You’ve probably heard the term “relationship goals” being thrown about here and there. Social media has definitely helped promote this to a new level. Urban Dictionary defines the term as “A couple with such a perfect relationship that other people aspire to them, the “goal” being to have a relationship like the one that the couple has.
But what exactly are relationship goals? While showing affection by hugging, holding hands, kissing, or referring to each other as bae can be something that expresses loving feelings, relationship goals are not necessarily confined to public displays of sweet togetherness.
Don’t get me wrong, the affection is wonderful and can help you feel connected to your partner. But, these are the aftereffects of hard work from working the goals. The real relationship goals help you receive and maintain those strong feelings of affection.
Here are a few goals to explore to strengthen your relationship:
Spend quality time together. Couples are so busy nowadays. With careers and raising children, it can be difficult to figure out when there is time to be alone together. Digging deep for your creativity in planning for date night comes in handy here. But the keyword to keep in mind is QUALITY. It’s not about how much time is spent but instead how connected you feel to your partner in the amount of time you do get to share.
Learn how to meet each other’s needs. Funny thing is, we naturally tend to give to our partner’s the way we like to receive. Unfortunately, most couples don’t always line up in this department. “If my partner cared, shouldn’t they just know what to do? This way of thinking will only set you up for disappointment. While some couples get lucky and match each other perfectly, the rest of us have to ask, inform, or share our preferences in order to learn the best ways to meet our partner’s needs. Try taking the Five Love Languages Quiz developed by Gary Chapman to learn yours!
Create personal goals together. What are some common goals the two of you share? Maybe it’s learning a new language, taking a trip to a foreign country, or saving up to buy a home. Or maybe you’re thinking about starting a family. It’s good to have some common goals in which each of you plays a role in attaining the goal. At the same time, it’s great to show support for each partner’s individual goals. Our desires may not always match up, and that’s okay. One partner may really find it exhilarating to skydive while the other partner thinks “hell no!” We can’t always join our partners in their journeys, but we can show support from a distance. And for skydiving, that’s a really, really great distance!
Have fun together. Work on finding ways to laugh more with each other. Playfulness is the best tool to keep a relationship fresh and exciting. Most couples begin with lots of fun and laughter. However, over time, as they build a life together, things get more serious. Try remembering how the relationship was early on. Tap into those activities that brought the two of you joy and closeness. And if some of those activities do not fit into your lifestyles anymore, find new ones! Think… if you were planning to ask your partner on a first date, what would that look like?
Work through conflict with respect and kindness. Conflict is natural and expected in a relationship. “We never fight,” is bullshit. Seriously, if you never argue, then there is not enough honesty going on in the relationship. Getting into arguments with each other can be uncomfortable and distressing, however it’s more about how you choose to communicate with each other during the conflict that matters most. Take turns in sharing and listening. Active listening is way more important than talking. This can help reduce and manage the conflict.
Goals for one couple may not be the same for another. Each couple is unique and so it is wise to avoid using comparisons to assess one’s relationship. A big problem that does exist is we get too wrapped up in what social media tells us relationships should look like that we lose the ability to perceive it realistically. You know what you want from your relationship! So go out and get it!