9 Realistic Relationship Resolutions To Make 2016 Your Best Year Together

It's about time you do something other than "Netflix and chill."

While it may have been easy to commit to one person, it's not always easy to commit to one resolution to improve your relationship. Even the happiest couples could use a little post-holiday help to find creative, yet realistic, ways to make their next year together their best yet. 

Here are nine relationship resolutions you and your significant other can actually make in 2016: 


1. Write love letters.

Even if you and your significant other send sweet "good morning" and "good night" texts daily, you can still step up your communication game. While you don't have to wield any Shakespearean-level prose, writing a few sentences with an actual pen on actual paper will show you care in a new way. Well, an old-fashioned way made new. 

2. Find phone-free ways to pass the time.

Instead of aimlessly scrolling through your Facebook or Twitter feed when you're waiting (in line, at a restaurant, etc.), combat boredom through creative and interactive ways. Go beyond the run of the mill "How was your day?" exchange by challenging each other to a game. If you're at a restaurant, use a napkin for tic-tac-toe or hangman, thumb wrestle, or play truth or dare. Nothing rekindles a romance like the fire of healthy competition — and the memory of that time you dared your S.O. to speak to the server in a British accent the whole meal.

3. Don't just go on dates. Share experiences.

Dinner and a movie is so 2015. When you try new things together, you'll not only rejuvenate your old routine but create one-of-a-kind memories. The best part? Thinking outside the box doesn't have to break the bank. Search Groupon and LivingSocial for deals on amusement park tickets, historical walking tours, wine/beer tastings, live theater, fitness classes, or whatever else you're interested in. 

4. Make out in a movie theater like a couple of teenagers.

Yes, dinner and a movie isn't the most creative way to spend a date night... unless you turn your local cinema into a time machine and travel back to those giddy, butterflies-in-your-stomach days of high school. (And if that wasn't your high school experience, now's your chance!) Pick a movie you and your S.O. don't want to see, wait until the lights dim and commence kissing. If you leave the theater needing to Google the plot description, you know you've done it right.

Extra points if you go to a drive-in — the unofficial mecca of smooching spots.

5. Involve each other in your hobbies.

While not everyone can be convinced to go LARPing or play Cones of Dunshire, introducing your SO to a favorite hobby is a lighthearted way to strengthen your bond. Whether it's playing video games, crafting, or even collecting stamps, sharing hobbies is an easy way to spend time doing something you love with someone you love. And who knows? Your favorite hobby could become theirs too, and vice versa.

6. Start a new tradition.

This could be as simple as playing trivia together at a local bar every Tuesday or as elaborate as vacationing at the same place and/or at the same time every year. Either way, you're sure to make memories you can treasure for years to come.

7. Replace “Netflix and chill” nights with another fun, at-home activity.

Instead of bingewatching the entire series of "Friends" for the fourth time (this month), spend your night getting out of your comfort zone. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to try new things together, such as playing a board game, reading books, cooking, dancing — all of which can easily combined with "and chill."  

8. Enjoy time spent apart.

While most of these resolutions explore new ways for couples to get closer, it's just as important to spend time apart in a healthy relationship. They say "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and, whether or not that's true, separating from your beloved does ensure you'll have something new and interesting to talk about when you reunite. Get lunch with that friend you haven't seen since last year, have a personal spa day, or (perhaps best of all), do that one thing you love but your S.O. can't stand. 

9. Find new ways to compliment each other.

Though it's always nice to hear "You look beautiful/handsome," you're probably not in a committed relationship solely because of your S.O.'s physical appearance. Consider alternatives like, "I love how determined you are when...," "I admire your passion about...," and "You always wow me with your knowledge of..." By complimenting them on specific aspects of their personality, you're showing your sweetheart that you notice and appreciate what really makes them special. 

Start making these realistic resolutions today, and your relationship will thrive in this new year and many more to come!


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