17 New Year’s Resolutions To Make If You're In A New Relationship

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As the snow piles up outside and holiday party invites pile up inside, it's beginning to look a lot like cuffing season. If you're an active participant in the time-honored tradition of finding someone to snuggle on those cold winter nights, you could probably use some New Year's resolutions for a new relationship. After all, breaking up before winter is over means more than just ending the relationship — it means you will lose access to your personal, human-shaped space heater. That, my friends, is a true tragedy.

All jokes aside, navigating a new relationship can be more work than you might expect. People complain about the difficulties of maintaining a romance over the course of a lifetime, but it's easy to forget that even in the beginning, relationships aren't always sunshine and a dozen roses. Once the honeymoon stage is over, you have to actually decide whether you like your partner enough to spend time with them when you're not making doe eyes at each other across a candlelit table. If you do, great! If you don't... proceed with caution.

That's where the following New Year's resolutions come in. They aren't hard-and-fast rules by any means — ultimatums are bad news in any relationship, including your relationship with yourself — but they're guidelines worth keeping in mind over the course of 2018. Best of luck, kiddos!

1Show Your Appreciation

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Are you fascinated by the way your partner wrinkles their nose when they laugh? Is it a relief to see their face after a hard day? Do they make, like, really good spaghetti? Don't assume they know how much you like (or love) the little things about them; they can't read your mind. Let your partner know that you appreciate them.

2Be Honest

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Yes, some small problems are worth letting go. But if your partner does something that truly bothers you, don't let any resentment fester. Be open about your feelings and expectations for a relationship.

3Spend Time With Friends

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Hey. Remember your best friend? That person you used to hang out with before you started spending all your time with your new partner? Call them. Don't bail on your platonic relationships just because you're in love.

4Keep Online PDA To A Minimum

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Isn't it annoying when couples publicly proclaim their love seven times a day? Your relationship is no exception, even if it feels like you're the real-life version of Jim and Pam Halpert. Keep the sappy Instagrams to a minimum (or at least a medium). Besides, research has actually shown that couples who overshare are more insecure.

5Talk About Your Feelings

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Texting is a totally valid form of communication in most respects, but it leaves tone entirely up to interpretation. Try to talk, rather than text, about your feelings to avoid miscommunication.

6Recognize Their Faults

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In this life, only Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is perfect. Everyone else is flawed, and as you settle into your relationship, you'll start to see your partner's faults. Go ahead and make peace with the fact that your partner is going to disappoint you sometimes.

7Put Away The Phones

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You don't have to chuck your phone into the nearest reservoir, but put away your phone when you're hanging out with your partner (or anyone important, for that matter). You'll be amazed at how much more focused you feel.

8Pick Up A Hobby

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Don't center your entire life around your new relationship. Maintain a fulfilling life outside of dating, and you'll be happier all around.

9Go On Dates

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It's tempting to stay inside and snuggle with your new squeeze during reruns of Parks and Recreation, especially during the winter. I'm the first to admit there's a time and a place for that, but make an effort to get dressed up and do something together at least a few times a month.

10Be Kind

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Kindness goes a long way in every kind of relationship. If you focus on the positives and let go of grudges, you might find yourself happier in general.

11Don't Interrupt

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Psychologists are quick to point out the importance of listening to your partner when they speak, and that means letting them finish their thoughts. Pay attention to how often you interrupt your partner, and try to be a better listener.

12Try New Things

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It's important to try new things on your own, but your relationship will only get stronger over time if you try new things together, too. Sign up for tango classes, explore a new city together — whatever floats your boat.

13Take Care Of Yourself

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While you should be able to rely on your new partner, you can't expect one person to take care of all your emotional needs. Take care of yourself physically and mentally.

14Decide What You Want

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Are you looking for a life partner or a more casual relationship? Are you polyamorous or monogamous? Do you want kids? Figure out what you're looking for in a relationship and be honest about those priorities with your partner. It's better to find out you're incompatible now instead of halfway through 2018.

15Work Out Together

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If you're already making a resolution to exercise more, why not include your partner? Research has suggested that exercising in a group is better for your mental health anyway.

16Take A Trip Together

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Plan a long weekend away together. On top of being an adventure, you'll get to see how they deal with stress — something you'll have to witness eventually.

17Have More Sex

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I mean, you might as well.