Love makes the world go round.
Love is the most powerful of human emotions. We all want to love and be loved in return but finding the one we love can be tricky. Staying in love after finally finding your sweetheart is even more complicated. Love does not come easy.
Contrary to what Hollywood would have you believe, the story does not end once the protagonists are finally together – relationships need work.
Making it to the alter and vowing to stand by each other’s side for better or worse, is the beginning of a wonderful yet challenging journey. Making that promise means allowing your significant other to grow and change. It means choosing the love you have for each other as it too transforms over time.
You can’t put your relationship on the backburner, get busy with your other commitments and stay confident for it to work out because love lasts forever. Remember what made you search for love in the first place; attention, affection, warmth, connection, security.
If those essential aspects of love cease to exist then all you have to keep going are memories of when your relationship was at its best. And that is an extremely weak foundation to build a life together with someone.
Here’s what you can do to avoid stagnation in a relationship; be realistic with your expectations and prepare for the things that will cause strain on your relationship in the long run by deciding on some relationship goals. Note: be realistic, not lower your expectations.
If done right and handled with care, your relationship could very well remain an anchor of happiness throughout your lifetime. In this article, we are going to discuss the goals you can set for your relationship to keep that fire ignited as years roll into decades of the two of you together.
15 Relationship Goals
Here are the 15 relationship goals to keep those butterflies fluttering in the pit of your stomach long after your first date:
1. Talk it out
Communication is key. At the start of your journey be clear of your goals and aspirations with your partner so they are on the same page as you. Once you are in a committed relationship with someone any big decision you make will affect them so it is only fair to inform them beforehand and consider their views and opinions.
When it comes to feelings, as much as it is important to tell your partner that you love them, it is equally important to voice your fears, reservations or exasperation. Keeping your feelings bottled up from the fear that you would end up hurting your significant other will only lead them to spill over at the worst moments causing more damage.
Communicate your feelings to your partner in a respectful way. Keep them in the loop of what’s going on in your head to avoid catching them unawares. Make sure they are on the same page as you when taking big decisions. Be on the same page with your partner when it comes to setting relationship goals.
Here are some ways to improve your communication skills
2. Understand your partner’s perspective
Maybe you got together with your partner thinking the two of you are like peas in a pod. But it is virtually impossible to always hold the same opinion on every matter. Disagreements are bound to happen when you spend a lot of time with someone. That doesn’t mean the relationship is heading toward a disaster. One of your relationship goals should be centered around understanding your partner.
Disagreements are part and parcel of sharing a life with someone. Strive to understand your partner’s perspective and broaden your vision in turn. There is always something new that you could learn. Two people can co-exist with differing viewpoints as long as they respect each other’s right to hold an opinion and approach the subject with a certain level of detachment.
3. Be the first to back out of arguments
Make it a point to always be the first one to lay down your weapons when things get heated. Does this mean compromising your values? Not at all. You can always go back and talk things over once the two of you are calm. A relationship is sure to go downhill when both partners start keeping a scoreboard of who wins or loses.
Don’t let ego and pettiness ruin something beautiful. Remember this is a person you love, each one of us has certain stress triggers, find out your partners and tread over it carefully. This does not mean you should be intimidated by your partner, it only means you should always come from a place of compassion and kindness rather than anger when discussing the most sensitive issues.
4. Don’t let resentment fester
Again, talk it out. If it is something that keeps bothering you don’t brush your feelings aside and let resentment fester. Approach the matter with your partner in a non-accusatory tone, explain to them what it is that you are not okay with and how it is making you feel. Both of you should try to figure out what works for the two of you. Find common ground; try to meet each other half-way.
5. Be the first to forgive
So you should always be the first to buy a dozen roses, chocolates, and an apology letter? If that becomes a norm couples who make it well into old age together may just end up broke.
There are going to be arguments, tensions, and disagreements. But it is how the two of you overcome the challenges laid out in front of you that will determine the course of your relationship. Forgive and forget. Don’t keep a scorecard recalling each fight you two had just so you can build a case against your loved one. Once the matter’s been resolved, let it go and move on.
6. Prioritize your relationship
Your partner deserves your love and attention. Being in a relationship does not mean you should lay off your dreams for your career or your future. But your partner should always remain an important part of your picture of life. Don’t shove them in the background, keep them front and center in the spotlight.
