Relationship goals. We all have them. We all know what we’d like out of our significant other, but we can’t always articulate them well. One of the best ways to meet relationship goals for one another, and tell your special someone exactly what you need, is to understand the how and the why of each goal.
Below we will discuss some of the most common relationship goals, what’s really at the heart of them, and how you can get more of that goodness in your life … or out of your next romance. Let’s do this.
Okay, let’s just start off with a no-brainer: the ability to think of others. Too often, though, we forget how important this is to us. We think we want a guy with major brains, or earning potential, or an eight-pack… and totally overlook the guys who would bring us a glass of water when we’re already snuggled into bed, or take the day off because we’re sick, or plan a blowout 25th birthday trip to Yosemite.
And then on the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s space! Again, this is an often-overlooked relationship goal, but it’s so important. Girls get a rap for always wanting to be with their significant other, but the truth is, girls are just as likely to need solitude as men. Your guy needs to understand your need for space, or things won’t work out well.
- NO PET/KID FIGHTS
This is a major relationship goal, though people often don’t realize it. But how you both view responsibility to others is huge. Do you want to care for other creatures/people? If so, what are your styles or values? While you don’t need to knock this out on the first date, if you want to be together long term, it will need to be addressed.
- CUTE PET NAMES
Yay for cute pet names, right? Many people don’t realize how much it means to them, or how bonding it is, to have adorable/disgusting/adorable names for their special someone, and vice versa. If you and your guy don’t see eye to eye on this, you might not be a fit. To be fair, a shared disgust of cute pet names can also be a bonding factor!
As a relationship goal, the ability to laugh with one another seems pretty obvious. But just like thoughtfulness, we sometimes toss it aside in favor of sexiness, power, success, or other equally illusory qualities. The truth is, though, once you’ve been with someone for long enough, those things will fade.
No matter how hot someone is now, looks fade. So you better find something that fills in the gap, and laughter is it. It releases good hormones, bonds you, and increases the fun factor of your relationship a thousandfold. Don’t overlook it.
- TEXTING FUN
Does it seem a little silly that you and your significant other should need a shared view of texting? But trust us when we say this should be a prime relationship goal, because so much of human communication happens over text these days. If one of you loves to chat via text, or use it as a main channel of conveying information, and the other hates it, you might not get along so well.
Plus, texting can be really fun too. It’s a good way to share little thoughts throughout the day, send funny images that let the other know you’re thinking of them, and even spice things up in preparation for seeing one another later. Don’t dismiss it out of hand, if you’re the one who doesn’t love it. And don’t let your partner shut it down so easily if they don’t yet know it’s magic.
- SAFETY FIRST
If safety doesn’t seem like it ought to top the relationship goal list, think again. How the two of you view safety has major implications for how well the rest of your life together will work out. Why? Consider the following:
- Home ownership
- Pets and children
- Sexual intimacy
- Financial Management
- Risk-taking behavior
- Drugs and alcohol
These are just a few areas where people can discover they are completely, thoroughly, one hundred percent NOT on the same page. It’s no fun to date someone for months, or even years, before discovering that they have no regard for financial stability, or their own health, or even yours. Establishing that you both have the same standards for what constitutes safe and unsafe behavior is a necessity.
This is basically a summation of a bunch of other relationship goals, but stands on its own as well. Basically, this is a question of how well you “get” the other person. What they say. What their expressions means. The root of their gifts. And so on. If you get one another, if you feel at home with one another, you’re going to be fine.
- SIMILAR KINKS
We’re not talking in the bedroom (though that helps too, and is the subject of our next relationship goal). Here we’re talking the little quirks and eccentricities that make us human. People are weird about things: toothbrushes, bed covers, tidiness, etc. If you guys can forge similar weirdnesses, you’ll be okay. If all you do is get under each other’s skin, you may not be.
- SEXUAL INTIMACY
Yet another relationship goal that should seem obvious; yet another relationship goal that you may find out too late you should have prioritized. Intimacy is a huge bonding factor in relationships: having sex keeps your love strong, and not having sex depletes it. This isn’t made up, this is science: if you and your partner don’t have a reasonable amount of sex, statistically one – or both – of you is going to start looking elsewhere.
Don’t let this happen. Instead, look for signs that you are sexually compatible. Do you like to have sex roughly as often as each other? Are you about as adventurous? These are good signs that you can have a good long-term sex life. Does your partner routinely make you feel like a prude or a freak? That, on the other hand, is not so good.
- SHARED INTERESTS
Shared interests are important relationship goals because they speak to how much you’ll enjoy each other’s company. That’s why in online dating profiles this is a major section… walks on the beach, coffee dates, etc. If your shared hobbies and pastimes align pretty well, you may be on your way to lifelong happiness.
If you guys meet and really like each other, but don’t have a lot in common, don’t dismiss the relationship: it’s totally possible to develop new interests along the way. Try out classes at a community college, go to 80s karaoke night, take a salsa class. These are all great ways to learn new skills as well as get to know one another.
- ALTERNATIVELY, GIVE IT A REST
On the other hand, it’s crucial to have “you time” as well. If you and your man are so dang in tune with one another that you end up spending all your time together, this can spell disaster. In fact, it’s on its way to codependence, so be careful. Cultivating some outside interests – or keeping ones you already have – is a good way to keep your relationship healthy.
- EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION
If you can’t talk to one another, what do you have? You and your man need to be able to communicate about a range of topics: simple things like agreeing on when the laundry or dishes should get done; more complicated things like whose family you’ll spend holidays with; and high-octane issues such as how you’re going to resolve a major breach of trust in the relationship.
If you don’t have the tools to handle these issues as they arise, you may not be able to move your relationship forward.
Don’t forget about talking about sex, either.
This should be at the top of the relationship goals list. Did you know science says that having fun together is romantically bonding? Literally: doing new, exciting and enjoyable things helps you love each other more and be more physically attracted to one another. Weird, right? So you and your man should definitely make it a priority to have fun, and if he’s the kind of sourpuss that doesn’t care much for it, you may not have a future.
This is really what all the above relationship goals are about, but sometimes compatibility is simpler than liking the same movies or wanting to go to bed at the same time. It’s enjoying silence at similar times and talk at others. It’s wanting to watch a movie on a Friday night instead of going out. It’s thinking kids are a good idea, or a terrible one. Often you can’t tell how compatible you are with someone until you really give the relationship a go, but you should always keep it at the forefront of your mind.
It might seem like having a lofty goal for your relationship – say, never fighting or eternal bliss – might be the best way to get what you want out of life. More often, though, it’s the simple things that make a pairing work long-term. Keep them in mind for your next relationship and you’re bound to be happier.