I really used to think that some things in a relationship are normal and natural. A while back, I would look at successful relationships and think they were just meant to be soul mates. Then a light dawned on me. Relationships need work and part of the work is to make long-term relationship goals. These goals are very important and they help to know a lot about your relationship and could save you from wasting time.
This post might be quite long because there is quite a lot to discuss. It will shed light on the benefits of having long-term relationship goals, why you should be interested in having these goals, the kind of issues to be discussed, how to talk about them with your partner and how to ensure you both stay on track. I will also give you a few examples of long-term relationship goals. So let’s begin.
If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.Yogi Berra
In the previous post, I told you the trick to setting goals and how to ensure that you stay on track. I also added a worksheet; if you haven’t downloaded please do. Part of the goals to set were relationship goals. Every relationship needs long-term relationship goals if you are serious about having a relationship together. Why, though do you need long-term relationship goals?
1. They strengthen your relationship.
A disconnected team cannot discuss goals. Long-term relationship goals is not just a topic you sit and talk about in one day. It is a continuous process and mostly these conversations pop from no where. For example, how many kids do you want to have? As you talk about goals together, you build a bond. I find that when you have somebody with similar interests with you, there is a stronger connection.
Goals also require planning. These are my favorite conversations: planning how we will accomplish our goals! If this does not make you happier I have no words!
2. They prove commitment.
Nothing shows commitment more than setting long-term relationship goals together. It gives both you and your partner a clear picture how determined you are to making this relationship work. Yes, it is amazing when things are spontaneous but it is good to have a road map.
3. Enhances teamwork.
I consider my relationship to be a team. A team usually has a common goal; to win. In this case, winning is having the best relationship that we can have. It involves doing our best at all times and ensuring that we can accomplish our planned relationship goals.
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.Helen Keller
Teamwork goes hand in hand with trust. When you set goals and agree on them as partners, you build trust. This is because you will rely on your partner to do their part and you do yours. To ensure you do not lose trust, make sure you communicate fully and honestly. If there is something you are supposed to do but it is taking longer, tell your partner so that he/she is not disappointed.
Always try your best to make it work.
4. Relieves burden.
There are times in a relationship when you actually feel like you are the only one in your relationship. An easy way to solve that is to set long-term relationship goals. Part of setting these goals is agreeing who will do what. Each of you should have some sort of responsibility in ensuring that everything works out well.
When somebody is constantly not playing their role; it should ring a bell.
You know that stress you go through when you are thinking whether you are on the same page? When you have long-term relationship goals, this will not bother you again. You have the confidence that you are working towards a common goal.
To summarize the benefits of having long-term relationships goals:
- It is an easy way to tell how much someone is committed to the relationship. Disagreeing on a goal does not imply that there is no commitment. What matters is that you have at least a few goals you can agree on.
- You get a clear view of where your relationship is heading to. Goals are the road map.
- Builds trust as you learn to work as a team and understand each others strengths and weaknesses.
How to set long-term relationship goals.
I provided a template that you can use for setting goals. The process is pretty much the same. A big disclaimer when it comes to relationship goals is they are discussed over a period of time. Do not rush things. Wait for at least a year to start discussing some of the issues I will mention below.
All the same, what are the issues that are looked at? I will only list them in no order. They are some of the issues I find sensitive and I feel need to be set as goals.
- Time spent with one another. On which day do you exclusively spend time with each other?
- Wedding. Do you believe in weddings? When do you plan on getting married?
- Kids. How many? At what age?
- Home. What is your dream home? Location?
- Happiness. What can you do to bring more happiness?
- Being there for each other. How can you be there for each other more often?
These are just a few. There is a lot in a relationship that needs to be highlighted! An example is, “We will be travel to Mombasa this year and spend some time alone”. The question then is, how can we make that goal come to life? We need to save. Does it mean we open a joint bank account?
You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.Dr. Seuss
This way, you can save each other from overspending. You can sacrifice expensive stuff without feeling bad because you both know there is a goal that needs to be accomplished.
How do you stay on track?
The process is similar to what we discussed in how to set goals and accomplish them. For long-term relationship goals though, a few more things are required.
Communication is the most important factor when it comes to making a relationship succeed. So for you to make goals and ensure that you stay on track, you have to kindly keep checking on each other.
Do not over promise. Update your partner on what you have done and what you haven’t done. What are you planning to do? Do you need help or advice? Be open and honest.
When you set long-term relationship goals together, you open a space for you to be hurt. How? Because you can be easily disappointed when things don’t match your expectations. That where forgiveness comes in.
We are not equal. Give yourself room to be disappointed. When your partner doesn’t meet your expectations; communicate, forgive and trust again. Especially if he/she has done his/her best.
3. Use the right language
No blame games! Be kind, respectful and humble. Language matters. Avoid words like ‘you always’ or ‘you have never’. Remember to use please and thank you. If you are disappointed, start by appreciating your partner then express your disappointment.
Also learn how to successfully resolve conflict in relationships.
4. Do things together
Setting long-term relationship goals is the beginning of having projects that require you to work as a team. When you learn to do things together, staying on track will not be hard. You will be familiar with how to get the best out of each and communicate effectively.
5. Spend lots of quality time
This will help your connection and communication. The more time you spend together, the more you get to freely open up about your progress, where you need help and what to adjust. The good thing is that you will discuss it in a loving environment.
Relationship goals are delicate. You need to master how to bring up such issues and communicate well. A few tips are:
- Do not force the discussion. If your partner is not interested. Do not persist. Wait until they are in a happier mood.
- Start it off as a joke. “Babe, I would if we can travel this year. Where can we go and spend quality time?” If it is fun, go ahead and add that you think it would be amazing if you would plan trips every year.
- Take it one goal at a time. For example, start with making a bucket list so that you know what each one of you is interested in.
- Be yourself. Do not be misled by the #relationshipgoals on social media. There is a lot of work involved it is just that you can never see it online.
We are like a deck of cards; different colors and symbols but one cannot work without the whole set.Anonymous
It has been long but you made it to the end. I hope that I have inspired you to make long-term relationship goals with your partner. Leave me a comment if you found these beneficial.
The November Newsletter is out and has two amazing posts that you do not want to miss. If you haven’t downloaded our goal planner template, you are missing out. Subscribe now to get access.