Many think that “love is all you need,” this is unfortunately far from the truth.
You can love someone that is wrong for you and have a very unhealthy relationship or…
You may love someone that is unable to show affection or caring, in which case it is easy to see how love is not close to being enough to keep two people together.
Even if both people love each other.
So what are the most important things in a relationship?
The most important things in a relationship is connection.
Without connection or experiencing life together as a team, there is no relationship. When you reconnect, other issues such as communication or spending time together will start to change the relationship because you will feel more connected.
Relationships are not what we see in the movies, we know this but still expect that type of romance in some ways.
There are different stages of all relationships the longer that you are together. We know that the beginning of most relationships are intoxicating. You think of the other persona all the time, you want to be with them as often as possible.
We know what that feels like and it’s amazing!
We also know that as we get to know someone and move past the initial stage we start to learn if we can build a relationship that can last.
Do we have similar values? How do we deal with stresses? Are we respectful of each other? How do we fight? How do we communicate? Are we each healthy and in the right place to start a relationship? Each is a piece of the puzzle and necessary to form a strong foundation.
The longer that we are in our relationships, the more that we have to maintain that relationship. If we do not pay attention to the relationship it will disappear. Nothing can grow without care and maintenance.
Anyone that has been in a long term relationship knows how challenging relationships can be. That is normal, there is no one that we can spend a lot of time with, without it being irritating at times.
We ask a lot from our romantic relationships.
I’ve been on vacation with friends never thinking there would be any issues, but there were conflicts, and that was for a short amount of time! We love our kids and parents but they can drive us crazy if we spend a long amount of time with them.
Why on earth do we think that for us to be “soul mates” everything should be sunshine and rainbows all the time?
Connection is the most important factor in a long term relationship which must be nurtured for it to last. To make the connections stronger we need to have relationship goals to strive and work on daily.
Below we have a list of relationship goals to help.
Relationship goals are aspirational . They are a guideline of how to best relate with each other in a loving & healthy way.
“Relationship goals” seems to be a trending hashtag and is seen everywhere. It is the happy couple holding hands or the seemingly blissful couple in Bali. But in reality, relationship goals are for every couple.
long-term relationship goals require work and intention. To build a relationship that lasts and stays on the right path.
List of relationship goals
Listening is the most important aspect of good communication skills. Listening without downplaying your partners concerns are key. Ask why they feel the way they do and try to put yourself in their shoes. You both need to be heard, even if you do not agree, do not disregard their feelings.
Fighting fair & managing conflict. Couples who want to stay together find a way to settle their differences, whether it be by a compromise or accommodation or acquiesce.
Humor helps to defuse stressful situations and is a very helpful component to communication. The goal is to always talk respectfully, if you are condescending, insulting or attack the other person, you will slowly erode the relationship, period.
Attack the problem not the person.
Without paying attention to this critical skill, discussions about having a family, money allocation, expectations of child care, religion, politics, caring for a parent etc. will be impossible.
Acting with kindness & thoughtfulness
One of the worst things that happens to every relationship is that we tend to take the other for granted. This cycle has to be broken and you have to snap back to acting with kindness and thoughtfulness.
With many of our friendships or co workers we tend to think before talking so that we do not inadvertently hurt their feelings. It needs to be done with our most important relationships or we will be dealing with the fallout of hurt feelings much to often.
Spending time together to grow & have fun
Having regular date nights to reconnect should not be an afterthought. You need to remember why you fell in love and how to be a couple. As time goes on we become more involved with our careers, or become parents and our goal is never to just be roommates.
Spending time together doing fun activities gets you out of any routine and it usually allows conversations to flow in an unforced way. People evolve and change so you need to be able to address these changes throughout the relationship.
Some simple date night ideas
Walking in a park
Visiting a farmers market
A food festival
Having a picnic
Make your own food tour
Wine tastings/Beer tastings
Spend time socializing with friends as a couple
Pick an activity that fits your personalities, movies are great, but there is little conversation. This is why the activities make connecting more fun!
