#relationship goals. That’s the evergreen hashtag in social media. But what are these relationship goals anyway? Well, for one, they are more than just a hashtag.
Partners in a relationship have some expectations from each other and the relationship. Relationship goals refer to the effort you and your partner put to keep the spark alive between you. These goals comprise the small things that you probably do without a lot of thought but create a huge positive impact.
Whether you are in a long-term relationship, just engaged, newlywed, or about to cross the 25th-anniversary milestone, your relationship can and should have goals, no matter how trivial or insignificant they may seem sometimes.
In this post, MomJunction lists down a few relationship goals which can strengthen and secure the bond that you and your partner share.
21 Relationship Goals For Couples
1. Make the relationship a priority
People come and go, things change and situations may make things difficult for the two of you. For example, you may decide to have a child, may have lost a parent, may have lost your job or have been offered one far away from home, or your grownup kids have moved out to live their own life.
Amidst all this, your partner is the one person who sticks by your side. Whatever happens, put your partner and your relationship on the forefront. Make them your priority and let them know that they come before anyone else.
How to achieve: Make a constant and conscious effort every day, and you’ll learn to give the relationship the importance it deserves.
Take a moment each day to ask yourself “Does this affect my relationship? What did I do today to nurture my relationship?”
2. Create a safe space for each other
We all have various roles to play in life. For example, you could be a strict boss at work, and at the same time, a loving partner or mother at home. No matter how we are with the rest of the world, our original or true self is free and comes out only when we are in a safe place. Your relationship must be such a safe place for both of you to be yourselves without any restrictions or insecurities.
How to achieve: When your partner confesses a mistake or expresses a desire, try to be understanding and supportive. No matter how bad or outrageous it might sound, never criticize or ridicule your partner, but put your point forward in a polite and meaningful way.
When you accept your partner as they are, without any judgment, they will feel free with you. The thought of having a relationship in which you can be your true self, relax and let go of all your worries will bring you both closer than ever.
3. Take out some ‘me’ time
There is a thin line between making your relationship a priority and suffocating your partner. Both you and your partner have had lives before getting into a relationship and must continue them even when you are together. Also, doing some things on your own will make you happy, and this happiness will surely resonate into your relationship.
How to achieve: One of the keys to a successful relationship is not to become codependent on one another. Do not make your partner the only reason for your happiness.
Take some time to do the things that interest you, even if they don’t interest your partner. It could be a hobby or just a night out with friends. At the same time, make sure you do not take so much me-time that you isolate your partner completely. Maintain a healthy balance between the two.
4. Accept each other with all your heart
Perfection and imperfection go hand in hand, and when you love a person, you have to enjoy the perfections and accept the flaws they have.
Both you and your partner might have entered into the relationship with some baggage, vulnerabilities, and suppressed desires and hopes. If both of you can create that trust and intimacy where you can tell each other anything, then such a relationship is more valuable than any treasure.
How to achieve: Make it a goal to be completely open with your partner. No matter how shameful you think the past can be, come out clean. The ability to be vulnerable and honest in a relationship strengthens the bond and makes you more lovable.
On the flip side, whenever your partner tells you their dark secrets, make sure to handle it with maturity and protect it with your life (unless of course, they confess something unlawful or there are differences in core moral principles).
5. Spend time with each other daily
This relationship goal may sound like a no-brainer, but it is a game changer. Yes! A study found that the time shared by couples is positively related to higher marital happiness and less marital disagreements (1).
Therefore, it is essential to spend some quality time with your spouse. However, do not mistake physical intimacy as spending quality time. As much as it is essential in a relationship, physical intimacy must not be the only time a couple can be together. Strive to be emotionally and intellectually connected as well.
How to achieve: It may seem pretty easy to spend time with the person who lives in the same house. But, in reality, many couples find it challenging to take out time for their spouse (especially when both the partners are working). So how do couples achieve this goal?
Have a conversation with your spouse at least once in the morning before you both head out to work and in the evening before you take care of other domestic responsibilities. Do not restrict this time to talk only about your conflicts or complain about each other. Let it be a casual and light-hearted conversation about what you did at work or outside and how it felt, and pay attention when your partner is sharing their experience for the day.
6. Fight to understand
No relationship is immune to fights and disagreements. But what sets a successful couple apart is how they fight. ‘What’s the difference?’, you may wonder. After all, a fight is a fight.
No! Not all conflicts are fights, and not all fights are fair. Sometimes, when you feel hurt, betrayed, or frustrated, you may say nasty things that you would not otherwise say to a loved one. That’s probably because you are hurt and not thinking. Nevertheless, such words can cause irreparable damage to a relationship.
How to achieve: Set up a relationship goal to have control on your anger, steer your arguments towards a solution and not on blaming each other.
Next time when you are in the middle of a heated argument, and you are about to spit ugly words, take a pause, breathe for a minute and ask yourself: “Do I need to say these words? Will they help in any way?” If the answer is no, then you know what to do.
Initially, it will be difficult to control your anger when your brain is telling you to give it back to your partner. But make it a goal to be kind, and it will not be long before your spouse also takes the path of calmness.
7. Have fun like kids
Life can be stressful with responsibilities and problems. And whenever you feel like taking a break, your relationship must be your go-to place.
Whenever you have a stressful day at work, your heart must long to be with your partner, as it is with your partner you will find solace.
How to achieve: It could be playing couples games or going through old photos or just childish fun every weekend. Whatever you do, make sure you are living in the moment and having fun as kids do.
You need not always plan a fun activity, even small spontaneous moments like playing tag or singing your favorite song out loud can do the deed. Bring out your inner child, be silly, and have fun together.
8. Understand and fulfill each other’s needs
Both you and your partner will have specific needs and expect each other to understand and fulfill them. Some needs can be conveyed, but some must be understood, and once you get the hang of your partner’s love language, set goals to offer more of what your partner needs from the relationship.
How to achieve: Observe how your partner shows love and what is that they complain about. Understand what irritates and what excites them. For example, if your partner is complaining about not being expressive enough, it means they often need assurance of love and affection from you.
Often the root cause of many relationship problems is unmet needs. But with some compromises and a few adjustments, this relationship goal can be achieved.
9. Never neglect physical intimacy
Physical intimacy must not be the sole pillar on which your relationship is built. But it sure occupies an important place in a relationship.
After all, we are all humans and have a natural desire to be physically intimate. That said, men and women see physical intimacy from different angles. Men need to be physical to have that emotional connect, whereas women find it difficult to be physically intimate until an emotional connection is established. Also, it is quite natural for couples to lose physical intimacy over time. So how can a couple set physical intimacy goals?
How to achieve: The key here is to discuss openly and be able to communicate your intimacy needs with your partner while respecting each other’s boundaries. Taking care of small things such as dressing up and maintaining physical hygiene can help keep the spark alive.
Also, whenever you feel your time in bed is getting monotonous, discuss with your partner, and try new things. On the other hand, if your heart still skips a beat upon seeing your partner, or you still have butterflies in your stomach when your partner kisses you, then know that sparks are flying high in your relationship.
10. Never end the day with anger
Fights are common between partners, but they must be like the seasonal rains – they should come and go. In a moment of rage, you might never want to talk to your partner ever again. But trust that warm feeling that generates in your heart once the anger fades away.
Also, brewing on anger will lead to resentment and create a gap. Blessed are those couples who can get back to normalcy after a fight and behave as nothing has happened. At the same time, they make sure not to repeat the mistake.
How to achieve: No matter who starts the fight, try to be the first one to end it. Make it a relationship goal not to drag the fight for more than a day. Never wait for your partner to end the fight as apologizing or compromising will not make you lose anything. In fact, it makes you the bigger person in the relationship.
Also, when your partner realizes their mistake and apologizes, be quick to forgive and do not use it against them. When you genuinely forgive a person, then at that moment, the mistake becomes a thing of the past.
11. Respect each other’s beliefs
You could have big goals in life and may want to achieve something and make your mark in the world. But your partner might believe in having a simple and comfortable life amid friends and family.
It is okay to have different beliefs as both you and your partner were raised as individuals in different environments. No matter how ridiculous or insignificant you think your partner’s views are, never demean them. Always try to respect each other’s boundaries.
How to achieve: Set a relationship goal to accept your partner for who they are. For example, your partner could be an atheist, and you religious. In such a case, you must respect their opinion and not drag them for worship. At the same time, they must respect your beliefs and not try to convince you that there is no god.
At any point, if your belief systems clash, then respectfully walk away, rather than argue to prove your point. Sometimes, you may have to agree on the middle ground, especially when it comes to children.
12. Support each other’s goals
It could be surprising but supporting your partner’s goals is also one of the long-term relationship goals. By showing interest in each other’s goals, you get a sneak peek into your partner’s world.
Having your own goals in life doesn’t make you a bad partner. In fact, it will improve the quality of your relationship as each of you has something new and interesting to add to the relationship. By supporting your partner’s goals, you are telling them they are important to you, which creates a sense of trust and intimacy in the relationship.
How to achieve: The best way to accomplish this relationship goal is to take turns to make each other’s goals a priority. For example, if your partner has sacrificed her career to raise the kids, next time when she gets an opportunity, encourage her to work again.
13. Always keep your promises
“An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promise.” Broken promises cause more damage than one can imagine. When you make a promise, you are creating hope for that person. So when you fail to keep the promise, you are probably shattering their dreams.
There could be a thousand reasons to justify breaking a promise, but it destroys the trust between the partners, which is a major foundation in a relationship. When trust is broken, there will be constant fights and nagging, which can risk the existence of a relationship.
How to achieve: One golden rule in a relationship is never make promises you cannot fulfill and never break a promise once you have committed. Here is how you can achieve this important relationship goal.
- Be upfront and honest as to what you can do and what you cannot.
- In one odd case if you are not able to keep your word, inform your partner before, explain and apologize why you are not able to fulfill your commitment.
- Never give excuses for breaking a promise, as justifying your mistake will only make matters worse. But do have a conversation with your partner to explain.
