Relationship strategies for 2020 - The Couples Expert - 5 ways you can have a closer relationship with your partner in the coming year

If 2019 was a tough year for your love relationship, The Couples Expert has some good news for you. 2020 can be exponentially better.  Here are 5 ways to have a closer relationship with your partner in the coming year. 

Close and loving relationships don’t just happen. They happen when two people are committed to being the most authentic, loving and emotionally close than they’ve ever been in any prior relationship. They happen when both partners make a concerted effort every single day to show their partner how important, loved and appreciated they are; how valued and needed they are. When both of you are willing to strip yourself bare emotionally and be vulnerable and authentic with one another without judgment and fear of rejection, you’re getting close to the ideal of the close and connected love story we all want to be living in.

Does this sound like a fairy tale that’s far removed from your real life with your partner?  If it does, you’re not alone. The good news is that there are strategies you can both employ in the New Year (or now, why wait?)  to develop the kind of relationship where you know deep down that your partner has your back, is your biggest supporter and best friend, and when the chips are down, the one person in the world that puts your interests ahead of their own, and you do the same for them. Here are 5 ways to have a closer relationship. These strategies can help you move towards this goal in the coming year. 

#1Culivate Authenticity

Work on your fears and doubts about your own ability to be your unapologetic authentic self with your partner. Allow them the space and acceptance to do the same. When the two of you are truly your authentic selves in your love relationship, you can expand this into other areas of your life confidently.

#2 Create Compassion

Show compassion to your partner and to yourself. Don’t be so hard on your partner, and have realistic expectations for yourself. Compassion is vital to showing kindness and true love to one another. You’re both going through different things at different times, be compassionate and kind to each other and feel the love flow. 

#3 Develop Empathy

The ability to put your-self in someone else’s shoes is the path to true love. It’s not easy, but you can cultivate this virtue in your love relationship by imagining what your partner is feeling or thinking. Ask them to tell you and see if you’re right. Learn how to identify with someone else’s plight or situation and stand together with your partner and support them in their unique struggle. 

#4 Learn To Listen.

We so often listen with the wrong intention. We either want to apply the situation or feelings to ourselves to make it relatable, or we want to give advice on how to fix their problem, even when it’s unasked. Don’t help unless you’re asked to. Listen without an agenda. Be there to support your partner and be a sounding board, not an advisor. 

#5 Just Be There

Knowing that you have someone in your corner, standing by you is a powerful thing. You gain in confidence and bravery when your partner is supporting you. It gives you so much ability to step out in faith when your partner has faith in you. This is a great gift to give to one another in the coming year.

These strategies are only the tip of the iceberg, but will be eminently helpful in moving your love relationship to a stronger and better place in 2020. Happy New Year from The Couples Expert.


  • Stuart Fensterheim

    Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW

    The Couples Expert

    Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships. As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters. His weekend workshop, Two Days: Seven Conversations has become a popular venue for many to set off on their journey of connectedness. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel and by subscription in Stuart's Daily Notes. Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. His office practice serves the greater Phoenix, Arizona area including the cities of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa.