1. Put the phones away when you’re spending quality time together. If you’re like any couple that’s settled into a routine, it’s tempting to lie down next to each other and just flick through your phones. It’s an especially common habit to slip into if you live together. So make a pact to put the phone away more, or if that goal seems just too insurmountable, try and outlaw checking Instagram for an hour or two before bed.
2. Make a point to cook together. On top of holding each other accountable if you made a resolution to eat healthier, it makes for good quality time: feel free to have those cute food fights like they do in the movies. If you’re not living together, but you live close, this is still workable. Just prep meals that one of you can take home and refrigerate or freeze for the rest of the week.
3. Meet new couple friends. Depending on how you met, it’s likely you’ve got two entirely different groups of friends. It’s not a bad idea to find a few that are ‘your friends’. Find local events like a rugby 7s tournament, or log some hours in a bar you both love, and see if you click with any of the people you meet.
4. Plan more dates. This is another resolution most long-term couples can use. Go out more. It’s important to keep your budget in mind, but even something like going for a walk in a nearby park is good. If you feel like you tend to just hang out on the couch, make a point to go out together once or twice a week.
5. Give yourself some alone time. Conversely, if you feel like you’re on top of each other too much, it’s not a bad idea to plan a night out with your friends away from your SO. It’s especially a good idea if you have a reputation for being that couple. You know, the one that never goes anywhere without the other.
6. Fight more. If you don’t communicate enough, make a point to have more arguments. They don’t have to be impassioned screaming matches. But bring things up when they annoy you. Stand your ground more often. Your relationship will be better for it.
7. Learn a new hobby together. If you don’t have a lot of overlap here, make plans to try new things. Try white water rafting, or dance classes. Check your area to see what kind of classes are offered. Places like Groupon usually offer deals, or you might even be able to find free classes. Agree to try something once a month (or maybe even once a weekend) until you can find something new you enjoy doing together.
8. Get into each other’s hobbies. This one is more dangerous. You’re gambling here, but make a concentrated effort to try each other’s pre-existing hobbies and interests. You might surprise yourself. You probably won’t, but you might.
9. Once a month, go somewhere new. Unless you live in a major city (and sometimes even then), you probably find yourself going to the same few places to grab drinks or dinner. Try somewhere new once a month. Whether that means going out of your comfort zone and trying pad thai for the first time, or driving an extra 10 minutes to try a new club, it shakes up the monotony. And if there isn’t anything around, your resolution could be to move somewhere new together.
10. Spend more time with each other’s family. You probably don’t do this enough. Visit your parents, or go see his grandma. Get dinner with your older sister and her husband every other week. If they live nearby and you’re on good terms, you’ll be happy you made the time for them.
11. Find a show you can binge-watch together. Are you jealous of all those couples that have the same taste in TV and spend weekends obsessing over something on Netflix? This is your year. Don’t give up.
This article was originally published on Cosmopolitan.com
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