For many of us, 2017 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2018! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.

We all deserve to give 2018 our best, and if you think about it, that’s pretty much the whole reason any of us make a New Year’s resolution. Whether you’re resolving to get healthier or to prioritize self care or to finesse that oh-so-delicate work-life balance, the result of being successful at any of these endeavors is that you’ll be a better, more balanced version of you in the 12 months ahead.

Our significant others also deserve our best in the coming year, and the good news is that you don’t need to make a total personal transformation or immediately sign up for relationship therapy to give that to them (though we’re very pro-therapy!). Changing the way you speak to your partner will go a long way toward making your relationship as strong as it can be in 2018, so consider saying these 10 things to your S.O. a bit more frequently moving forward.

A couple has a conversation

1. “I’m sorry.” Arguments come and go, but strong relationships are tough enough to withstand the stress of an inevitable fight now and then. It’s never easy to be the first one to apologize, but sometimes, being the one to take on that role is the best way to get you and bae back on track. Swallow your pride and apologize when an apology is warranted. We’re pretty confident you won’t regret it.

2. “Is there anything I can do for you today?” In the rush of everyday life, we rarely have a moment to pause and consider how we can be of service to other people — even the people we love the most. Show your partner that they’re top of mind for you by offering to help them on a day when you have a little extra free time. Whether they ask you to pick up their dry cleaning or simply lend a listening ear after they’ve had a rough afternoon at the office, it’s the fact that you asked that counts.

3. “Are you okay?” And, no, we’re not talking about the passive aggressive, pre-argument form of this question (you know exactly what we’re talking about). We’re talkin’ genuine concern here! If your significant other seems slightly off their game, you should be the first one to make sure that there isn’t something wrong.

4. “I really appreciate that you ________.” In 2018, make a regular practice of demonstrating gratitude — of the specific variety — for the things your partner does and the kind of person he or she is. Did you appreciate the way your sweetie handled a conversation that could have been tense? Did they make you laugh especially hysterically? Did they go out of their way to make sure you had the ingredients necessary to make your mom’s birthday cake? Tell them what it meant to you!

5. “I’m going to leave my phone at home while we’re at dinner.” We all could use a little more time away from our phones, and date night is a great place to start. Show your partner they’re your number-one priority when you’ve planned quality time together, and they may even follow suit.

6. “My treat!” Money can sour pretty much any relationship, and while there should never be an expectation that one partner should take full financial responsibility for the other, it’s nice for both parties to pick up the check every once in a while. Offer to cover your S.O.’s coffee, or hand your credit card to the cashier next time bae steps up to buy a new shirt. If you and your partner already share finances, you can still practice this one. After all, it’s the gesture that really matters.

7. “Should we call and invite your friend?” Never underestimate how much it will mean to your significant other for you to proactively include one of their friends in an activity or outing you’re planning. Extending this kind of invitation shows that you’re making an effort to create space in your own life for the things that are important to your other half.

8. “Tell me something I don’t know about you.” Even people who have been coupled up for decades can find new things to discover about their partners. See how many things you can share about yourself that might genuinely surprise your S.O. — and show them how thankful you are that they continue to be open to sharing new things with you too.

9. “You’re really killin’ it at work.” It’s nice to get positive feedback from the boss, but we all know that encouragement is best served directly from someone who means a lot to us personally. Don’t be afraid to cheer your S.O.’s efforts on the job — even if you don’t feel totally qualified to do it. Sometimes, a few positive words is all it takes to give someone a much-needed boost. Imagine how your partner’s career will soar in the new year with you as a more active cheerleader!

10. “Do you want some time alone?” Togetherness is obviously a key part of a relationship, but so is respecting each other’s space! Creating space for your partner to enjoy some alone time isn’t a recipe for a breakup — in fact, it could be seriously healthy for both of you. If you sense that your significant other is having a hard day, or if you’re struggling to communicate, consider taking this route.

What do you want to hear from your significant other more often in the new year? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)