4) Make sexytime a priority. When we're busy, sex can get lost in the shuffle, but it's too good for your relationship, your health, and your mood to skip. Make time to reconnect with your partner in the sack by scheduling a weekend "staycation." If the sex has become lackluster, put some energy into figuring out how to make it exciting again. It might be a new position, a new toy, or just a straight-up change of venue (kitchen, anyone?).
5) Stop squabbling. If you have a serious beef with your partner, it's important to bring it up, but try to avoid petty arguments and insults. One nitpicky fight isn't a big deal, but over time, small backbiting comments can erode the foundation of your relationship. Pick your battles. When you sense a fight on the horizon, try to calm yourself momentarily and ask "Is this worth disturbing the peace for?" Don't Let The Toilet Seat Ruin Your Relationship
6) Strive for emotional honesty. Even the bluntest among us has avoided explaining feelings to a lover at one time or another. It can be hard to share with your partner (especially if you're experiencing a thorny, irrational emotion like jealousy) but it's important that you keep your mate in the loop so that he can act appropriately. Saying "I feel" instead of "you made me feel" will help you and your partner stay focused on resolving the negative emotions without it turning into a blamefest.
7) Nuke multitasking. When you're spending time with your sweet, banish buzzes, bleeps and chirps from your computer and phone. Don't scroll through your texts while your partner is talking to you, or IM a friend while you're supposed to be planning dinner. You may think you can do two things at once, but when you do, you're sending your partner the message that they're not worth your full attention. If you both have things you must do on your phone or computer, set a block of time aside to accomplish the tasks, and then move on with your evening (and don't even think of counting your tech time together as a 'date'!). Is Multitasking Destroying Relationships?
8) Treat your partner as well as you treat your friends. It's easy to take your romantic partner for granted, and sometimes we don't treat our lovers as well as we should. Like family, we assume that they're in it for the long haul and when we're stressed, our romantic relationships that take extra abuse. Ask yourself if you say or do things to your partner that you wouldn't do to your best friend, and if you discover that you do, adjust your behavior accordingly. And, remember, it takes practice to change a habit; don't give up if you don't change overnight.
9) Listen. Don't nod automatically as he talks. Don't wait for your turn to speak. Don't do the dishes while he tells you about his day. Sit down, look him in the eye, pay attention to what he says, and ask follow-up questions. This is one of the best things you can do for your relationship. Active listening is a skill that has to be honed with time and effort, but it's incredibly important. Work at it.
10) Criticize less than you praise. When you spend a lot of time with someone, it becomes easy to overlook the things that are great about them. Instead of dwelling on his bad habits, remind yourself of the reasons you fell for him in the first place. Then remind him! Couples who have been together for a long time tend to forget to compliment one another. Try to dish out three compliments for every criticism, and don't be shocked if he mirrors your actions. Shared appreciation breeds kindness and consideration, and what couple couldn't use more of that?
11) Break a bad habit together. If you and your man share a habit that's less-than-great for you, help one another break it instead of encouraging the behavior within your relationship. Instead of nudging one another outside for smoke breaks, make a pact to limit yourselves to a certain number of cigarettes a day. If you drink too much together, make a two-drink rule and try to stick to it.
12) Play! One of the worst things about being an adult is the total lack of juice boxes, naptime and recess. (What's up with that?) Thankfully, the dullness of the workday world doesn't have to extend to your personal life. Infuse your partnership with a sense of play. Have pillow fights, talk in funny voices, and draw mustaches on the models in your ladymags. Do something creative together... take a guitar class, throw pottery, or learn to roll sushi. Whatever. Stepping outside of your routine can bring you and your partner closer, and it'll ensure that things never get boring between you. Tips For A Great New Year's Eve
Here's to a Happy New Year... and to your relationship growing stronger than ever in 2012!