4 resolutions for a sweet and steamy love life

Her hubby’s New Year’s resolution has been to cut out screen time in the bedroom, which has already improved their intimacy levels.

Here are five other tips to help spark your love life this year.

1. Date yourself.

This one applies to everyone, regardless of relationship status.

Toronto relationship expert Natasha Sharma tells her patients they’ll never be able to get everything they need to be happy solely from their partner. There’s also a tendency to sometimes spend a little too much time together.

She encourages people to schedule alone time for themselves and do things they enjoy on their own. That could be anything from a yoga class to maybe even a trip without their partner.

2. Limit complaints to two minutes per day.

It’s important to communicate with your significant other about what’s going on in your life. If you feel the need to vent, however, sexologist Jessica O’Reilly has a two-minute rule.

Once you exceed that limit, time’s up and you have to move on.

“Negativity sucks the life and eroticism from your relationship, and complaining makes you less attractive,” she explained.

In the grand scheme of things, O’Reilly adds, complaining about things like traffic, weather or customer service to your partner isn’t worth the energy. Plus it can be draining.

The only exception would be if you’re “talking through challenges and problems with the goal of identifying actionable solutions.” For O’Reilly, that “doesn’t qualify as complaining.”

It’s the venting about encounters and behaviours over which you have no control that should be curbed.

3. Stop bringing up things from the past.

Dredging up the past is one of the most toxic habits for a relationship, according to Sharma.

It causes you to keep score, which isn’t healthy. You shouldn’t feel the need to “win” in your relationship.

When you’re stuck in that “same argument,” try to think of something you love about your partner, like the way he makes you laugh or that nice compliment he gave you.

Don’t get sucked into the negative zone.

If you can’t seem to get beyond a certain issue, you may want to set up a couple’s counselling session.

4. Practice seeing things from your partner’s point of view.

Another way to cruise through disagreements is by putting yourself in your other half’s shoes.

Once you step back and take your partner’s viewpoint, you’ll probably realize he or she didn’t mean to hurt you.

The next time you start to feel upset, take a moment and consider what might be behind the upsetting comment or action. Could your partner be hungry? Tired? Stressed because of work?

If you’re able to — in a gentle tone — voice how you think your partner feels to him or her (a “mirroring” technique McCance trains her clients in). This will help your partner feel more understood and will likely de-escalate things.

For example, you could say something like: “I can imagine you feel frustrated and hurt when I am on my phone during date night. I want you to know you are important to me, sometimes I just check my phone without even thinking of the impact on you.”