Ideally there should be a daily time to reconnect, whether it is an evening walk or morning chat. This is necessary to give updates and attention to your partner. Remember that it is easy to list the problems of the day, but balance that with reflection so it’s not just a time to complain.
Spending time apart
This is equally important to spending time together. You need to have your own interests, hobbies and friends. You are your own person, do not lose yourself in a relationship. The healthiest relationships have some separate interests to involve themselves with.
Be able to rely on each other
You need to be able to rely on each other to come through when needed and be there for each other. Having someone to depend on makes a strong foundation. This builds trust and closeness. This is very important for a relationship to last.
Keep your word, if you say you will do something or be somewhere, make sure you show up!
Intimacy is an very important part of your relationship. This helps to keep the spark alive and brings a security and closeness that can only be achieved through physical and emotional intimacy.
Make time for sex and romance, it reminds us that we are alive and enjoying special moments that are just for the two of us. Intimacy is key to the well-being and longevity of your love life
Showing gratitude for each other builds intimacy and stronger connections over time. Gratitude is one of the most important, positive emotions when it comes to relationships. Be grateful and appreciate each other.
Giving of yourself to your partner
With balance of course! You don’t want to be the only one that is doing all the giving and the other is always taking. That is unsustainable. Supporting your partner’s goals, dreams and needs may require that you have to give of yourself to make things work more effectively.
If you need more support in your relationship, ask your partner, don’t assume that they know exactly what you need, you need to tell them. A balanced relationship means that you can communicate your needs so that you can receive what you want.
Giving their partners the benefit of the doubt
They attribute the best possible motives to their behavior. This shows that you trust them and know their heart. So that even when things look bad, you hold your judgement because your first instinct is to give the benefit of the doubt.
If you assume you know the answers to why something happened before finding out the truth, this will likely end in an argument. Especially If you assume bad intent. This is a surefire way to hurt the relationship by you making a negative assumption right initially.
You need to be able to trust your partner to have the character that you deserve. If not, that says a lot.
Becoming the best version of yourself
The amount of energy, focus, and care you put into making yourself better is proportionate to the level of relationships you’ll have. Being self aware will help you see where you could make some improvements. We all have things about ourselves that we would like to change.
One of our relationship goals should be to be a little bit better today than we were yesterday.
Become happy with who you are as an individual, know that you are a catch and worthy of a truly loving relationship.
Relationship goals examples
Since finances are a friction point for many couples, discussing the details of this subject are necessary.
-Meet with a financial adviser to talk about long term goals and how as a couple you will both contribute. This is where expectations of each partner must be discussed and having an adviser will help.
-Realizing that the benefits of counseling may be necessary at times in the relationship to help you get back on track. Roadblocks in any relationship can be helped by a moderator at a place where emotions are more self regulated.
Tips to reach your relationship goals
-Life is a series of changes and challenges, a relationship can only be strong when both partners are invested in the care that a relationship requires.
Be realistic though, all relationships ebb and flow, allow some time to get back on track when life hands you curve balls.
-Make time each week to check in with your partner to see the areas that you may have to focus on more and the areas in which you are stronger.
-When both partners express appreciation for the good things that their partner does for them they are 50 percent more likely to stay together.
-Paying attention to the above relationship goals, nurtures the relationship and gives you the tools to create a long lasting happy and healthy relationship.
Relationship goals quotes
“Never love anybody that treats you like you’re ordinary.”
– Oscar Wilde
“When you say “I” and “my” too much, you lose the capacity to understand the “we” and “our”.”
— Steve Maraboli
“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”
“Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.”
– Oscar Wilde
“Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you.”
– Walter Winchell
“At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.”
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
– Carl Jung
“A loving heart is the truest wisdom.”
“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
“To get full value of joy, you must have somebody to divide it with.”
“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life. That word is love.”
“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours; if they don’t, they never were.”
– Richard Bach
“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”
“Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.”
“People are weird. When we find someone with a weirdness that is compatible with ours, we team up and call it love.”
– Dr. Seuss
“The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness.”
– Neale Donald Walsch
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
“Women cannot complain about men anymore until they start getting better taste in them.”
– Bill Maher
“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”
– J.K. Rowling
“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche