One of the beautiful things about relationships is that they aren’t all the same, which means the relationship goals you have as a couple aren’t the same either.
Couples don’t all look the same, and the two people in the relationship aren’t the same either.
They’re independent individuals that come together to create a beautiful relationship, together.
Whether you’ve been in a relationship for a few months, few years or a few decades, one of the ways to make sure your relationship is a priority, is a healthy relationship, and stays ‘fresh’ is to set goals together.
While you may have your own idea of what you want your relationship goals to be, setting your goals together as a couple can be incredibly powerful, and can help make sure you’re both on the same page.
Your relationship goal isn’t just a trending hashtag to share on social media, it needs to be what you should include in your relationship to make it stronger and to deepen your connections.
So here are some examples of goals all couples should have to inspire you to create your own goals:
1 – Put Each Other First
Putting each other first means that you’re paying attention to each other’s needs and making sure they are being met.
You love seeing each other happy and would do anything to see them smile. You protect each other, love each other and support each other.
By putting each other’s needs first, you remove the selfish aspect of a relationship, knowing that your needs are being cared for and met by each other.
The important thing to remember here is that this only works if you both put each other first.
2 – Treat ‘Together’ Time With As Much Importance As ‘Alone’ Time
When you’re in the early stages of your relationship it’s easy to spend all of your time together. Everything is fresh and exciting and new and you just want to get to know each other in every way.
After a while, it becomes clear that spending all of your time together isn’t sustainable and that you both need time alone to recharge and refill your cup.
Alone time is incredibly important. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to spend time together.
It just means that you know that spending time alone helps recharge your batteries, helps you maintain your individuality (what made you fall in love with each other in the first place), allows breathing space and encourages a closer connection with each other when you do spend time together.
The key here is making sure that you’re spending quality time together too, not just sitting next to each other while scrolling social media. While that can be relaxing, it’s important to spend quality time together.
This might mean that you need to make time by clearing something else from your schedule, but it will always be worth it.
3 – Know And Understand Each Other’s Love Language
If you haven’t heard of the 5 Love Languages yet, consider this your introduction. You’re welcome.
The general idea is that we each have a love language that we speak and like to be spoken to in, that fosters how we show and receive love.
The reason why this is so paramount in a relationship is because your partner could be showing you love in their love language, but if you don’t understand that, you could be feeling ignored because they aren’t speaking your love language.
For example, if your partner always refuels your car for you and checks your tyres, but all you want is for him to hurry up and get home so you can talk to them, then you’re speaking two different love languages.
This is huge for couples.
When you know what your love language is, this information can be used to help understand how you both give and receive love and you can ask questions, address any issues, and talk about your thoughts when it comes to showing loving affection.
Make time to talk to each other about your love language and how it applies to each of you and your individual styles and find ways for you to apply it to your everyday lives.
4 – Always Do New Things Together
Sure, alone time is great but together time is where magic happens too! After a while, things can become quite mundane as you move through the day to day tasks of life and before you know it, you could end up in a bit of a rut.
Instead, try to do new things together, have exciting adventures or even take turns to choose what you want to do and then do it together.
From pottery classes to dancing lessons, traveling to massages, anything is possible!
Make a list of all the things you want to do, want to try, or want to learn, and add to it whenever you think of something new. Then tick things off as you go and you’ll never be bored or stuck for things to do together.
5 – Be Each Other’s Biggest Supporters
One of the best things about being in a relationship is that you always have someone in your corner. Regardless of how extreme or crazy your dreams are, your partner should be your biggest supporter.
Knowing that the person you love believes in you is a massive motivation to achieve your goals, no matter how big they are.
Both men and women need to feel emotionally supported, and while we can generalize about what women want versus what men want when it comes to emotional support, the best thing you can do is literally ask each other.
Make time to talk about what emotional support looks like to you, what you need, when you need it, and devise ways you can provide this support for each other.
Focus on working towards being amazing partners for each other, showing how much you appreciate each other’s constant support, and continue to treat each other with kindness.
6 – Keep The Physical Connection Going
As you move through different phases of your relationship, physical intimacy isn’t always an option. There are going to be times when it’s not physically or mentally possible, but that doesn’t mean that all physical connections need to stop.
Physically touching the person you love triggers oxytocin, the feel-good love hormone that reduces stress and does a myriad of wonderful things for us.
Stay physically connected by holding hands, cuddling, or literally leaning on one another.
Sometimes this takes a little work to discuss, figure out and develop new ways to connect, but by speaking with honesty, sharing your feelings, and remembering that the highs and lows of marriages are completely normal, you’ll be able to create new levels of intimacy that help create an even stronger bond.
7 – Speak Positively About Each Other
A surefire way to cause damage to your romantic relationship is to speak ill of the person you love to others. Not only is it disrespectful to them, but it’s also disrespectful to your relationship.
This doesn’t mean you can’t vent in tough times, but be sure to talk about behaviors and actions that irritate you or that caused upset, not personality traits.
If you don’t like the personality of the one you are in love with, then you need to reevaluate your relationship or seek further help from someone who specializes in this field.
Always speak kindly and positively of each other, and if there are behaviors that irritate you, remind yourself of what it is you love about them and know that behaviors pass.
