Several specialists share their expert opinion to help all those who have made a New Year’s resolution perfect their romantic relationship.
For Couple – The beginning of the year is for many a perfect opportunity, as the song says, to take stock of the good and the bad, and bet on a vital change based on the significance of these dates. But the famous purposes, with a percentage of success in achieving them of up to 20%, according to Kiko Lianeras in his newsletter, are not limited to the classics of going on a diet, joining the gym or quitting smoking.
The newcomer 2022 may also be a good time to evaluate and improve other issues such as the health of life as a couple, more stressed, demanding and tense than ever due to the effect of the pandemic and the social restrictions derived from it. For those who wish to take advantage of the recently launched course to make a clean slate regarding their intimate life, four specialists offer us some of the advice that we can put into practice starting today.
Communicate more and better
All the specialists questioned in this article have shared the same maxim: communication, both verbal and non-verbal, is the key element so that the common life project that a couple is is renewed without difficulty.
The psychologist and sexologist Arola Poch suggests five basic points to take advantage of the resolutions of the new year, begin to examine and improve our communicative education:
1. Speak in the first person.
2. Don’t use ‘always’ or ‘never’.
3. Let the other person finish.
4. Do not deduce or take for granted what the other wants or thinks.
5. If we don’t understand something, better ask.
Do not ‘harm’ the other
It is one of the most repeated mistakes made by couples who come to therapy and also one of the most easily solvable if we are aware that not only does each person understand love differently, but also that no one can do things exactly how we would like.
“If we put a little empathy and understood that people do things the best they know or can, we would be excellent travel companions,” says psychologist and author of the book Sexamor Silvia Sanz. the coachCarlos García, a specialist in couples therapy, agrees: “
A good piece of advice is to ask yourself what I can do so that my partner’s life project, their aspirations, their desires and their goals are fulfilled. In short, ask yourself what you can do in 2022 to make your partner a little happier.
Sex as the glue of the relationship
Experts defend that, although sex may not be the most important aspect of a couple’s health, its relevance is vital because it is a means of communication stripped of the word. Now, for the other to be something more than a mere roommate, predisposition and will are needed to recover that lost or forgotten intimacy and complicity.
“You must ask yourself this question: Do you conquer your partner every day?” Sanz evokes and, as exhausting as it sounds, the specialist defends that it is a very simple habit to recover.
“It is easy for routine to settle in intimate life due to commitments, stress or lack of time, but you have to take charge and take responsibility for your sexuality. Don’t wait for your partner to surprise you, why not take the first step to make what you want come true?
Pursue intimacy (despite the pandemic)
In relation to the above, the health measures derived from the coronavirus have in many cases meant a drastic restriction of social life as a couple, experienced in a special way by those who are not cohabiting.
“The key to avoiding the feeling of helplessness and disconnection with respect to our partner is to attend to those activities that we can continue to enjoy, adapting our plans to new circumstances to take care of the bond”, explains the psychologist and sexologist of the TAP CentersAnna Antello.
To start the new year more united, Arola Poch recommends working day by day –whether remotely or in person– and taking advantage of new technologies to stay connected. “Although distance prevents something as important as hugging and skin-to-skin contact, we can apply our imagination in intimate moments,” she explains. Being assertive, sharing fantasies and trying new experiences such as role-playing games or erotic toys can free us from falling into sexual monotony.
Learn to resolve conflicts
One of the most damaging elements for any couple is the accumulation of unresolved arguments that, just like if we try to sweep the garbage under the rug, at some point in the relationship they end up coming to light and giving off a strong stench.
“Each one of us has different experiences and values, that is why it is normal for there to be discussions; this is not bad in itself. What is negative is not resolving these conflicts”, explains Carlos García, who invites couples to find action protocols .
“Previously designed movements, gestures and words”– to deal with these situations without them ending up becoming traumatic. Ana Antelo delves into this problem: “When, when approaching a conflict or a negotiation, one has the feeling that there will be a winner and a loser.
Rediscover the person next to you
We are often wrong to assume that, by having a relationship with someone for several years, we already know everything about him or her. “People change and who you share life with has to adapt to those changes,” confirms García, who relapses into the communicative aspect as the key to improving the experience.
“How can I love someone I don’t know? You have to ask and listen, be empathetic and put yourself in the other’s shoes, abandoning the belief that we already know our partner because we’ve been with them for many years.”
Virtue is not always in the middle ground
“It is common to find couples who always try to find a solution in the middle, which ends up becoming a “neither for you, nor for me”, confirms Ana Antelo. The equality of conditions does not usually leave satisfied to any of the two parties and it is vital to try to bring positions closer.
“The key is to ask, identify and expose what we would be happy with and what we could give up,” adds the expert.