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We love the idea of couples New Year's resolutions. In fact, here are six of our favorites! But, all relationship resolutions are not created equal, and some may actually be more trouble than they're worth. Here are four popular resolutions to avoid (or tweak to your liking):
1. The "we will have sex every day" resolution: In theory, it's a great idea. More sex leads to better intimacy. More intimacy leads to a stronger love connection and a more bullet-proof marriage. But here's the catch: When sex starts to feel like a chore, or a box that you check, then it can lose its appeal entirely. Unless the two of you are truly up for the challenge, 365 days of sex isn't always the best goal to make for a new year. Better idea: The two of you might try to resolve to be more intimately available to each other. So instead of committing to daily sex, you might try resolving to say "yes" more in bed.
2. The date night resolution. Yes, long live date night. But if you have a busy life (and who doesn't?), date night can also begin to feel prescribed instead of spontaneous. And while we love the idea of reserving one day a week for couple time, it also makes sense to think of scheduling a bit more holistically instead of setting a goal that might set you up for failure (i.e., after missing out on two Wednesday evening date nights in a row, you might give up entirely). Better idea: Make it your goal to go out together 3-4 times a month, and switch off planning so each partner has a chance to surprise the other.
3. The weight loss resolution. While we love the idea of couples working out together and getting healthy together, and even losing weight together, a goal to shed pounds together can be tricky territory, especially if one person loses more weight and the other lags behind, or if one partner puts too much pressure on the other ("why are you eating chips again?"). While weight loss resolutions may work for some couples, in general, we think they might be best kept as personal resolutions.
4. The "we won't go to bed angry" resolution. Are you both perfect? OK, then, the chances are you'll break this resolution in January 2014. Perhaps even on January 2. Yes, relationship experts say that making up before bedtime is the best plan, but the truth is that loads of research also suggests that we think clearer in the morning and are more likely to be able to forgive and move on when the sun rises, than the night before. So if you fight and go to bed angry, take heart: We all do it, and there is always forgiveness in the morning.