7. Take time out for yourself
We all need a break. Doesn’t mean we are fed up of our partner. Your romantic relationship cannot possibly be the only relationship you have in life. And while you may derive joy, security and warmth from your relationship with your partner, the other relationships you have inspire fulfillment in aspects the former may not.
Take time out for friends, family and yourself.
Just because the chase is over now the two of you finally together do not mean you don’t need to woo your partner any longer. Keep the spark alive. Light those candles, dim the lights and enjoy a romantic dinner. Recapture that feeling of being in love for the first time.
9. Spend good time together
Indulge in your hobbies and participate in your partner’s. Enjoy your time together, have fun and create everlasting memories with each other.
10. Be there for your partner
Life is not a bed of roses. There may be times of pure, unadulterated joy and there will be those days when you find yourself fighting an uphill battle. Loving someone is staying by their sides even in their worst of times. This is not come at the cost of your mental health, at no point does it become okay to suffer abuse at the hands of your partner and excuse the behavior by citing “having a bad day” in their list of reasons.
When your partner is struggling through a difficult time that is when they need your love and support the most. Reassure them that you are going to be by their side, that when they are unsure about the future they have someone to come back to and they can always count on you for help and support.
11. Talk about finances
Money is often a source of conflict. Always be upfront about your finances with your partner and mutually devise a management plan that caters to your everyday needs and avoid unnecessary expenditure. Focus on building your finances as a couple and devise a system that is transparent and fair.
12. Appreciate each other
We get to a point in our relationship where the random acts of kindness that partners do for us become part of everyday routine. We tend to overlook the little sacrifices that our loved ones make for the sake of our happiness.
Acknowledging their small acts of love by saying Thank you or simply complementing their efforts can mean the whole world for the other person. It makes them feel seen and feel rewarded for all they do.
13. Motivate and encourage
Part of being with someone is going on to love them as they learn, grow and change. Watching them blossom and encouraging them to be better versions of themselves. Cheer them on when they set new goals for themselves, provide them with the support and encouragement needed to accomplish them.
As set out to acquire a new skill chances are they are not going to be very good at it in the beginning. It takes, time, patience, and practice to get better at something new. Appreciate their hard work, offer constructive criticism to help them improve but do not kill their spirit with harsh words.
14. Travel together
Nothing is more life-changing than traveling. It makes one humble as we realize the small space we occupy in a huge world. It makes us more open to accepting differences in culture, traditions and religious beliefs. It makes us accept diversity. And what could be better than going on this transformative journey with your loved one?
Escape the humdrum of daily life and go on an adventure together.
15. Love Unconditionally
Your love for your significant other should not come with strings attached. While your expectations should be based on mutual respect, non-judgment and fidelity, you should not enter into a relationship treating your partner as a work in progress. Setting out to changing their very nature is setting off on a wrong start.
There is only an extent to which a person can change, so don’t set unrealistic expectations for your partner to meet. Chances are they will keep falling short making you feel disappointed and them feeling worse about themselves not measuring up to your standards. That is going to create a cocktail of negative feelings that you do not want in a healthy relationship.
Don’t hold your love hostage forcing your partner to behave in a certain way to make you feel better. Every one of us speaks a different language of expressing love. Understand what comes to your partner naturally to express their love for others, find out what you want out of the relationship to make you feel loved and appreciated then communicate your feelings to your partner.
Be patient with them as they learn to speak your language of love. Maybe what makes you feel loved are words of affirmations but for your partner, it is acts of service. You might have been looking forward to your partner complimenting your new hairstyle over dinner, but they might have comprehended clearing away the table and washing the dishes to show you how much you mean to them that they are constantly striving to make life less exhausting for you.
It can get frustrating when you don’t see where your partner is coming from, but effective communication, lots of patience, and encouragement will help the two of you work out a formula for your relationship which works for both.
Here’s a quick recap of 15 Relationship Goals that will make your Heart Flutter:
- Talk it out
- Understand your partner’s perspective
- Be the first to back out of arguments
- Don’t let resentment fester
- Be the first to forgive
- Prioritize your relationship
- Take time out for yourself
- Spend good time together
- Be there for your partner
- Talk about finances
- Appreciate each other
- Motivate and encourage
- Travel together
- Love Unconditionally
Setting relationship goals at the start is good for relationships because it gives you a sense of direction of where you are headed with your partner. Don’t sleep on your relationship. Keep striving to be your best and make an active effort to keep love alive.
There is no such thing as a happily ever after, relationships need work. What makes a difference, in the end, is choosing the love you have for the other person over all else time and again.