmental or critical if you want to bring your partner on board to realise these resolutions together.
She suggests, "Make the conversation about 'we' instead of 'me' and create a context that is appealing for both of you."
Let each other think of one big thing that did not work for them in the relationship in 2019, what they have learned from it, and what solution they would like to proposeSonia Samtani, a clinical hypnotherapist and a relationship and wellness coach
"Saying things like 'Honey, I would love to have a conversation about how we can be even more loving, more intimate, and more sexual' will definitely get you more of a buy-in than saying 'We didn't have enough sex last year' or 'you never listen!'" And there are many ways to boost our own romantic and sexual being and quality, Samtani adds.
To boost your own romantic quality means looking at what has worked for you in the past and re-create the sensory experience of it such as thinking of a time when you felt more romantic and sexual. Then ask yourself: "What was my mindset like at the time? How did I feel about myself and my partner? What was the quality of my thoughts?" she advises.
Ultimately, she explains, you will realise that it's more about the way you thought and felt than what you actually did. All you need to do is generate the same thoughts and feelings and allow that to inspire your actions.
And what if you want to end an unsalvageable relationship?
"Firstly, be very clear if you actually do want to end the relationship or if you are just having a helpless moment where you feel resigned about something not working. If it is the latter, you are probably being passive aggressive about an area of your relationship you are stuck in, in this case I would recommend couples counselling," she says.
But if your relationship is toxic and you have chosen to end it, then communicate that as clearly as possible without leaving the back door open, she adds.
As for those who have just become single, Samtani offers some tips on how to handle the new emotional life and being single.
"Each person has their own way to process loss. Ending a relationship is a significant loss and you will go through the various stages of denial, anger, and sadness before you eventually reach acceptance and peace. Be kind to yourself and conscious of your feelings; acknowledge and allow your feelings without seeing yourself as a victim … and look at the relationship as a valuable experience," she explains.
But if you have chosen to remain single, you can make the most of being single by being more aware about what you want and invest your time doing what inspires you, she says.
Luisa Tam is a correspondent at the Post
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