It’s that time of year again. Everyone I know is joining a gym, beginning a diet, and trying to start anew for the New Year. This year I’ve decided to do things a little differently. Instead of my typical New Year’s resolutions, which focus on work and personal goals, I’m writing relationship resolutions. Here are a few relationship enhancing behaviors that I’m going to work on in the coming weeks and months. Feel free to join me if you’d like to make your romantic relationship a happier, healthier union.
1. Be more positive
There are a host of reasons why positivity beats out negativity. Not only is positivity more attractive than pessimism or cynicism,1 it’s also a winning strategy for navigating relationship conflict. Interestingly, relationship researchers found that people are particularly sensitive to negative feedback and that couples who engage in a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative comments are more likely to stay together.2 I take this to mean that a little negativity goes a long way, and sometimes even an unintentional slight or criticism can have a powerful impact. I vow to try to be more positive, generally, but particularly when things get heated.