Goals help us grow. They push us forward and help us create amazing experiences for ourselves. There are goals for career, lifestyle, health, the weekend, and of course, relationship goals. But are relationship goals good or bad?
Today we’re talking about the top goals for relationships, along with goals you can skip altogether.
Relationship goals are for both partners
When you set your own personal goals, the only person who has to be on board is you. But when it comes to relationship goals, it takes two to tango. It’s true that every relationship is a little different and your goals will reflect that.
But the most important thing with any relationship goal is that both partners have to be on board, and agree to work towards it together. Otherwise, only one person will commit, and this can lead to relationship problems.
Unspoken and expected relationship goals
Maybe you’ve never set a relationship goal with your parter. But there’s a good chance you’re following unspoken and expected relationship goals from society.
For example, couples are expected to date first, move in together, get engaged, get married, upgrade their living space and have kids. The order might change a little here or there, but in general, this is the common path couples are expected to take.
And you may think this is the path you’re supposed to take, too. You may also assume your partner is following this path, too. But have you and he ever had a serious conversation about these major life decisions?
Because even though these are common relationship goals, they may or may not reflect what he wants. And to be honest, they may not represent what you really want either.
So, it’s a good idea to step back and ask yourself if you’re simply following society’s lead, and expecting your partner to do the same.
There’s nothing wrong with getting engaged, getting married, having kids and buying a house. It’s just important that both you and your partner want these things, too.
Relationship goals to help every couple
Depending on your mutual interests, you can have couple-specific goals, like ticking countries off your travel bucket list. Or, perhaps you’re both creatives and want to open your own Etsy shop and start your own business.
However, there are relationship goals that can help every couple, no matter what your dynamic or how long you’ve been together. They’re sort of like universal relationship goals, and committing to them as a couple can do wonders for your relationship.
Promise to communicate and listen
It goes without saying that poor communication can lead to complete relationship breakdown. It’s not always easy to communicate, and it’s even harder to listen with non-judgment and compassion.
However, if this is a relationship goal, you can commit to finding ways to communicate better and help each other along the way. For example, you can promise to always cool down before you continue a heated argument.
You can always promise to hold hands when discussing something difficult to prevent it from escalating and turning ugly. You can commit to journaling and processing issues alone. This way, you come to your partner with a clear head and a more objective perspective.
If one partner is a naturally good with finances, this responsibility may fall onto him or her. However, it’s still crucial that both partners talk about money and set financial goals.
For example, do you both know and maintain a monthly budget? What about saving goals? How about spending and credit card debt? By creating a transparent financial system as a couple, you can avoid lots of confusion, miscommunication and financial trouble.
Talk about future goals
Healthy couples are made up of two people living separate lives, working toward individual goals. But it’s also important to have goals that help you move forward together as a couple.
For example, do you want to get married? If so, what do you need to have in place before that can happen? For example, would you like to be more settled in your careers? Have a better home? Travel more?
What about something basic, but very important, like your current living situation. Do you want to live there forever? If not, where do yo want to move to, and why? What kind of home do you dream of having?
What about a family? A business? A dream you both share? Obviously, life is in the details, and you and your partner may not have the exact same goals.
But discussing them can help you figure out what’s best for you as a couple, as well as how to set realistic goals you can work towards together.
Learn each other’s love languages
In his international bestselling book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, Dr. Gary Chapman outlines five different love languages. Knowing which love language you and your partner speak can help you both live a much more fulfilled and happy life together.
The five love languages are:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
- Quality time
- Physical touch
According to Chapman, your love language is how you give love and receive love. The only problem is couples can sometimes speak different love languages, and this can make you feel unloved and misunderstood.
For example, if your love language is acts of service, but your partner’s is physical touch, you might run into some trouble. For example, you probably don’t feel loved when he wants to be physically intimate with you since little acts of service are what make you feel the most loved, appreciated and understood.
Learning the five love languages is an excellent relationship goal that can ultimately save your relationship. That’s because it will help you speak your partner’s love language, and help them love you better, too.
How to remember your relationship goals
We’re all very good at making resolutions and setting goals, but it’s tricky to not only commit to them but to remember them in the days, months and years that follow.
So, one great way to remember your relationship goals is to print them, sign them, and display them in a cool frame. You can hang it in the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom – or anywhere where you and your partner will see it often.
Another tip to keep you and your partner accountable is to check in on a weekly or monthly basis. How are you doing with your goals? Were there any that fell to the wayside, or that were more of a struggle?
If so, how can you both improve in these areas? And by doing this, you’re actually following one of the top relationship goals: Promise to communicate and listen.
Relationship goals can be an excellent way to grow together as a couple. Just be sure you’re both on the same page and can commit to the same goals. This will create harmony, respect, and greater love.