Written by Caroline Meyer
Forget the memes and the social media phenomenon of what relationship goals should be. The saccharine sweet and over the top ideas of what a relationship should be will lead to nothing but disappointment as they are generally unrealistic. Real relationships are somewhat different to what is on social media and while most of the online posts are hypothetical, there are some real relationship goals worth striving for. Goals should be inspirational and attainable and do not have to be the same as what your friends want in their relationships. Focus on the facts, see what you can commit to working towards and build your goals based on your own path to happiness in a healthy relationship.
While it is wonderful being one half of a couple, it is important that both people in the relationship do not lose sight of who they are as individuals. Don’t lose your individual identity. Many people give up on their hobbies and interests and even personal friendships. You need to set a goal of being two people in one relationship and support each other in separate pursuits as well.
For Better Or Worse
A relationship can go through ups and downs, and it is seldom a case of happily ever after. You have to accept that this is normal and persevere through the bad times to enjoy the good. When you are able to handle the bad times and not just enjoy the good times, your relationship becomes stronger.
Never Stop Growing
Improve yourself as a person and encourage your partner to do the same. Support each other in your goals and challenge each other positively. Learning and improving your knowledge is a good way to improve yourself and expand your mind. Supporting each other in endeavours is a good way to bond while you grow.
Respect the Date Night Ritual
A growing family can take up a lot of time. It is important to take time out to be together as a couple. Date night allows you to give each other one on one attention where you can discuss your relationship as opposed to the daily ups and downs of family life. Make an effort to make time for each other.
Take Care Of Each Other
Part of being in a good relationship means considering the other person and their needs. Their interests need to be in the forefront of your mind when making decisions. Respect the other person and consider their emotions and vulnerabilities. Your partner should always be high on your list of priorities and you need to treat each other in a way that shows how much you value the other person.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Show your partner how much you care. Don’t take your partner for granted. It can be small things or the occasional grand gesture, but doing something for the other person now and then is important. It shows that you thought about the other person and put your mind to actively doing something for them.
You should never need to hide who you are or put on airs and graces in front of your partner. You should both know the real person. Be honest and open with each other in all situations. This is the person who will see you naked emotionally and physically. You need to be comfortable with each other from when you open your eyes to a sleepy-headed, clear faced person to the fully made up, smartly dressed and put together person after an hour or two of primping.
Trust Is Important
No relationship works without trust. Avoid snooping on each other’s phones and social media. If there is a lack of trust and suspicion that the other person is not completely honest, the relationship is on rocky ground. You both need to feed secure in the relationship and know you can rely on your partner. Neither of you should need to feel threatened by other people in your partner’s life.
Never Lose The Romance
Yes, no relationship stays the same and the fire and passion of a new relationship will calm down to something comfortable and familiar over time. That doesn’t mean that the romance needs to die all together. Simple things such as holding hands while watching a movie together, the occasional breakfast in bed, take a walk on the beach together or give each other a massage. A note in a lunchbox or a single rose delivered to work, sweet gestures that show you love each other goes a long way to keeping a relationship strong.
Create adventures, make memories together. You don’t have to go all out such as skiing the Alps or drinking champagne in Paris, your adventures will be based on what you can afford and what interests both of you as a couple. Travel together or simply go for a hike locally. Explore the world or your own backyard. Go to a music concert or a local karaoke bar. Visit a nearby fancy restaurant or simply have a coffee at a new place. Create your own memories that you can look back on. These memories belong to the two of you and create your own little world together that you can draw on when things get tough.
It is important that both partners are involved in the financial matters that concern the home and family. Discuss all the big decisions such as buying a home. For the smaller decisions, you can divide and conquer. Agree who will be doing what and that there is no mis-communications resulting in expenses not being paid or the shopping not being done. Any changes should be discussed openly and honestly so there are no arguments over money.
Laugh & Love
Laugh together! Whether it is at a crazy joke or something the other person did, it is important to keep your sense of humour alive. Laughter can help you overcome some of the tough times. Remember to keep your love life alive as well. Flirt with each other and enjoy your physical relationship too. This will change and grow over time as well. Don’t be afraid to talk to each other so that you both get what you need physically as well as emotionally. Don’t be afraid to set the mood with candles, soft music and fancy lingerie. Switch things up now and then to keep it interesting and fun.
It is unreasonable to expect that everything will be rainbows and fairy tales in a normal relationship. There will be conflicts. How the two of you handle the conflict will make all the difference. It is not about winning or losing but rather communicating, compromising and getting past the conflict. Listen to each other and try and keep things calm so you can work through the issue and end up with a stronger relationship.
Look to The Future
Set some long-term goals together. This helps you both feel more secure in the relationship as well as give you a sense of accomplishment when you achieve things together. Talk about it, lay out the plans and work together towards a common goal. This helps you imagine a future together and affirms a commitment to staying together.
Your partner should also be your best friend. As part of a couple, you should get to know each other better than anyone else. You will be spending much of your time together and you should be able to be open and honest with each other. Have fun together and give each other the benefit of the doubt. Be on the same team and have your partner’s back. Don’t run your partner down and show a high regard to each other in front of others as well. Be the person the other person can come to with any issues they want to discuss or if they simply need love and comfort. Be non-judgemental and be the safe space your partner needs (and they can do the same for you).
Relationships will have ups and downs and having an idea of the perfect partnership in your head may be a recipe for disaster. Keep it real and honest and you can end up with a relationship that is happy and good for both of you. Forget the Instagram and Facebook posts and focus on what is important in your own relationship. Live the real!