Shared goals in a relationship make it worth having. Real relationship goals keep a couple working together after the initial excitement of the honeymoon phase has waned. Love keeps the relationship strong, but that love needs to be fostered and nourished to keep the fire in the relationship burning.
The best way to keep the love in a relationship alive and keep both partners happy is to work together on a shared vision for the future. The relationship develops into a strong and committed relationship with mutual goals that serve both partners. This article will look at some healthy and powerful relationship goals for you and your partner to work on. If you are currently single and trying to figure out what you want from a relationship, this article will help you understand what to look for when you find that special someone.
Understanding Healthy Relationship Goals
You will often see your friends on Instagram post pictures of themselves and their partner by the beach or moving into a new home with the hashtag, relationship goals. That can make you feel happy for your friends, but it can also lead to comparison, where you find yourself questioning your own relationship goals and wondering if you are trying to achieve the right thing.
The reality is that there is no real right or wrong when it comes to your relationship. Sure, some relationships are healthier than others, but each relationship is unique. It means that your relationship goals and your partner may look different. Some couples want children, while others do not. Some want to travel, while some want to buy a house.
Realistic relationship goals are those that serve both partners well. They are unique to the couple, so do not compare yourself and your relationship to others.
Why Are Goals in a Relationship Important?
Relationship goals help you and your partner get on the same page. They help you work towards a shared vision of the future that you both want and look forward to together. As mentioned earlier, the specific relationship goal is unique to your relationship. What matters most is that both of you are happy and excited about working towards the same goal.
Goals Help You Reap the Benefits of Relationships
When you share mutual goals with your partner, your relationship benefits, it becomes a work of art to which both of you contribute and represent the deep love you have for each other. Remember that a relationship is never a complete project—a relationship is a partnership that requires ongoing change, adaptability, compromise, adjustments, and openness to new experiences. Hence, a relationship goal is not always a fixed point.
Relationship Goals for Couples
No matter where you are in your relationship, from the honeymoon phase to your 40th anniversary, sharing these goals will help. They will remind you to regularly check in with your partner and ensure you are working toward a shared future.
Relationship Goal 1: Grow Together
Sometimes we tend to enter a relationship and lose sight of our individuality, unique needs, dreams, and get lost in a bubble with the other person. A healthy relationship is one in which both partners have an opportunity to grow and improve as an individual. Growing together and supporting each other along the way is what leads to a healthy, strong, and nourishing relationship.
That is not to say that there will not be hard times or that you might feel like you are not growing much at times. Life and relationships involve an ebb and flow. Still, by remembering that your relationship is a partnership, reflecting on that fact, and consistently checking in with your partner to make sure you are both happy and growing, you can assure that you are going in a good direction.
Relationship Goal 2: Understand Each Other’s Love Language
A person’s love language is when they communicate and prefer love and affection. There are lots of love languages. Some people need more physical intimacy than others, while others need to be able to spend time apart from their partners without worrying about them. Some people show and receive love through emotional support, while others like adventure and spontaneity.
Getting to know your partner’s love language and learning to speak it fluently is a process. It can take months or even years to get the hang of it fully, but once you start to engage in it, you can offer your partner the love they want. It is also important that you are honest with your partner about what you need in a relationship to feel loved and be open to their love language too.
Relationship Goal 3: Be Each Other’s Number One Fan
Emotional and moral support goes a long way in keeping a relationship healthy and happy. With all its challenges, life can feel overwhelming from time to time, so it is always nice to know that someone is there, has your back, and will cheer you on.
For example, imagine one partner is trying to start a new career in something they are passionate about. That is a daunting task, especially if they are leaving behind a career that, though they do not love it, is secure and pays the bills. There is nothing wrong with feeling concerned about your partner’s financial security or lack thereof (financial security is a famous relationship goal). Still, there must also be space for your partner to take risks within your relationship.
Support for Each Other Supports the Relationship
If you can support your partner with their dreams and ambitions, you can develop a strong, lasting, committed relationship. Things may be uncertain for a while, but once they get on their feet and start progressing in this new career, they definitely will not forget how much support you gave them. The same applies to your own goals. When striving for something more in life, it is always nice to have a cheerleader, someone there to share your successes and failures, passions, and excitement as much as your doubt and uncertainty.
Relationship Goal 4: Learn to Be Apart
Learning to be apart from one’s partner can be challenging for some people, especially those of us with an insecure attachment style. Still, that absence makes the heart grow fonder. The more you can accept and even enjoy being away from your partner, the more you can maintain your individuality.
Without another person, you can bring yourself fully into your relationship as a complete and whole individual. The alternative is that you love to be with your partner, but you struggle when they are not around. That is normal to some degree, but if you cannot do anything without your partner without feeling like you are incomplete or unfulfilled, then it is wise to look into that. Your partner will not always be around, so it is best to work on yourself as an individual for your own sake and your relationship.
Relationship Goal 5: Maintain Intimacy
Intimacy is the foundation of romantic relationships. If you have ever been in a long-term relationship, you will know that intimacy can wane from time to time. That is natural, but it should not be ignored. When you notice the intimacy is fading, that is a sign that something needs to be fixed.
“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his beauty or perceive a sense of his worth until it has been reflected to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love
Consider how well you and your partner are communicating. Check in with them to see if they are still happy to be in this relationship or if their thoughts and plans for the future are changing. You cannot control another person, but you can keep the communication high enough that you do not entirely lose your connection with them. How you and your partner show intimacy will depend on your love languages. Still, a common and vital love language is physical touch. So, if you strive for any goal in your relationship, a high priority should be keeping the quality of that physical connection high.
