It is very easy, especially if you are in a long-term relationship, to become dormant or even begin to neglect your partner. Even with a strong foundation, all solid relationships are built over time with lots of trial and error, but are highlighted by accomplishments and major milestones. Here are a few tips that will make 2019 a year of growth and happiness in your relationship.

1. Patience is Key

Frustration and tension are two traits that many couples say lead to problems and missteps in their relationships. Although the daily hardships of work, commute and personal problems can be difficult, it is crucial that you leave those emotions at the door when with your significant other. Stay focused on constantly improving on your bond as a couple, and strive to make each other happy, while relieving the other stresses of life. Being in a relationship means supporting, helping and pushing each other to be better. Take a deep breath and don’t take your emotions out on your significant other. Instead, set time aside to discuss these issues in a healthy way.

2. Be the Life of the Party

Despite your feelings of social settings such as bars or parties, they are important, especially when you’re in a relationship. Maybe you even met your significant other at one of these gatherings. But it is important for you both to be able to blow off steam and have fun at the end of the week. Meet up with friends, have a game night, or go to a concert. Be spontaneous and meet new couples, network with potential business partners and expand your inner circle. Don’t be afraid to put yourselves out there and prevent isolating yourselves and becoming too dependent.

3. Don’t Be So Critical

Self-criticism and personal issues with self-esteem can take a serious toll on our mental health. Even if you don’t realize it, having negative thoughts about your personal appearance, current employment status, or financial situation can result in problems in your relationship. Many develop a bias that can turn any small setback or inconvenience into a major issue and they can seem more significant than they actually are. We all have flaws, that is a given. The important thing is to acknowledge these flaws and work on improving them. It will not happen overnight, and your partner should be understanding of this. Work together to improve certain character traits in one another to create a stronger bond.

4. Discussing Your Finances Is Important

It has been proven that the number one cause of arguments among couples is money. Many are uncomfortable that their partner makes more money than them. Other times excessive spending can lead to credit card debt or inability to pay bills. It can be very constructive to set aside time each month to sit down and discuss your current financial situation and plan for the month ahead. Having an idea of how much disposable income you have as a couple makes planning vacations, events and special occasions much easier.

5. Don’t Neglect Your Sex Life

Make sure that you aren’t becoming complacent with your sex life as a couple. It is important to continue to spice up your nights in the bedroom and make sure that you both are satisfied. Selfishness and unwillingness to make your love life all that it should be is another symptom of a failing relationship. Using the proper protection is also very important. Birth control and condoms are an integral part of intimacy and should be used accordingly. Incorporating toys and even medications that aid in increasing your sex drive can help keep things fun and exciting. Make 2019 a year of trying new things and being spontaneous with your significant other.

Make the effort in 2019 to improve your relationship and strive to be the best you possible. Your significant other is one of the most important parts of your life and should be treated as such. The stronger your relationship, the more productive you will be in goal-setting and accomplishing your professional and personal objectives this year. Make time for one another, go above and beyond for one another, and always remember that you both are in this together.