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Are you unsure where your relationship is going? And you would like to set some clear goals.
Goals can help you see the direction your relationship is going and check if it aligns with your personal life goals and ambitions. It helps to know that you and your partner share the same relationship goals. Knowing this would help you direct your time, money and effort towards a specific objective while working together to achieve it. At the same time, you should consider each other’s individual goals and ambitions. Being honest and upfront when discussing what you want can help you set realistic goals and manage your expectations.
In this article, you will learn the importance of identifying what you want; how to set your goals in your relationship; and get clear on how achieving them will contribute to your life and your relationship.
What Are Relationship Goals?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, goals are:
- The end toward which effort is directed : AIM
- An area or object toward which players in various games attempt to advance a ball or puck and usually through or into which it must go to score points
The act or action of causing a ball or puck to go through or into such a goal
The score resulting from such an act
- The terminal point of a race
An area to be reached safely in children’s games
Having a relationship without a plan and specific goals, it’s like going on a trip without the destination.
Many couples don’t have a plan and go with the flow in their relationship. This may be romantic and allow more freedom on the surface. However, it doesn’t tend to work in the long term.
Allowing things to flow at the beginning of the relationship is ok. For a casual or short term relationship setting goals, may not be that important. But once you decide to make your relationship a bit more serious. You need to decide what you want out of your relationship.
What Are Personal Goals?
Throughout your life, you will have people who come and go, including your family. The only person that will always be there it’s you. When you know how to look after yourself, you can look after the person you’re with. The same goes for your partner. If either of you can’t or doesn’t know how to look after yourself, this job falls on the person you’re with.
A healthy and happy relationship is when you share your joy for life with your partner, rather than expecting them to bring joy into your life.
To create a successful relationship with others, first of all, you need to create one with yourself.
The better you know yourself, the clearer you can express your likes and dislikes to your partner. Instead of leaving them guessing how you feel and what you want.
Clear communication helps you have a better understanding of your relationship. This leaves less room for misunderstandings and arguments. It also frees up time and energy to enjoy your relationship instead of seeing it as a burden.
Relationship Goals for Singles
If you are single, you can set your personal goals first. Once you know what you want to achieve in your own life. You can then decide what type of relationship you would like to have. Make sure that the type of relationship you want is compatible with your personal goals.
Once you know the relationship you want, you can think about what you would like to achieve from being in such a relationship.
When you are single, you can enjoy your hobbies, interests and work on your personal development. Getting into a relationship should be something that enhances your life. The more you have to share with a partner, the more exciting and interesting your relationship can be.
It’s important to be congruent with your personal goals and your relationship goals before you get into a relationship. It’s only a matter of being honest with yourself and what you want. The same goes for your potential partner.
Relationship Goals for a Couple
Before you set relationship goals as a couple, you need to be very clear on your personal goals. When you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to lose yourself to the relationship and forget what’s important for you personally.
Both you and your partner are individuals. Each of you has your own values, beliefs and preferences. Always remember what is important for you, so that you can take care of yourself. When both partners can take care of themselves, only then, they can create a successful relationship.
Some people look for relationships expecting their partner to fulfil their needs in ways that they should fulfil themselves. This creates an inherent expectation from your partner to fulfil your needs. Expectations create pressure, and pressure creates tension. Tension strains the relationship and gets in the way of harmony.
Depending on the things that are important for you, you can start laying down your relationship goals.
Relationship goals are not set in stone and are not there to cause pressure in the relationship. They serve as a guide to where the relationship is to go, so you and your partner know you are working towards the same goal. This avoids doubts and insecurities, which in turn can cause issues in your relationship.
Setting goals for a relationship is an important part to make it healthy and successful.
To set specific goals for your relationship you should:
- Know your personal goals.
- Your relationship goals.
- Have a plan for where you want your relationship to go
Relationship Goals Examples
Setting goals for your relationship depends on the type of relationship you want to have with this person. If you want a serious relationship, you should have a plan and a moving in date.
Depending on your values, culture or religion, you may plan to get married. You may need to plan for the wedding itself and the place you will be living after getting married. Although, this latter is also applicable to couples that are just moving in together.
The more serious the relationship, the more goals you will need to set. As you will be sharing more responsibilities, you should also plan for your finances, career, studies, work and interests. So, that you enjoy both your relationship and your personal development.
However, if you want a casual relationship, you can take it easy and enjoy it while it lasts. In this case, making plans and setting goals is less important.
Relationship Goals in a Long Distance Relationship
In a long-distance relationship, clear communication is even more important. When you are starting a long-distance relationship you should discuss how long it will last and how often you can visit each other. These are the most fundamental goals you should have in a long-distance relationship if you are to make it successful.
There are seven stages of a long-distance relationship. Having a timeline can help you navigate through those stages. Having goals can keep you on the right track. Having a plan can reassure you that you know what’s going on in your relationship.
