Vision is a graphic depiction of what you want your ideal lifestyle and relationship to look like. These dreams create an end-goal to strive toward and are helpful motivators to keep growing forward and track your progress.
Couple's Dialogue (Jan.): Sit down with your partner and co-create a relationship vision for your partnership. What are your needs, dreams, goals, aspirations, and fantasies? What would be the ultimate for you in every facet of your couplehood? Have fun with it and creating it together gives a sense of teamwork and solidifies your bond and commitment to your future together.
Couple's Activity (Feb.): Purchase a large poster-board and gather a collection of magazines. Together, cut out pictures, symbols, or words that resonate with you and represent your relationship vision and paste them to the board as you make a collage. When finished, post it in a place where you will both see it on a daily basis to keep you centered on your goals as a couple and work to make it a reality! (idea from relationshipcoachinginstitute.com)
MARCH & APRIL: ROMANCE
One of the secrets to relationship bliss is to nurture an element of mystery and intrigue in your partnership to stave off boredom and monotony. Never let the courtship die in your relationship, no matter how long you've been together. Nothing keeps the spark alive more than when your partner feels cherished and swept off his/her feet.
Couple's Dialogue (Mar.): Share with each other all the things that you each do that makes you feel adored and special. Together, create a special "Date Night" that incorporates both your needs and preferences for romance and doting affection.
Couple's Activity (Apr.): Make it a point to let your baby know how special he is to you and why you're glad to have him as your lover for life. Plant a love letter in his briefcase. Surprise him with tickets to the opera. Take him through a scavenger hunt that leads to a fine piece of jewelry or flowers. Be playful, spontaneous, and genuine. Show him how much you love and adore him.
MAY & JUNE: EMPATHY AND VALIDATION
Your partner needs to feel heard and understood. There is no greater gift than when your partner feels that you listened to him and really "get" him, even when you may not necessarily agree with his points. Validating is not the same thing as agreeing; it is reinforcing for your partner that his perspectives are valid within their own right. Empathy is mirroring back an understanding of how your partner might be feeling.
Couples' Dialogue (May): The next time you and your partner have a disagreement, rather than jumping into problem-solving mode, validate your partner's feelings and convey to him that what he's saying makes sense to you. Your partner should then mirror back the same process to validate your side of things. Both of you must feel that you each fully understand each other's perceptions before any problem resolution can occur.