Get rid of unnecessary barriers
This year, open your lines of communication by getting rid of statements that put a stop to uncomfortable topics of discussion being meaningfully talked over. Examples of this include talking about past relationships (important to letting go and learning about your unshared histories) and talking about the future (important to make sure you’re both on the same page) being met with a resounding ‘no.’ If you both agree to loosen your boundaries a bit, the next time either of you needs to lay down a barrier, you’ll both respect it as a genuine need, not a want.
Ask for the support you need, now
You want to get out more—but you don’t take a step out that door. You want to save more—but you spend more than you earn. You know this, and thankfully, so does she by now. We all have mental blocks that we want to get over, and it makes it a lot easier when you tell your partner flat out about the changes you’d like to make in your life in 2014. That way, next time you’re having a tough time getting to the gym, she’ll be prepared to remind you that you actually enjoy it because it makes you look and feel good. Listen to her needs, too, and get over your recurring obstacles together.
Agree to spend some time apart
It’s important to remember that every great couple is made up of two individuals with their own interests, friends and lives. While sharing them can be fun, we all need our space (even if you’re in one of those disgustingly cute relationships where you finish each others’ sentences). Agree to allow one another at least one guilt-free night to yourselves every week, pending it doesn’t disturb any long-lain plans you’ve had for a date night. A good idea is sharing a calendar so both of you know what’s on the other’s plate.
Eat, love and be merry
Proving that the stomach is the surest way to the heart, a great resolution to make is to support one another’s healthy eating. Reserve eating out to nicer restaurants on date nights, and plan your meals together before joining one another in the kitchen to cook it. For one, a joint decision will almost always lead to more responsible meal choices, but it can also lead to finding fun new things to add to your menu. Sharing meals together instead of darting out to the living room television also builds intimacy and gives you a moment to catch up on each others’ lives.
Start with a blank slate if you need to
As we start the new year with a bit of introspection, now’s a good time to be honest with yourself. Maybe the writing’s already on the wall, or maybe you’ve read the above and realized that your relationship is not for you, but be sure to do the right thing for your happiness and quit your relationship if you know it’s beyond saving. A Christmas breakup sucks, but don’t let the holidays hold you hostage. Too many guys stay in relationships just for the sake of being in one, or to avoid confrontation. Remember: you’ve got a whole new year to look forward to.