When you’re away you should have weekly recap sessions. During the sessions, you can discuss your thoughts and feelings to see if anything has changed in your circumstances. Feelings and circumstances change all the time, so you must share these changes with each other to see how they affect your long-distance relationship.
When to Talk About Relationship Goals?
Once you’re clear on your personal goals and your partner is clear on theirs, you can discuss your thoughts and feelings about your relationship.
Clear and effective communication will make it easier to discuss different aspects of your relationship.
When you start a relationship, you should discuss your expectations, the direction you would like this relationship to go. By doing so, you are checking that you and your partner want the same things out of a relationship.
A relationship won’t work if, for example, you want to get married one day and your partner doesn’t believe in marriage.
When you are in a serious relationship having a timeline for your relationship can help you navigate the direction you want to take. Having goals can keep you on the right track. Having a plan can reassure you that you know what’s going on in your relationship.
Discussing your thoughts and feelings frequently can help you acknowledge how they are changing and if you need to adjust. Feelings and circumstances change all the time. So, it’s important that you share these changes with each other to see how they affect your relationship.
How to Talk About Relationship Goals?
- Tell your partner you would like to talk to them, so you can arrange a time and place that is suitable
- Be clear and honest in expressing your feelings and intentions
- Ask your partner how they feel about you and your relationship
- If both of you want the same, you can agree on setting some goals for your relationship
How to Set Relationship Goals
Here’s how you can set your goals and make a plan for your relationship:
- Sett personal goals.
- Talk to your partner about your personal goals and vice versa.
- Set relationship goals with your partner.
- Make sure your goals are specific and achievable
- Set realistic expectations about how these goals will contribute to your life and your relationship
- Make a plan to achieve your goals and a timeline for when and how you will achieve your goals
- If your feelings and circumstances change along the way, you may need to reassess your goals and readjust your plan
Relationship Goals Checklist
To help you check if you are heading in the right direction with your relationship goals. If you cannot answer with a ‘yes’ to the following questions. Then, you should reassess your personal goals.
- Are you clear on your personal goals?
- Have you talked about your personal goals with your partner?
- Is your partner clear on their personal goals?
- Have your partner expressed their personal goals?
- Have you decided what type of relationship you are having?
- Have you talked about the relationship goals each of you have?
- Do you have common relationship goals?
- Have you created a plan to achieve your personal goals?
- Have you created a plan to achieve your relationship goals?
- Are your personal and relationship goals compatible?
Many couples start their relationship without having a clear idea of what they want and expect from their relationship. The right partner and the right type of relationship can contribute to your life and well-being in many ways. However, leaving it to chance while may seem romantic, can create false expectations and leave you and your partner feeling disappointed about each other and your relationship.
Setting goals and planning your relationship doesn’t take away from the romance. In fact, it creates a healthy environment for the romance to exist while addressing your needs and taking care of the practical aspects of your relationship.
A healthy relationship contributes to your life, your personal goals and ambitions. An unhealthy relationship can take you off your chosen path. You may end up struggling in a relationship that isn’t working, instead of being in a relationship that you enjoyed.
A relationship should be helping you to achieve your personal goals. At the same time, your relationship goals have to match those of your partner. Otherwise, the relationship just won’t work.
Hopefully, by now, you have a better understanding of the importance of setting goals in your relationship and how to do it the right way with your partner.
Help and Advice for Setting Goals in a Relationship
- Be clear on what you want from your life and your relationship
- Be open and honest with your partner about what you want
- Set realistic expectations for your relationship
- Make sure your personal goals are not in conflict with your relationship goals
- Your relationship goals should match
If you don’t know how to set goals for your relationship and need professional help and advice, we’ll be happy to help! Check out our coaching options here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should couples have goals?
Couples in a serious relationship should have clear short-term and long-term goals. As well as a clear plan and timeline on how to achieve them. It also helps to know how you expect these goals to contribute to your relationship and your individual lives.
Should you talk about your goals?
The only way to set goals and make sure you want the same things from our relationship is to talk about them. Try to express yourselves as openly and honestly as you can and try to hear each other out. Understanding exactly what you want and expect from this relationship.
What are good goals for a relationship?
Your goals will depend on your personal values and what you want from a relationship. Some relationship goals may include, moving in together, travelling, buying a house, having children, etc.
What are long-term goals in a relationship?
In a long-term relationship, you are going to spend a lot of time together. First of all, enjoying your relationship should be one of your priorities. So, your goals could include:
Having better communication
To build a deeper understanding and connection
To work together to achieve things that matter to both of you
Travelling the world
Building a business
Having a family
How to achieve relationship goals?
First, you need to agree on what your common relationship goals are. Then, make a plan and set a timeline for when you can realistically achieve these goals. Finally, navigate your relationship towards these goals while recognising and adapting to any changes and challenges you may face along the way.