It's the end of one year and the beginning of a new one -- the perfect time to make champagne toasts, ambitious resolutions and best-of lists that summarize the greatest things from 2012. Wayne and Wanda hate to miss out on anything fun, so after sipping some bubbly and pondering their futures, our advice-dishing duo made their own list: a recap of their top five relationship musings from 2012 that can also guide readers into 2013.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Wanda: The most effective way we can sabotage our relationships is by failing to communicate. It doesn't matter if you're dealing with a boss, bestie, bed buddy or soulmate: If you want to reach mutual goals, have your needs met and find cohesive happiness, you need to work together to explore, explain and establish expectations.
Wayne: Wanda, you are the great communicator! But it's so true. When you keep your feelings inside, you leave your partner/potential partner in the dark and pile stress on yourself. There is peace and clarity in communication -- don't just try it; live by it.
Accept that sometimes good things come to an end.
Wayne: Yes, I'm talking about the "Twilight" series but I'm also referring to most relationships. It's how we handle change, transition and challenge that truly defines us and often makes us stronger in our lives and our future relationships.
Wanda: Speaking of twilight, so many of our readers write about lingering in the last fading glow of a dying relationship when it's clearly over. Endings are challenging and often sad but change is also exciting, as we discover strengths and talents we never knew we had.
Take a chance.
Wayne: Many of the lost and lonely who write to us could avoid such deep despair if they would stop fretting and start doing. See a cutie at the bookstore? Say hi! Feeling the vibe with a new friend or coworker? Ask them to coffee! A world of opportunity is right there in front of you!
Wanda: So true, Wayne. I love the saying "Do something every day that scares you." Being vulnerable is terrifying. Risks are frightening. But connecting with a new romantic partner is exhilarating and worth all the heartache.
Make the great people in your life feel awesome.
Wayne: With all the unpredictability and tragedy in the world these days, it's important that we share our affection and appreciation with the people who make our lives special, whether that's family, friends, coworkers or workout partners. Thank them for being a big part of your happiness.
Wanda: And on top of that, the world moves fast. With all the texts, chats and online fanning, friending and poking going on -- well, you snooze, you lose. If you've had your eye on someone, act. Go for it. Don't assume that they will still be fair game come morning.
Keep moving forward.
Wanda: Every minute you spend in an unhappy place is a moment spent delaying your movement toward happiness. The relentless push for progress can be exhausting and seem, at times, worthless. But stay true to what you want and remember what you deserve.
Wayne: Exactly. When you make healthy decisions in your life, whether it's in a relationship or exercise or nutrition or any form of self-help, you'll feel that positive momentum carry into other facets of your life. Go, you! Have a happy and healthy new year!
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and believes in retail therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.