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A better relationship in 12 months

Saturday January 12 2019

Some of the fruits you will reap from playing together include a sense of closeness and satisfaction.

Some of the fruits you will reap from playing together include a sense of closeness and satisfaction. PHOTO| FILE 

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Last month, we took stock of your relationship for the year 2018. Now that we are in 2019, what have you set out to achieve in your relationship this year? Well, there is so much you can do to have a better relationship than you had in 2018.

This includes short term and long term goals, aspirations and resolutions. Here are a few things you can do to improve your relationship:

The fights
There is no doubt that you had your fair share of fights in 2018. As the year starts, you need to sit back and evaluate how those fights began, what instigated them, and what their repercussions were.

In most cases, fights in relationships are fuelled by heavy bouts of emotional flooding.

“With emotional flooding, a partner’s response or reaction to an issue is so sarcastic, aggressive, critical, sudden, and overpowering that it consumes every space and channel that the other partner could use to respond in a meaningful and constructive manner,” says psychologist and family counselor Elizabeth Naliaka.

Try to have a level of control over your emotions this year. As a result, you will be able to maintain your interpersonal bond as well as have more mature communication.

“Learn to observe what is happening or about to happen in order to distance yourself from your intense emotions and feelings, and their total reactivity,” says Ms. Naliaka.

You can do this by making deliberate efforts to understand where your partner’s opposing points of views or actions are coming from.

“Stop being vague in the way you express yourself this year. Instead, take responsibility for your feelings by initiating the ‘I’ conversations. For example, instead of saying ‘It is sad when you…’ you may say ‘I feel sad when you…’” says Dr. Yvonne Fulbright, the author of The Better Sex Guide.

Play, laugh and love

Kory Floyd, the author of Communicating Affection says that the key to longevity in romantic relationships is laughing together.

“Couples in long-term, satisfying relationships and marriages crack jokes and laugh together a lot. This relieves tension, stress and lowers levels of conflicts and fights that would otherwise break their romantic deal,” he says.

Apart from laughing together, you must also try to play together.

“Strive to share some exhilarating activities together. These should be things you mutually enjoy and that also play part in your sexual arousal,” he says. Some of the fruits you will reap from playing together include a sense of closeness, trust, reliability, happiness, and satisfaction.

The bedroom
Was your 2018 bedroom experience satisfying or lacklustre? Don’t be too quick to allocate blame or seek after greener pastures.

Forget the sexual hype on social media and morning radio shows. Intimacy is an experience that requires regular evolution.

This year, seek to improve your sexual experience by trying out new things in bed. “Challenge yourself and your partner by setting sex-related goals that will get you out of your sexual comfort zone,” says Dr. Zhana Vrangalova,the author The Casual Sex Project.

These goals include more intimacy styles that do not harm or injure, a better understanding of each other’s physical hotspots, and more non-sexual intimacy and affection correspondence.

Say you love each other… and actually love each other

Remember when you were infatuated with each other? ‘I love you’ was one of the most common phrases you told each other. It is time you started saying you love each other more often.

“If you’ve been saying it, step up your game and express it even more romantically. If you haven’t or are shy, make a determination to say it at least once a day,” says Mr. Floyd.

He says that giving and taking messages and expressions of love does not only harness trust but also improve the health of relationship and of the partners involved.