8 – Talk About Your Relationship Often
Your relationship won’t stay the same, and that’s one of the amazing things about it. As you grow and change, so too does your relationship.
This is why it is so important for you to talk to each other about your relationship often.
Use these as check-ins, or ask if there’s anything you want to change or do better?
Discuss what it is you love about your relationship, spend time reminiscing about the past and what you’ve achieved together, and always look to the future and to goals you have created together.
Plus, it’s fun to hear what each other thinks and feels about your relationship! If you’re stuck for ideas, use these questions to help get the conversation started.
9 – Create A Partnership, Not A Competition
Regardless of how competitive you may be, your relationship is a partnership between two loving people, not a competition.
This doesn’t mean you can’t compete to see who wins the most rounds of Scrabble, it means that you shouldn’t keep score in a ‘tit for tat’ type of way.
Arguing about who does more for the relationship or who contributes more creates a competitive environment, which can sometimes lead to lasting issues, especially if one person is more competitive.
There will always be times when someone does more in a relationship than the other, because that’s how life works.
And that’s one part of being partners, you find ways to work together and help each other.
You always have someone to help you through, that’s why it’s a partnership, you don’t have to do it alone.
As long as you’re always giving everything you can, doing your part, and not taking each other for grander, that should be enough. Don’t compete over petty things, create a partnership so you can tackle it all together.
Types Of Relationship Goals
The goals you create in a relationship are usually broken down into a few different categories and types.
From the examples of relationship goals listed above, you can then take these general goals and make them more specific by adding details to them and fitting them into the following types of goals for couples:
Long-term goals are usually the goals you start to set in a serious relationship that can help you to determine and see where you want your relationship to head in the long run.
These goals can be things like where you want to live, what you want to achieve, your financial goals, and how you want to create your own happy marriage, and usually are goals that will take 3+ years to achieve.
It’s also important you check in on these goals regularly to make sure you’re on the right track and working together to achieve them.
These can also be the kind of goals couples make when they’re indicating to each other they’re in the relationship for the long haul.
Short-term goals are goals that are in the goals that you’re working on in the immediate to near future (usually up to around 3 years, but again, this is individual to everyone).
Often you’ll start to create these kinds of goals if you’re in a new relationship, but they’re also important for more established relationships too.
They can include different things like ways to create regular communication habits, how you plan to meet each other’s emotional needs, regular date night ideas, or simple things like the next road trip you want to take together, or what you want to do for your weekly date night.
Creating these goals together is a great sign of a healthy couple that takes time to listen to each other, cares for the way their partner feels, works to be on the same page, and can help understand each other on a deeper level, which also helps you to navigate the hard times in a relationship.
While it’s important to be working towards a common goal, it is just as important to ensure you’re creating your own individual goals and working on your own personal growth.
Setting individual goals is also a great way to keep in touch with what it is you want in a relationship, what you want to bring to a relationship, your own emotional goals, as well as what it is you want to achieve in your life.
While it’s easy to get caught up in all the exciting aspects of creating goals together, it’s important to remember at the end of the day you are two different people with different opinions, creating a life together.
Why You Need To Set Goals As A Couple
So now you know what goals you should have as a couple, but do you know why you should have them?
We often forget that as a couple, you aren’t just one entity… you are two separate individuals with individual wants and needs. You have different ideas of what you want, and although there’s often crossover (hence why you’re so compatible) there are still going to be some things that are just… different.
That’s what makes relationships so fun... I mean… how boring would it be if you were both exactly the same.
This means, that when it comes to setting goals, it’s important to set them together, as a couple (as well as individually – but that’s another story for another day).
Setting goals together means that you’re both on the same page, working towards the same thing, and encouraging each other along the way.
These goals also provide somewhat of a framework for your relationship – the standard of what you expect from each other – which is so important too.
When Should You Start Setting Goals Together?
If you’re sitting down for a massively deep and meaningful chat the moment your Facebook status goes from ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship’ then there might be a quick trip to ‘it’s complicated’ before you know it.
This doesn’t mean you should avoid talking about your goals and what you want from your relationship – it just means that goal setting early on looks different from when you’ve been a long-term couple.
While you might not be diving deep into each other’s Love Language early (if you are… good on you for getting in early) you might start trying new things together and keep this as your goal.
It’s a lot easier to start a relationship with the expectations and goals you want, rather than trying to add them in years later, so keep these in mind as you create the foundation of your relationship.
Essentially there are no hard and fast rules about when you should start creating goals as a couple, only you will know when it feels right.
How Often Should We Set Goals As A Couple?
Again, this is going to be something that is unique to you and your relationship, but it certainly isn’t a one-time thing that you just do and then forget about.
At the very least, you should be reviewing your goals each year (your anniversary is a good time to do this), and ask yourselves if they still suit you, if you’re happy with where you are in working towards them, or if you need to create new goals (or refine the ones you have).
It’s good to keep your goals written down somewhere to help you when it comes time to check in, and if you keep them somewhere visible, you can see them as a daily reminder of what you’re working towards.
When you review your goals, it’s important to do so in a positive way, remember these goals are to help your relationship, creating arguments over them isn’t going to be helpful.
Relationships are complicated, and as simple as it sounds to do these things, actually implementing them can be hard work.
But when you’re doing this with the person you love the most in the world, then it’s worth it.