The Power of Physical Intimacy
Physical intimacy through touch, especially when complemented with emotional intimacy, offers several benefits. It keeps a relationship afloat, improving both partners’ physical and mental health. Neuroscientists have found that regular physical touch, whether it is a hug, a kiss, or simply holding hands, increases the level of oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is one of the feel-good chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin). It helps us establish physical bonds, calms the nervous system, and improves mood.
Relationship Goal 6: Separate Lives
Esther Perel, psychotherapist, renowned relationship expert, and author of the bestseller Mating in Captivity, explains:
“Today, we turn to one person to provide what an entire village once did: a sense of grounding, meaning, and continuity. At the same time, we expect our committed relationships to be romantic as well as emotionally and sexually fulfilling. Is it any wonder that so many relationships crumble under the weight of it all?”Esther Perel
Humans are designed to live in communities. We survived this long as a species because we learned to work together better than any other animal. Today, many couples enter a relationship and begin to place more and more expectations on their partner.
Many of us seek a partner who will be our best friend, sensual lover, and travel buddy. However, as Perel explains, a relationship will likely crumble when overloaded with such expectations. As such, partners should have separate lives as well as the one they share, which means each partner has their friends. They have personal hobbies and interests that have nothing to do with the relationship.
As important as it is for partners to have separate lives, those lives should ideally harmonize. Each partner should be able to live their life freely and openly without that freedom and openness jeopardizing the relationship.
Relationship Goal 7: Keep Communication High
Good communication keeps a relationship afloat. It keeps both partners on the same page and lets each one know when there is an issue that needs to be resolved. Without good communication, any relationship is doomed to fail. A lack of communication leads to partners drifting away from each other. As such, it is always wise to check in with your partner and work together towards cultivating and maintaining an honest and open line of communication.
What Is Good Communication?
Good communication means listening to your partner. Listening is about a lot more than just hearing the words they say. It is about being engaged and curious, empathetic, and genuinely interested. It is about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, imagining what they are going through, and imagining what it must feel like to say those words.
Relationship Goal 8: Try New Things
Variety is the spice of life, and it is especially true when you are in a long-term relationship. Even when two partners love each other a lot, the relationship will likely feel dull and dry if there is too much familiarity and comfort. The strongest and longest-lasting couples are committed to keeping the adventure, the spark, alive in their relationship through new challenges, activities, hobbies, and experiences. They are eager to try new things together because they understand that novelty and excitement will help them get to know each other deeper.
The Power of Trying New Things
Research even supports the claim that trying new things keeps a relationship strong. In 1993, a study involved three groups of couples: one group was asked to try a new and exciting activity once a week; the second group was asked to do something enjoyable but not new, and the other did not have to change anything. After the study, the first group reported significantly higher relationship fulfillment and excitement than the other two.
Relationship Goal 9: Fall in Love Again (And Again)
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”Mignon McLaughlin
You can have several relationships in a lifetime and fall in love with them. However, what is less common but powerfully important is that you learn how to fall in love again and again with the same person. In that way, you have endless relationships, but all contained within one overall loving and committed relationship.
Falling in love again with the same person means seeing them as new, growing, and ever-changing. We all change—we learn new things, go through hard times, and end up in unexpected places in life that can add exciting flavors to one’s personality. One of the best romantic relationship goals is to keep falling in love, keep seeing your partner afresh, and experience that excitement you felt at the start of the relationship.
Some people shy away from the idea of a long-term committed relationship because they do not see how being with one person for the rest of their lives could be enjoyable. However, as long as both partners are connected, committed, and open to the reality that life and people are always growing and changing, the relationship can stay incredibly exciting.
Serious Relationship Milestones as Goals
Moving in together with your partner is an exciting goal. It can be daunting, especially if you have never lived with anyone before, but it can also bring deep joy and connectedness that reminds you of why you love your partner in the first place. If you are considering moving in with your partner, it is important to remember that patience is a must. Some couples move in together so quickly, resulting in goodbyes or failed relationships. Many of those who jump right into moving in together realize that they have not thought of it enough.
When Is a Good Time to Move In?
If moving in together is a mutual goal, then practice first. Take some holidays, stay at each other’s houses, and get to know what the other person is like when not putting on their best front. That way, you will have a better sense of whether or not you want to live with them or if you are making a rash decision because you are on an early-stage love buzz.
Marriage is a classic relationship goal. If both you and your partner have marriage in mind as a personal goal in life, then sooner or later, you will start thinking about sharing that goal. As mentioned, each relationship is unique, so try your best not to compare yours to others, even if all your friends are getting married.
Marriage is a commitment to a lifelong partnership with a person, so it should not be rushed. Still, even as a vague idea for the future, having it in mind can help remind couples about why they are together and their plans for the future. It focuses on relationship goals to make healthy and effective goal-oriented decisions.
How to Set Relationship Goals
The type of relationship goals you set depends on the unique needs of your relationship. Remember that every relationship is different, and even the same relationship changes over time. For example, if you are in college and currently in a relationship, your relationship goals may differ from those of a newly married couple about to have their first child. Both sets of goals would look different from those of a couple traveling the world for years.
Communication is Key
Still, the key to setting reasonable, serious, and realistic relationship goals is communicating. You likely have personal relationship goals, such as meeting and being with someone who shares your religious or financial values, someone who gets on well with your family, or someone who works in a particular industry. However, both of you will naturally agree on some goals and disagree on others as a couple. Working together to keep communication healthy helps both partners compromise and adapt to each other’s goals to make the relationship feel like a strong partnership rather than a dynamic that would cause regret and resentment.
Of all the relationship goals outlined above, the umbrella goal is to have a healthy and happy relationship, where you are supported, can grow as an individual, reach your potential, and share life as a couple. So, whether you are a young couple just starting out or have been together for decades, keep communicating, checking in with each other, trying new things, and discovering your partner.