Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Resolutions for Romance

Joanne Rock

I felt very clever for coming up with the subject of my blog today. We are used to reading about resolutions for a “New You” that involve kicking bad habits, eating healthier, being more active, or working harder/faster/smarter. But how often do we think about resolutions in regard to our romantic relationships?

It seems sort of culturally revealing that this idea isn’t kicked around more during the time of year best known for taking stock of our lives and improving ourselves. Why isn’t romance important? Shouldn’t improving our relationships be one of the most rewarding and valuable tasks on our industrious January agenda?

I sure think so. But then, romance is perpetually important to me. Not just because I write about it, but because my romantic relationship is one of the most significant and challenging relationships in my life. Significant because it lasts the longest and will account for the greatest time investment. Long after my kids are independent from me, my husband will still be a daily part of my life. And challenging because… well, if you’re in a long-term relationship, I don’t think I need to explain that one. My twenty-year marriage is solid—fun and rewarding, for sure. But any romance needs tending.

Autumn Romance by Rachel.Adams CC

So let’s think about what we’d resolve this year if we were going to foster more romance. Here’s what I came up with…

1) Remember why you chose him. That sounds simple, but how often do we remember the reasons your guy is The One? Day to day living often makes us think about all the ways we are less than satisfied with each other. Remembering what makes you love each other most helps you to be more forgiving. Also, it makes you want to kiss him more, which only leads to good things.

2) Resolve things together. Tell him you want to make your relationship a priority and see what he’d like to add to the list for goals this year. You might be surprised and inspired. And even if you don’t feel like you’re on the same page with your vision, forewarned is forearmed. You can start planning for how to make both of you the happiest.

3) Spend fun time with one another. I hate to suggest “Date nights” since I know some people who feel ambushed by women’s magazines that tell them they must have more date nights in their marriage. I think the word “date” implies planning, expense and a certain amount of social pressure. So maybe just think about ways to spend fun time together. Take up a weird new hobby that interests you both or go for a Sunday drive. See a parade and bring hot chocolate. All that is required is that you do something fun. Together.

4) Reconsider your arguments. This part isn’t fun, but it’s so much easier to think about how you disagree with your significant other when you’re NOT actively batting it out. Resolve to play fair. Better yet, resolve to turn the other cheek a few times. I resolve this every year and don’t always succeed, but I think it helps to put it in the forefront of my brain. Trying counts.

5) Remind yourself that relationships are to be enjoyed. Sometimes we think about our relationships—especially the romantic ones—as parts of our life that need “fixing.” But I think this sets us up for disappointment and reinforces the idea that we should change our partner. A romance is something you chose for enjoyment and emotional nurturing. Savor those elements. Add to the wealth of joy and nurturing by doing some yourself. They are qualities that only multiply once you start adding to the pile.

I’m excited about my list. I think these resolutions will make me happier and I’m pretty sure my husband will like them too. Especially the “more kissing” and “play fair” parts. But I’m all ears to hear what you think. How do you maintain a romance? How do you nurture and grow a relationship so that it is all the more fun and rewarding for both parties? This is the epilogue, my friends!! The HEA we all want to live. Let’s do it better/stronger/smarter… and with more heart. We’re romance fans, after all. We can do this!

Share your thoughts with me and I'll give one random poster a copy of my February release, THE RIGHT MOVES.

14 comments:

Kaelee said...

I think you have some great resolutions. I've been married for 46 years now and the one thing that I believe in firmly is compromise. Sometimes you have to do something that's not really what you want to do but you do it because it makes your partner happy. In return he will probably do something for you. You also have to realize that you can do something without him and vice versa.

You also have to have commitment. this means you have to be willing to solve your differences.

Joanne Rock said...

Hi Kaelee! Congratulations on 46 years! That's fantastic... it makes me realize I'm only just getting started after twenty :-). I love that we are adding "compromise" to the list! Too often, we look at compromise in a pessimistic way-- ie, what am I giving up? Instead of focusing on the positive of all that you stand to gain. Thank you for stopping by the blog!

Lola R said...

I like the idea of relationship resolutions, great idea! I think I often try to solve and improve my relationship throughout the year, but it's a good thing to really stand still and think about it sometimes.

Sometimes it feels good just to realize how happy I am with my relationship and tell that to my boyfriend. Just because it's always true doesn't mean it isn't nice to hear it another time.

Joanne Rock said...

>>Just because it's always true doesn't mean it isn't nice to hear it another time.>

You are so right! I like to think I'm an "Actions" kind of person and less of a "Words" person (odd for a writer, maybe!), but even so, I never get tired of hearing lovely things if someone is happy with me . It only stands to reason the words would make someone else feel good, too.

So glad you checked out the blog today, Lola! Thank you :-)

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

Joanne,

Loved your list. We just celebrated our 20th anniversary. Laughter always keeps us closer.

Colleen C. said...

Enjoyed reading your list... some very good points... need to share your relationship resolutions with my sister! :)
Happy New Year Joanne!

bn100 said...

have fun together

Jackie Wisherd said...

I enjoy reading your books. Those resolutions sound like good ones to work towards.

Mary Preston said...

Really listening to each other is important. Reading the other person.

Claire McEwen said...

What a lovely post, Joanne! And I'm adopting these resolutions. My husband and I get so busy and we work different hours, and we forget to make time for each other.

Christy said...

Love these ideas! My husband and I are celebrating 15 this year. I definitely like the "more kissing" resolution!! Thanks for sharing.

linda s said...

For 43 years, we have been married one year at a time. On our wedding anniversary we discuss and decide if we want to stay married another year. We don't take our marriage for granted.

Joanne Rock said...

Thank you so much for visiting and helping me strengthen my romantic resolutions for 2015!! We've got a great start here :-).

The winner for the thread prize is Jackie Wisherd. Jackie, just email me at jrock008@gmail.com with a mailing addy and I will send your book out ASAP!

Anonymous said...

I love your list and will keep them on my mind when I start over in a relationship, I was married 25yrs and it we stopped working together and it seem like I was doing all the work to make it work, so I gave up! I still love romance in a relationship. carolefiore1954@yahoo.com

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