How To Give Your Relationship A Fresh Start In the year 2020

With 2020 quickly approaching, it’s time to reflect and think about what you want for yourself and your relationship in the year ahead. Do you want to get engaged? Do you want to communicate better? Do you want to fall in love with your partner all over again? Whether you’ve been with your partner for the past five months or five years, the beginning of the new year brings you an opportunity to give your relationship a fresh start.

“There’s something about the new year that gives everyone an energy and excitement to change,” Belah Rose, intimacy and marriage coach, tells Bustle. “Use this enthusiasm and direct it to your relationship.”

Regardless of your exact relationship goals for 2020, an easy way to give your relationship a fresh start is to take it back to the very beginning, says Rose. “Put yourself in the mode of meeting your partner for the very first time.” Think about what went through your head when you first met them and what made you fall for them. When you think of your relationship as brand new, you can easily bring back excitement for your relationship.

Here are some more ways to give your relationship a refresh, according to relationship experts.

1. Learn Each Other’s Love Languages

The start of the new year is a good time to talk about your love languages, aka how your partner expresses love. Is it through words or do they show it by doing acts of service? “It might sound cheesy, but it’s truly important to understand how you and your partner both like to receive love, so then you know the best way to give it,” Julie Lauren, relationship expert and author of Oops!: An Insider’s Guide to Dating, Sex, and Relationships in Your 20s, tells Bustle.

2. Create A Plan For The Year Ahead

To make the most out of the new year, write out some intentions and create a plan together. Maybe you want to take a week-long trip for your anniversary or find a new hobby you can do together. “When you plan and work on something together, it can help give a fresh start to any relationship,” Block says.

If that plan involves doing something new, it can give you and your partner an opportunity to see each other in a new light.

To make the most out of the new year, write out some intentions and create a plan together. Maybe you want to take a week-long trip for your anniversary or find a new hobby you can do together. “When you plan and work on something together, it can help give a fresh start to any relationship,” Block says.

3. Schedule Weekly Check-Ins

When life gets busy it’s easy to put your relationship on the backburner without realizing it. To help make your relationship a priority in 2020, jot down weekly check-ins in your calendar in the same way you’d schedule a meeting with your boss.

“Each person brings an agenda and meets for one to two hours with no distractions,” Barbara Morrison, psychotherapist who specializes in relationships, tells Bustle. This “meeting” is meant to help you both solve problems and discuss things that each person is happy or unhappy about in the relationship.

4. Commit To Working On Issues As They Come

You don’t need to be on the verge of a breakup to see a couple’s counselor. Morrison says it’s not a bad idea to make appointments to see a counselor twice a year for maintenance purposes.

If you’re going through challenges, schedule in something sooner. “Don’t wait to see a therapist if you’re having difficulty working out issues,” Morrison says. “The longer you wait, the more difficult to repair the relationship.”

If you don’t want to go to a therapist, make a commitment to repair your relationship as issues arise. “If you’ve done something or said something that harms the other, make sure to repair quickly by being accountable for your actions,” Morrison says. Saying sorry is a start, but it’s even more important to put in the work to make change.

5. Say Nice Things About Your Partner To Others

Criticism doesn’t cause positive behavior changes, it causes resentment, Dr. Kathy Nickerson, licensed psychologist and relationship expert, tells Bustle.

Make it a point to start the year by focusing on your partner’s positive qualities and what you appreciate about them. And don’t keep it all to yourself. Morrison says it’s important to express genuine pride in your relationship with other people. It may even change the way you look at your partner.

6. Talk About Your Individual Hopes & Dreams

What do you want to accomplish for yourself in 2020? It’s not only important to talk about your goals as a couple, it’s also important to talk about your individual goals, dreams, and ideas. According to Dr. Nickerson, this can add some new life into your relationship.

See if there are any shared dreams that you can work on together like running a marathon or starting your own business. “Supporting other’s dreams can really strengthen your emotional connection,” Dr. Nickerson says.

7. Break Personal Habits That Aren’t Serving You

Reflect on your habits and behaviors to see if there’s anything that’s harmful to your relationship. “The new year is a great time to do a personal inventory,” Dr. Nickerson says.

Maybe you’re a little too emotionally reactive when you hear something you don’t like, or maybe you tend to get aggressive during fights. Once you pinpoint the specific ways that you could improve, keep it in mind, and make a point to work on it. You can even let your partner know that you’re taking responsibility and looking to change.

8. Respect and Love should be for each other

Love and respect each other immensely

9. Pray Together

Always pray together. It is very important.

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