Taking a romantic relationship from young love to a real relationship that can go the distance is probably the hardest thing most of us ever do. But one of the best ways to accomplish it is by formulating a list of relationship goals along with your partner, and working every day to achieve them.
The exact relationship goals you and your partner need to surmount are different for every couple. Still, we’ve rounded up some good ones to point you in the right direction.
Note that we’ve left out relationship goals that are more like general guidelines for a healthy relationship, such as frequent communication, compliments, etcetera. Instead, we focused on actionable goals you can write into your schedule.
In this article:
- Join a New Group Activity Together
- Join a New Group Activity Individually
- Form A Friendship, Not Just A Romance
- Have Sex on a Regular Basis
- Take Something Away From Every Fight
- Make A Couple’s Bucket List
- Reconcile Your Differences
- Travel to an An Unfamiliar Destination
- Keep A Weekly Date Night
- Achieve Unconditional Love (But Understand It Will Come Slowly)
Join a New Group Activity Together
For a relationship to work, you have to be invested in the same things. And they shouldn’t all be serious relationship-y things like a mortgage or a child.
Try to find something new to both you and your partner that both of you can learn to enjoy together. It will give you a chance to bond over something, and the learning process you can share is also an excellent way to strengthen the relationship.
There are sites geared towards finding new activities like Meetup.com that are perfect for this tip. You and your partner can surf a catalog of local activities together.
Join a New Group Activity Individually
Doing activities as a couple is a great idea, but both partners also need their personal space. Otherwise, one or both of you are at risk of feeling suffocated.
Even if you feel perfectly in-sync with your partner, no two people have precisely the same interests, and you should both feel free to pursue everything you like without having to drag your partner along on things that they’re just not enthused about.
Form A Friendship, Not Just A Romance
Not everything between you and your partner has to be a celebration of your love. A good amount of your interactions should be platonic, as they would be between two friends.
If you feel so madly in love that you find yourself always wanting to show your affection, stop yourself sometimes. Doing it too much can make your partner feel smothered. It also creates expectations, and anything less than constant affection might begin to be seen as a sign of issues.
Have Sex on a Regular Basis
It might sound blunt, but it’s true: good sex is an integral part of a healthy relationship.
Sex releases love hormones in the human brain. This is especially true when you’re with someone for a long time and have a history with them.
Even if you’re both so busy that you have to schedule intimate sessions, you should be doing it at least once a week.
Take Something Away From Every Fight
Honestly, it would be unhealthy for a couple not to have fights at all.
Fights aren’t necessarily bad things. They’re a chance for both sides of a couple to get their opinions out on the table. It’s important you both remember that.
Even in fights where one side is acting illogically, they’re always doing it for a reason.
Every time you get in a fight with your partner, make sure you glean at least one piece of knowledge from it that will help change your actions in the future and help secure further harmony in the relationship.
Try and make sure your partner knows this, too, because it’s an essential piece of a relationship. Bring it up when you’re not fighting, though.
Make A Couple’s Bucket List
Make a bucket list of concrete experiences you and your partner want to have together. Things as mundane as making baked Alaska together or as exotic as going shark cage diving in Fiji. As long as they’re about you two spending quality time with each other.
Having things to work towards is a surefire way to stay active in the relationship, which is of utmost importance.
Reconcile Your Differences
This is a biggie, and it definitely can’t be done over one dinner. Everyone has their own upbringing and their own beliefs. Even you and your partner differ on some things.
You need to identify those things and find some compromise on each of them so that you can share the same framework of ideas. Only then can you achieve real intellectual intimacy.
It is also essential for two people to be on the same page if they want to have kids, so they can agree on what to teach them.
Again, this will probably take a long time. Don’t get concerned if you’re still discovering differing beliefs between yourself and your partner after months or even years. Merging your identities is one of the most magical parts of real relationships, and it can last a lifetime.
Travel to an Unfamiliar Destination
When two people have to go through adversity and figure something out together, it strengthens their bond.
So take a trip to an exotic locale with your partner. Go to Norway, or Vietnam, or Kenya. Having to work things out together will be an unforgettable relationship milestone.
It may expose some flaws in your communication with each other. If it does, take it as a learning experience.
Achieve Unconditional Love (But Understand It Will Come Slowly)
Unconditional love is the holy grail of real relationship goals. Understand that it may take a long, long time to achieve.
Security is critical here. If you can make your partner feel 100% secure with you, only then can they start thinking about giving you their unconditional love. Of course, the same is true in reverse, so let your partner know if there is something they do to make you feel insecure.
Also, just know that unconditional love will come over a long time. Just because the love between you and your partner has not become unconditional after a year (or sometimes two or three or five) does not mean you two are wrong for each other. It just means you or they are exercising caution, which is not a bad thing.
If you really like someone and want to make it work, and if they feel the same, then you should give your relationship time.
Again, every relationship is unique, and trying to offer up rules that apply to all of them is a loser’s game. But the relationship goals above are important in almost every pairing. Try them on, and let us know how they work.