Setting goals is necessary for individuals looking to make advancements in their lives, so why would it be different for couples? A healthy, forward-moving relationship makes plans and strives to reach goals in the future. If you’re hesitant to set goals with your significant other or fail to see the point, understanding exactly why relationship goal setting is important might help change your mind.
Why Are Couple Goals Healthy?
Setting goals with your significant other is a great way to ensure that you are on the same page. It is a way to plan the future and plan how you will both get there together. Goals for couples are healthy for a relationship because it allows both partners to communicate their desires. It also means that both individuals intend to improve the relationship, thus making the relationship healthier. Ultimately, setting a couple of goals is important for a healthy partnership because goal-setting is the characteristic of a healthy partnership.
What Is A Healthy Partnership?
Various characteristics must be present in a relationship for it to be considered healthy. A few of those characteristics include good communication, respect, trust, honesty, maintaining individuality, and controlling anger. While these are just a handful of necessary traits for a healthy partnership, these are some that are imperative.
Imagine a relationship with poor communication. This relationship likely has unresolved conflicts, no direction, and little to no idea of whether the other individual is happy or not. Poor communication can be simply not listening when your partner speaks, giving the cold shoulder when you’re upset instead of telling him or her why, or even using the dreaded “I’m fine” when you’re not. Opening up and communicating is crucial to a healthy partnership.
Respect goes a long way when it comes to relationships, but it should also be expected in one that is healthy. While it might seem as though respect is an obvious part of any relationship, there are far too many relationships that lack it altogether. Couples like these can gain a lot from couples counseling to learn how to give both of you respect.
Trust is imperative in any relationship, but only healthy couples maintain it. Trust can be so broken easily, so working on trust should be an ongoing process. Trust goes hand in hand with honesty, as expecting trust requires being trustworthy. Extending trust should be part of a healthy partnership until that trust is broken. However, at that point, the relationship has become less healthy.
Maintaining your individuality and allowing your partner to do so as well is part of being in a healthy partnership. There needs to be time for each person to partake in their hobbies and interests without interference from their partner. Each half of the couple must maintain friendships, make new friends, and find new hobbies.
Having control over your anger is important in a relationship because it is not healthy to yell at, push, hit, or otherwise harm your partner at any time. In a healthy partnership, you and your partner should discuss the problems and concerns that you have without raising your voice or getting violent in any manner.
Knowing what is considered healthy partnership behavior can be indicative of what makes relationship goals healthy. When creating goals with your partner, you communicate well by sharing what you want out of your combined futures. You respect them enough to include them in your plans and trust them to work towards said plans. Both you and your partner have to be honest regarding your hold’s expectations and desires.
While maintaining your individuality and controlling your anger is less involved with couple goal setting, they can be involved in their goals. Making each of these factors part of your relationship goals only serves to make your relationship even more healthy. What other kinds of goals will promote a healthy partnership?
What Goals Are Best In A Healthy Partnership?
The best goals to set in a healthy partnership aim to improve the relationship as a team. Goals relating to communication, individuality within the relationship, trust, and honesty are often the ones that make a relationship healthier. There are far more examples of goals for a healthy partnership as well – from financial goals to emotional goals, there should always be something to reach for.
Setting a goal to improve communication is a great, realistic, and necessary one to strive for. However, simply setting the goal isn’t enough. Both parties within the couple must discuss how they will reach the goal and what marks the goal’s success. One partner might need to work on listening better. The other partner might need to do better to tell his or her partner when he or she is upset. Including those steps in the goal will make it more achievable and identifiable when the goal is met.
Making it a point to maintain your individuality, although in a relationship, can be a goal for couples to work toward together. For instance, both might agree to go out with separate groups of friends once a month and perform a hobby or do something that interests them biweekly. Agreeing to this goal as a couple will allow both to understand why each person needs their own time to themselves and their friends without feeling left behind.
Developing a goal always to be honest with one another typically stems from some form of dishonesty in the past. It might also be a preventative goal to avoid any issues in the future. No matter the motivation behind the goal, being honest with one another at all times is a great way to maintain trust. Setting a trust-centered goal is smart to focus on the progress of a relationship and how you and your partner work together to achieve the goal. By comparing the trust between the two partners at the beginning of a relationship to the level of trust several years down the line, you can better quantify your relationship progress.
Setting goals like these allow you and your partner to strive for something in common to better yourself as a couple. Write them down somewhere you will see these goals often to always be at the front of your mind. Make sure you discuss with your partner the dates on which you plan to achieve goals and if they will continue beyond their completion date. Open communication when setting goals is best for complete success.
Making Smart Goals
Developing smart goals is not just smart in the traditional sense. They are SMART:
Being specific in your couple’s goals is necessary for knowing exactly what you and your partner want to accomplish. Rather than broad, unclear goals, make it so specific that you and your partner can easily determine the necessary steps to achieve them. If your goal can be broken down into a narrower goal, it is too broad.
What tells you and your significant other that your goal has been accomplished? The goals that you decide upon must be measurable or quantifiable. If the goal is to stop the cold shoulder treatment when upset, give it a number to make it measurable. For example, give zero cold shoulders in the next six months.
Setting impossible goals can be detrimental to your relationship when you fail to accomplish them. For this reason, it is important that you set attainable goals. This does not mean that they should be easy, but they should be something that makes sense to work towards.
Is the goal relevant to your relationship? Knowing why you are setting this goal and what it will do for your relationship can tell you and your significant other if it is truly relevant. It must be a goal that will ultimately improve your relationship.
Although setting goals without an end date gives you plenty of time to achieve them, it does nothing to motivate you or your partner to accomplish the goals you’ve set. Set a date or time frame that tells you and the other person in the relationship that it needs to get done.
Using the SMART method of goal setting, you and your partner can create goals and achieve them promptly. Doing so is sure to improve your relationship as a whole and make it healthier with your relationship’s attempt to accomplish these goals and when those goals are met.
How Goals Make An Impact On A Relationship
Setting goals with the other half of your relationship allows one another to communicate better and clarify where the relationship is going. Instead of placing worry or focus on the end of a relationship, both parties can actively improve both the present and the future that you plan to share. This has an impact on the relationship because of the increased health aspects and communication in general. Goals allow individuals to know that their relationship is heading somewhere lasting.
“My girlfriend and I have been working with Alison for about four months now and with her help and guidance we have strengthened our relationship ten fold. Her communication style is amazing and she really strives to make the best of our time with one another. If you’re looking for a counselor you can put your faith in with the whole experience, she’s the one to go to.”
“With Cassandra’s help, we’ve been able to bring our relationship to a new, healthier, and much happier level, working through painful situations, growing as individuals and as a couple, and with tools to stay on this path. She’s very responsive, and it has been great to have her facilitate our messaging through the app all week. I highly recommend Cassandra. She’s skilled, supportive, and down-to-earth. We feel totally comfortable with her.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What can strengthen a relationship?
When you're looking for real relationship goals to set with your partner, you might find yourself looking to relationship advice to see what will give your relationship greater strength. Here are some things that can strengthen and improve your relationships:
How do couples make goals?
Couples may make goals based on several components. Still, typically, couples set goals based on what will benefit the relationship, benefit one or both family members or their family, or a shared desire. This could mean anything from getting health insurance to finding a therapist or counselor to set a timeline for moving to a new geographical location or home. In some cases, a couple may set goals based on what's lacking in a partnership, but that's not always the case. It very much so depends on the unique relationship and where the couple is at in terms of relationship health and whether they're in a long-term relationship or a short one and the lives of the members of the couple are like a whole. Some couples choose to set both long-term relationship goals and short-term relationship goals. A long-term relationship goal might relate to family planning, a major purchase, or a move, whereas a short-term goal might be to have more deep conversations with one another. Distinguishing the length of time you want a goal to take together or when you would like to complete a goal or milestones of said goal is often advantageous.
What are good goals for a relationship?
Some examples of good relationship goals a couple might set include but aren't limited to going on dates more frequently, working on conflict resolution skills, verbalizing emotions to one another and making sure that each other's emotional needs are met, or establishing a greater sense of trust. A couple might also purposefully set aside time to spend alone to work on one's personal goals, sense of self, or other interpersonal connections. Sometimes, people will say "relationship goals" as an expression when they see an attractive couple with a big house and a garage filled with new cars. While real relationship goals can include financial goals, that's not what real relationship goals look like most of the time. Couples make real relationship goals based on where they're at and what they need. This also largely determines what a good goal is for a couple. Once they meet their needs and have a healthy relationship, a relationship goal may focus more strongly on what a couple wants rather than focusing on relationship repair or missing. For example, one couple may set a relationship goal to buy a home, where another may set a relationship goal to establish trust and security within their commitment.
What is the key to making a relationship last?
Understanding what makes a relationship last can help you set real relationship goals with your partner or spouse. Relationship advice and research typically point to a few different key elements that help a relationship last. Three critical components of a lasting relationship include mutual respect, communication, and affection. It is also vital for couples to ensure that they're spending quality time with one another. In a long-term relationship, especially for busy couples, it can be easy to let things like romantic date nights fall to the wayside. Going on more dates is a very real relationship goal for this reason.
What are the three C's in a healthy relationship?
The three C's in a healthy relationship are communication, compromise, and commitment. Working on the three C's of a healthy relationship is a great way to create real relationship goals for you and your partner. Real relationship goals don't need to grandiose, and truly, one of the most important aspects of real relationship goals is that they are attainable. If you're struggling to set goals with your partner or spouse, or if you're having trouble meeting a relationship goal, a couples counselor or therapist can help. If you have relationship goals set already, you may list relationship goals to a counselor. Alternatively, a counselor or therapist may help you list relationship goals and create them together based on what you and your partner need or want. Therapy or counseling is a non-judgmental space, and while some couples do, you don't have to have set goals in mind beforehand to go to counseling. Whether you see a provider in person or online using a platform like ReGain, you and your partner deserve a healthy, happy connection where you can meet your goals.