AS we march into the new year, a prominent relationship analyst has said there is no time like the present to start fine-tuning your relationship.
Melissa Ferrari, a Sydney-based psychotherapist and counsellor with more than 20 years of experience in couples counselling, has offered four practical tips to give your partnership a new lease on life in 2018.
“The relationships we have with our nearest and dearest have a huge impact on our wellbeing and our sense of happiness, yet so often we just trundle along with the same old problems and issues without taking the time to reflect on how you can actually improve them,” Ms Ferrari said.
According to Ms Ferrari, the New Year is the perfect opportunity to give some thought to improving the quality of your relationship with your partner.
Here are some of Ms Ferrari’s top tips to hitting refresh on your relationship to give you a positive and exciting start to the New Year:
1. Date night
The Christmas holidays are often fraught and tempers can become frayed, particularly if we have spent all day, every day with our partners in the family home. When January rolls around, we are often keen to get back to our routines to have the chance for a breather. Setting a date night where it’s just you and your partner gives the relationship the opportunity to re-group. Coming back together after being surrounded by family and friends and social activities is a great way to re-affirm your partnership.
2. Talk it out
Make the agreement to use the New Year as an opportunity to discuss openly any on-going issues you may be facing as a couple. From money, to kids, to holiday planning, every couple has their own jigsaw puzzle of life to make sense of and put together. Plan a special night in where you can cook a meal together, or go for a walk at the park or by the beach – whatever suits you and what gives you some space to talk.
3. Play time
Bills, work, mortgages, cleaning, kids: sometimes it seems we are on a merry-go-round of endless tasks. Often we find ourselves collapsing into bed exhausted at night without having had the chance to consider our own needs, never mind our partners. The New Year is a great opportunity to schedule in some fun too. Whether it’s cycling, sailing, walking or dancing, whatever takes your fancy, choose to do something together.
4. Job list
One of the reoccurring arguments Ms Ferrari often sees in her work as a couple counsellor is about household chores. It may sound trivial, but years of damaging resentment can build up in a relationship if you are the only one to have ever cleaned the bathroom or vacuumed the floor. The New Year is a great opportunity to address any issues around perceived inequality of chores and put steps in place to change the arrangement if necessary.