- Ask your spouse to remind you if you think you are forgetful, but make sure this doesn’t turn into nagging.
- On the other side, when your partner is genuinely not able to keep their promise, try to understand and be supportive, instead of behaving like a child and throwing tantrums.
14. Focus on the positives and count your blessings
“We are what we think.” When you think positive things, then your life will look like a paradise. But if you compare your life with others’ and focus on the negatives, then you are inviting troubles that do not even exist.
Your partner might be loving and caring but might be less patient and short- tempered. If you keep investing in the negatives, you will miss out the positives in that person. So make it a goal to focus on the positives and count your blessings.
How to achieve: No matter how bad the situation is, believe that it will pass. Do not dwell in the past and do not fear the future; always try to live in the moment. Every day, as soon as you wake up, try to list out all the positive things in your life and be thankful for them.
15. Change your perspective
A great partnership is one in which both parties can see and think from each other’s perspective. Being in the other person’s shoes or empathizing makes you more compassionate and aware of your partner’s suffering.
Words like “I can understand, I know how it feels” work like magic and soothe an agitated mind quickly. Also, when you make it a goal to think about each other, then life will be much easier as both of you can sleep peacefully knowing that someone always has your back.
How to achieve: If you have been living your life on your own terms, then it could be difficult to think for another person. But, when you are in a relationship, you must learn to make compromises and put the other person right next to you, if not before you.
16. Appreciate and compliment
Appreciation and compliments are like oxygen to a relationship. When you express such positive feelings, it will make your partner feel happy and important.
How to achieve: Send good morning and good night messages, slip small notes with random compliments to each other. If your partner did something which made you proud, then tell them about it.
17. Plan a vacation together
This single goal will probably help you tick off most of the relationship goals on the list. A journey or road trip might give you and your partner to see each other at their best and worst. How you deal with the other person when they are at their worst is the ultimate testament of your relationship.
A trip could teach you how to face a challenge and work together as a team. Most of all, it will give you a chance to have fun together. Whether it is an adventure trip or spending a peaceful night under the starry sky, you will get to experience many fun moments while traveling together.
How to achieve: Make it a goal to go on a vacation at least once a year, to places that are interesting to the two of you. You may go with your family and friends or by yourselves.
Go on spontaneous trips as well as thoroughly planned trips to exotic places. Wherever you choose to go, make sure you both are on board fully and plan the vacation considering each other’s convenience.
18. Go on dates
Date night is that special time where you can forget all the troubles and worries and focus on each other. Use date nights as your time to unwind and have some quality couples time.
But do not just go on a date for the sake of it. Use it as an opportunity to get closer to each other or to reestablish a lost connection. Let there be romance, go to a nice restaurant or dance or do something spontaneous.
How to achieve: Make it a goal to go somewhere special once in a while, it could be the new hip restaurant in town or that old coffee shop where you both first met. Go to a place where you can create new memories and have a good time. Or you can also send the kids to your parent’s place and have a stay-at-home date.
Want to make it more special? Then wear that dress your partner adores, get ready on time and let nothing but a real emergency come in the way of your date.
19. Do the little things that matter
The little things in life are what matter the most. Never underestimate the power of random acts of kindness in your relationship. Such small actions can leave a lasting impression on your partner’s heart.
Even if your partner does not notice what you do, or appreciate your efforts in the beginning, never feel discouraged and stop doing what you do. These little things will make your partner believe that you are there for them.
How to achieve: There is no couple’s manual when it comes to what these little things are, as it differs from couple to couple.
For example, whenever your wife feels insecure about her figure, compliment her and tell her that for you she is the most beautiful woman in the world. When your husband brings home a souvenir from his business trip, appreciate his efforts and thank him for it even if you don’t like it. When your partner is having a hard day at work, then take up their share of household chores. The main idea behind these things is to make your partner’s life a little easier.
20. Make a big deal out of special occasions
Some days like birthdays and anniversaries are special, as they remind us about the magical moments of life. These days come every year, but must be treated as an opportunity to celebrate the people in your life. Keep a relationship goal to make these days some of the best days in your lives.
How to achieve: Be it your anniversary or your partner’s birthday, set up small goals like, I will take care not to fight with my partner today, or I will pamper my partner the whole day. And stick to your goal.
You can also give them a thoughtful gift or surprise them by taking them to their favorite place. Such acts tell your partner how happy you are to have them in your life. By indulging in these acts, both of you are creating some priceless memories, which will be remembered all your life.
21. Take up a class or hobby together
As you live together, you will appreciate each other’s tastes and interests, and realize that you have some common interests too. Take up classes in such common hobbies so that you can spend time together learning it.
How to achieve: Take up an activity together. It need not always be a game or a fun activity; you can also volunteer at a local home or animal shelter. Doing such things will fill your life with gratitude and happiness.
These are some of the relationship goals which can help couples to know, love and cherish each other. Always remember the grass is greener when you water it, and relationship goals are like the daily doses of water you give to a plant. So always have goals, achieve them and nurture your relationship.
Have a relationship goal to share? Let us know in the comments section below.