Another year gone by and with a new year comes new goals, New Year’s resolutions and the desire to “do things differently”. Many people are happy to say goodbye to 2018, and welcome 2019 in the hope that the year might be smoother, healthier and happier. That being said, most people try to implement quite extreme or unrealistic changes in the New Year, going from doing nothing to expecting things to be completely different by doing something different. Making small changes won’t bring about massive difference immediately, but working on the little things consistently will. So here’s a little guide to help you take things slow, and make some long-term changes in your relationship that should mean long-term improvements.

Talk more
Couples who talk about their sex life not only have more sex but are having better sex. Sex should be a regular topic for you as a couple to discuss, but so many people find it uncomfortable and challenging. Make a resolution to start making sex a regular topic. Start small: bring up a good memory or mention something you’ve read or seen online. You don’t have to go straight into talking about crazy, intense sexual experiences! Simply reminiscing about a sexual experience you both enjoyed can create positive feelings and open up the conversation.

Don’t swing from the chandeliers
If sex has been a bit stale in the last year for you as a couple, and you’re feeling a bit bored, I wouldn’t recommend buying the most expensive and elaborate sex toy or even bondage sets (no Fifty Shades of Grey!) and swinging from the chandeliers to improve things (it would actually likely make things worse). Rather, get back to basics as a couple! Buy a massage candle or good massage oil and touch each other’s bodies. Buy some flavoured lube and lick it off each other. Buy a small clitoral vibrator and spend a night teasing each other. Buy lingerie and wear something that makes you feel sexy. Start with the basics and get your connection re-established first.

Open up to each other
Having sex is the most vulnerable we can be: we’re (mostly) naked and we have to let go (that’s what sex is all about after all)! But so many people struggle with vulnerability outside of the bedroom that there’s no wonder they struggle to let go in bed. Work on being vulnerable with each other by doing small things like sharing when you’re upset, telling your partner about something that’s affected you or trusting your partner in sharing something about you. We only open up and become vulnerable if we feel safe that our partner won’t dismiss or criticise us, and this goes for letting go in bed too. Vulnerability is something to be celebrated, and most certainly not a weakness.