It's the beginning of a New Year and people all around the globe are making resolutions and goals for self-improvement and personal growth. But while everyone is creating individual objectives to accomplish their ideals, an important part of our lives tends to be overlooked and neglected when going through this period of introspection and renewal. Our relationships! Whether it's an intimate relationship with a significant other or our connections with family and friends, all relationships require consistent attention, feeding, and sustenance to keep them healthy and vital. What better time of the year to take stock of your relationships and give them some much needed "Tender Loving Care" than now! For purposes of this article, we will focus on some specific strategies you can implement within the context of your relationship with your partner that will keep the focus on your identity as a couple.
More from YourTango: Intimacy Freak-Out & Gay Men: Part Two
One of the factors that contribute to the demise of many gay relationships is when the partners take each other for granted. That can certainly be easy to do when you consider the realities inherent in the hectic hustle-bustle craziness that life entails. We can get so caught up in the distractions of work, family, friends, household management, working out, and all the other extracurricular activities that we involve ourselves in that we actually end up losing sight of what's really most important and valuable-our relationships with our partners.
A common danger is that once dating partners become coupled, many become comfortable and complacent and begin to settle into monotonous routines and rituals that can kill the spark that had once attracted them to each other. It also then becomes easy for the other responsibilities and demands of life to take center stage and the relationship takes a back seat to all these other competing forces. Relationships require energy and effort; lack of attention will create a division between the partners and this distance makes the individuals feel unwanted, unloved, and unappreciated. This spells disaster and conflict. Don't let your relationship suffer this fate! You've worked hard to build a solid foundation of trust and intimacy. All that's needed now is some consistent reinforcement of your love and devotion for each other.
To help you out with this, I've created a little monthly task calendar to keep you centered on your relationship during the coming year to ensure you and your partner stay focused on each other. Sometimes we all need a little structure to keep us accountable and to remind us of our priorities. What follows is a month-to-month suggested action plan that's divided into topics and comprised of a communication exercise and a behavioral action step to keep your relationship alive and #1 in your life. These are obviously just suggestions and you can tailor the ideas to fit your unique style and relationship needs. And don't just be buckled down to these points...be creative and develop your own. The point to all of this is to keep your priorities on track and to remember that your partner and relationship need feeding that only you can give. And the more you put into it, the greater rewards and fulfillment you will reap!
More from YourTango: Intimacy Freak-Out & Gay Men: Part One
LOVE TASKS: MONTH-BY-MONTH
JANUARY & FEBRUARY: VISION