Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

Real-life relationship resolutions for a better sex life in 2017

The first month of 2017 has already flown by! And I’m sure you began the year with loads of good intentions …

We all start every new year with lists of things we want to achieve, and ways we want to change our lives for the better. And as the year gets going, and our real-life responsibilities get in the way, these ‘resolutions’ slowly fall by the wayside.

So how do you make resolutions that you can actually keep? And how can you make sure those resolutions not only benefit your own life, but help make your relationship better?

Like most people, I also start my year off with some great ideas about what I want to achieve… I want to lose weight, go to gym, walk the dogs, make more time for friends, become debt free … etc. But then I always postpone my diet to “next Monday”, and I hate walking my dogs in the wind, so I wait until the weather gets better. Eventually it’s a new year and I’m still struggling with the same things.

The key to effective resolutions, I’ve found, is that they need to be specific. And you need to focus on just a few of them at once. And then you need to DISCIPLINE yourself to stick to them.

For example, if your resolution is to “walk the dogs more often”, rather get more specific about it. “I WILL walk the dogs every week day at 5am, no matter what the weather.” Then set your alarm clock, and don’t allow for any excuses.

The same goes for any changes in a relationship

As time goes by, we tend to settle into comfortable routines in our relationships. We get used to each other, and end up taking our relationships for granted. We go through the day-to-day motions without challenging each other, or putting in any effort to keep the passion alive. Other responsibilities end up taking priority – work, kids, finances all bog us down, and we wind up feeling frustrated, unfulfilled, and bored in our relationships.

If you want to make a difference in your relationship in 2017, then it’s time to write down some specific, concrete resolutions. Think about your relationship right now. Think about what you would like to change, and how YOU can be part of that change. (Your new year’s resolution can’t be “I want my spouse to lose 20kgs!)

Think back to when you were first dating, and how you loved and respected each other then. Think back to how you put in effort to make your time together exciting. Think about how you used to talk about your dreams and ambitions. Now think about how you can bring back the spark, the passion, and the intimacy:

Here are some ideas for resolutions to help you get that ‘connection’ back:

  1. Every evening I will spend 10 minutes (exclusively! No kids allowed!) with my partner to reconnect – even if I think nothing ‘exciting’ happened that day, it’s quality time where we can catch up and connect with each other. Pick 3 things that happened in the day to share.
  2. When we get into disagreements, I will not lash out verbally in frustration. I will take a ‘time-out’ and walk away from the conversation for an hour while I think about BOTH sides of the issue. I will then return and initiate the conversation again.
  3. When I’m in a group setting and my partner is frustrating me, or doing something I disagree with, I will not humiliate them in front of their friends/family. I will quietly pull them aside, and speak to them calmly, or I will wait until we get home to initiate a discussion (not an argument!) about it.
  4. When we have a disagreement about how we are raising our children, I will not interfere while my partner is speaking to the kids. I will speak to my partner in private so that the kids don’t see us arguing over them. We will discuss the situation and come up with a cohesive strategy to deal with the issue at hand. We will show our kids that we are a loving, strong, and committed team.
  5. I will make an effort to pay more attention to the things that are important to my partner. If they have a hair appointment, I will set a reminder on my phone so that I remember to compliment them when they get home. If they have a big presentation to do at the office, I will remember to send them an encouraging SMS. If they are struggling with a friendship or family issue, I will show my love and support for them.

So how does this improve your sex life?

You will notice that none of the resolutions above are about sex. They are all about making your partner a priority in your life again, and making sure they feel loved, appreciated, and supported. THIS is the key to connection, and therefore, the key to intimacy.

Trust me – if your partner feels loved, secure, and appreciated they will be FAR more likely to want to be intimate with you than if they feel stressed out by work and overwhelmed by responsibilities. Relationships are about team work – be a great team player, and you will enjoy a better sex life in 2017!