4 relationship goals
4 relationship goals you must have
Every relationship has different goals that can vary as much as the people within them. For some, it’s entirely straight-forward; they want to follow the cultural or societal milestones of dating, marriage, buying a house and then having children. For others, perhaps at the further end of the scale, it’s more about having fun, dating as many people as possible and going with the flow. Although these are very different relationship approaches, it doesn’t make either one more or less goal oriented than its opposite. Goals aren’t always about having the big and all-encompassing five-year plan, they’re about anything that serves as an aid to clarity.
Unsurprisingly, the most important goal you can have in any sort of relationship is for clear and honest communication. This means cultivating the freedom and space within the partnership to listen, as well as have your voice heard. Both listening and speaking unguardedly can take practice and, depending on the background of you and your partner, may feel daunting. For this reason, it’s wrong to assume that someone is intentionally not communicating simply because you don’t understand their behavioural language or, because they struggle with it. We each have our own way of dealing with emotions or thoughts and some people have genuinely never learned to express themselves. Others have never been allowed to.
With patience and a clear intention that what you want in a relationship is free speech, no judgement and openness, a lot of issues can be stamped out before they even surface. It means less build-up of problems, less sweeping important matters under the carpet, and a greater inclination to work as a partnership to find solutions together.
Without a solid foundation of communication, the capacity that couples have to rely on assumptions will grow. This can in turn, lead to disappointment, anger or resentment, as well as wasted time, if not caught quickly enough.
Committed vs. open
Somewhere between the teenage years and adulthood we stop formally asking the question ‘Do you want to be my boyfriend/girlfriend?’ to our partners. Whilst, we’re not saying you should necessarily revert back to this, maybe think about it. Within it there is an innocence and a romance, one superior perhaps to the assumption it has been replaced with. Thinking that you are automatically dating exclusively after a certain period of time, or after your first sexual experience together, is no longer a reliable measure. If you want to have an intimate and exclusive relationship, we highly recommend making it clear to the person you’re with.
It’s very easy to meet someone, begin ‘hanging out’, get swept along into dating and then believe you’re exclusively and mutually committed to one another. Unfortunately, there is a lot of heartbreak that stems from one partner being so attentive and loving that the other has simply assumed they weren’t seeing other people, when in fact they were.
An absolute goal in any relationship should be knowing where each of you stand on being monogamous or being involved with other people. This includes discussing gender preferences, emotional boundaries and rules that will help to keep you both aware of what is happening. Implied commitment to only each other is not enough. That’s not to say you can’t have an open relationship and still be committed, simply that any level of attachment should have a foundation on what is right for you both.
Sex is important to people in a variety of different ways and for this reason, one of the goals you should have is to treat it as a part of your relationship, rather than an added bonus, or the most important factor. Assuming you’re not having a fling and that this is a long-term relationship based on more than convenient sex, setting sexual goals is a good investment in your intimate health.
Contrary to popular belief, sex in a relationship won’t always take care of itself without maintenance. Sexual goals that flow and change with the evolving needs of each partner, and the relationship as a whole, mean hopefully there is less room to be blindsided by each other and, more room to adapt to any changes that arise. Examples of goals in your sex life look like keeping a jar of intimate fantasies, making sure weeks don’t pass without it, taking turns to initiate, or having sex somewhere different once a month.
Remember, honeymoon stage sex does not last forever and what he enjoyed last year may be different to what floats his boat this year. Likewise, her desires may now include things she has not previously mentioned. As you change, it makes no sense to think that your sexual needs and desires will not.
Self care is necessary in relationships to keep you connected with your self and diminish the possibility of unhealthy co-dependency. One of the most destructive things you can do in a relationships is lose yourself in someone else. It can lead to a partner feeling claustrophobic, responsible for you, or sometimes even unable to express themselves as a separate and individual human being.
Self care takes many different forms and can include making sure to maintain healthy relationships also with other people; staying connected to your family, keeping separate hobbies and keeping a confidant, perhaps in a best friend. It can involve spending time outside the house as well as alone within the house, so that you’re not continuously in each other’s pockets. This may sound counter-intuitive, but living in this way means you’re less likely to feel trapped or stifled. It may even provide you with more interesting things to discuss when together.