**Disclaimer: if you feel you are currently in an abusive relationship, please call loveisrespect. The following tips are not meant to repair an abusive relationship. If you are experiencing abuse, or you feel that you are in an unstable and unhealthy relationship, we encourage you to talk to us through a phone call or chat.**
New Years Eve is upon us and it has us thinking about what we’d like to do differently in the new year. One way you could make 2011 great is to examine your relationships and commit to doing some things differently. Here are some suggestions.
If you’re in a couple
If you’re currently part of a pair, consider resolving to:
Open the lines of communication. Be better about sharing your feelings and thoughts with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Encourage them to be honest and open with you. By communicating more, you will be able to resolve conflict faster and hopefully become closer.
Set clear boundaries. Being open with one another can also empower you to tell your significant other what you do and do not want in your relationship. Do you feel that they call you too much? Do they respect the time you want to spend with family and friends? Start talking about these things with one another so that you can know what each other wants. This can also help you recognize when your partner crosses a line.
Have more fun with friends. It can seem like to be a better couple, you should spend a ton of time with that other person. While togetherness is important, it’s also healthy to spend time apart. Having lives outside of one another will help you keep perspective about your relationship and will allow for you to cultivate outside interests and friendships.
If you are single
If you are not currently in a relationship, you can resolve to:
Focus on being a friend. We can always improve our friendships. Brush up on your listening skills. Sometimes we can talk to our friends and not really hear what it is they’re saying. Resolve to be that person that your friends can turn to if they need to talk.
Become an advocate. Dating abuse affects 1 in 3 teens. Technology abuse is also a really important topic to talk about. Start conversations in your school by using some of the resources at loveisrespect and by talking to your teachers, counselors and friends. Use your Facebook status as a way to spread awareness. Remember, February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month- get involved.
Do your part. Remember that post we did about ABC’s What Would You Do? We talked that day about bystanders. There have been many times where people saw something that wasn’t right, but didn’t intervene. This year, resolve to always help those in need. Sometimes you can have a major impact on a situation just by speaking up.
These are just some thoughts to get you started. What are your relationship resolutions for 2011?