Pretty much every relationship has room for improvement. Even when things are going well, it’s always possible to get better at communicating, listening, taking more time for each other — all that good relationship stuff. But this is never more true than at the start of the new year, when you might want — or even need — to look for ways to strengthen your relationship.
“Couples often argue during this time as we recover from the stress of the holidays,” Dr. Elisa Robyn, PhD, an astrologer and astrology transitions consultant, tells Bustle. That’s why January makes for a great time to check in, regroup, and chat about what’s working and what isn’t. You will want to strike a balance, though, and not place too much pressure on each other.
“We have dealt with so many expectations and obligations that the last thing we are often open to are new demands, especially in our relationship,” Robyn says. “We put so much pressure on ourselves for new beginnings because we turned a calendar page.” And if it all piles up, it can end up backfiring.
Instead, simply look for ways to ease into the new year as a couple, while listening to each other and coming up with a few goals to work on throughout the year. For a little inspiration, here are some things you might want to focus on, based on your zodiac sign.
1. Aries (March 21 – April 19)
If something in their life isn’t going according to plan, Aries will often get inside their head and try to fix at all costs. Everything becomes about finding a solution instead of listening to their partner, or taking any advice.
So remember, “your relationships need some loving attention,” Robyn says. “Slow down and look around you.” When things start changing, try to accept it and weather it together. “Your partner does not always need protection and problem solving,” she says. “Sometimes they need you to listen and just love them.”
2. Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
In 2020, Taurus will be able to improv their relationship by learning to be adaptable. “While you like to keep things stable, this is a year to embrace some changes,” Robyn says. That might mean stepping outside of a typical routine in order to go on more dates, being open to the idea of traveling, or simply trying new things with their partner.
Taurus might even want to share their love for sensual experiences with their partner and be open to whatever their partner wants and needs, Robyn says. They will see lots of great things happen in their relationship when they make this a priority, especially since it’s such an important aspect of their sign.
“It is time to share your time and your deep emotions with your partner,” Robyn says. “This shared time will lead to a more meaningful and loving relationship.”
3. Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
Gemini tends to witty and smart, and always has something interesting to say, which is likely their partner’s favorite thing about them. But there are plenty of other skills they need to hone in order to have a well-rounded relationship. In the new year, this sign might benefit most from opening up and being more honest about how they feel.
“This year it is time to slow down and learn to listen to your emotions,” Robyn says. “You are always fun to have around […] but you do not always have to be a fun person. You can slow down and acknowledge your own feelings and emotions. Share these with your partner to build a stronger relationship.”
4. Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
“You are so emotionally supportive that sometimes you forget to take care of your own needs,” Robyn says, which is why the focus for Cancer, throughout 2020, should be bringing a little bit of that love and attention back to themselves.
This might look like opening up about their feelings and finding ways to share them, Robyn says, so that their partner can feel more connected, as well as looking for ways to spend a little time with themselves. Cancer likes to give, and give, and give, but they can’t be a good partner if they don’t have any energy left. Simply spending time doing what they want to do can fill up their reserves, and make them an even better partner as a result.
5. Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Leo loves to be the center of attention, and often spends a lot of time focusing on ways to get it. Whether it’s while hanging out with friends, or leading everyone at work, they always know just what to do and say in order to be in the limelight.
This aspect of their personality is great, but can sometimes overshadow their relationship and leave their partner feeling a bit left behind. To counteract this tendency, Leo might want to spend some time this year readjusting. While they love attention, Robyn says, they can think about taking a relaxing and comforting vacation with the one they love. Or whatever else might lead to feeling more connected.
This doesn’t mean giving up those other traits, but striking a better balance. Any relationship will feel much more fulfilling once they make this shift, and put just as much energy into their relationship as they do into other aspects of life.
6. Virgo (August 23 – Sept. 22)
For Virgo, 2020 should be all about worrying less about plans and schedules, Robyn says, and focusing more on living and enjoying life. “You have a lovely analytical mind,” she says, “and know how to make everything perfect. But sometimes your need for perfection gets in the way.”
This isn’t about throwing caution to the wind or no longer caring, but instead looking for ways to enjoy the moment. If Virgo catches themselves over-planning a date, for instance, they can try making a conscious effort to go with the flow instead, and see where the night takes them.
Their parter will likely appreciate this change of pace. And, it’ll open the door to having spontaneous experiences, and learning more about each other as a result.
7. Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22)
Libra definitely has an opinion, but they don’t always feel comfortable sharing it. So for 2020, they should considering making a point of speaking up more often in their relationship, as well as in life in general.
“You have deep wisdom, do not be afraid to share it,” Robyn says. “This year you can deepen your relationships by sharing your true self. So step out of your routine, honor your deep desires, and make a heartfelt commitment. And then stand by it.”
Libra’s partner will love knowing what’s on their mind, and how it makes them feel more connected. It might seem weird speaking up at first, but if Libra takes the time to notice all the positive benefits of sharing their feelings, it’ll be just the motivation they need to keep going.
8. Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)
“You are often afraid that your passion will overwhelm your partner, but holding it in will only make you frustrated,” Robyn says. And that’s precisely why Scorpio should make 2020 the year of sharing how they feel. “You are the deepest feeling sign of the zodiac, and cannot live a life where you deny those feelings,” she says. “You love completely and deeply and often forever. This love can be a gift if you are willing to share it.”
Scorpio can start small by talking more about the everyday goings on of their life, and building from there, until they feel comfortable chatting about feelings, inner worries, and hopes for the future. “Do not be afraid of your own depth,” Robyn says. “This is the year to embrace your own passion and share it with those you love.”
9. Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21)
Due to the fact they worry about feeling “tied down,” Sagittarius is often half in and half out when it comes to relationships. But if they want to improve theirs in 2020, they may want to finally commit, Robyn says, and bask in how good it feels to no longer be lingering in the middle.
That said, Sagittarius will want to be honest about any and all concerns from the get go, so that their partner will know what’s up. “Be honest about who you are and what you need to be happy,” Robyn says, “but remember that your partner needs support and love.”
Once they’re willing to go all in, while also being honest about how they feel, it’ll make for a much more secure, fulfilling, and understanding relationship; one where their needs, and their partner’s needs, are being met.
10. Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19)
As a sign that values meeting goals and getting things done, Capricorn often find themselves putting all their energy into one thing at a time, and neglecting everything else. To improve their relationship, it can help to be aware of this tendency.
“This year find a way to focus on the needs of your partner as well as your own,” Robyn says. “You are not loved for your accomplishments but for how you treat people around you. You are so very practical, but reaching for a bit of romance will deepen your love life.”
Think about ways to meet in the middle, like leaving work on time to go on a fun date, instead of staying super late every single night. It’s often easier than this sign might initially realize to get things done, while also maintaining other areas of their life.
11. Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18)
“As the independent rebel of the zodiac you start all your relationships as friendships,” Robyn says. “It takes you a bit of time to actually fall in love, but once you do you are loyal and honest.” Yet this sign still needs to make sure they have plenty of time for themselve.
Paying close attention to a relationship is always a good thing, but it should never be done at the expense of personal goals — even if that simply means relaxing alone from time to time. If Aquarius has gotten out of the habit of taking this time, they should bring it back.
“Once in a relationship remember to keep your other friendships and to still spend time alone,” Robyn says. When this sign is refreshed, and has focused on themselves, they’re an even better partner.
12. Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20)
Pisces is always naturally focused on the needs of those around them, which is great for their partner, but can often leave them feeling ignored. “You rarely ask for what you want or need and then feel hurt when your needs are not met,” Robyn says. “Your relationships will be more fulfilling when you communicate with your partner.” So go ahead and try it out.
Speaking up more often will be a nice goal for Pisces to focus on in 2020 personally, and as it relates to their relationship. Instead of wondering if their partner will guess how they’re feeling, and being disappointed, they’ll actually have their needs met because their partner will know. It can take some practice, but is well worth the effort.
Every sign will have something they can work on. By setting goals early on in 2020, they can all see vast improvements as the year goes by.