Your partner is not a mind reader. It’s up to each individual to express their needs clearly to the other person. For example, if your partner said something that upset you, instead of giving them the silent treatment, blowing up, or name-calling, simply state: “That hurt my feelings.” A real relationship goal that can be very helpful is to focus on your own internal state and how what your partner did or said made you feel.
7. Be vulnerable
Being vulnerable can be scary at first, but feeling free to express yourself is the foundation of a happy and healthy relationship. All relationships are made up of good and bad days. How you show up for each other on the bad days will be telling of your long-term viability. It is essential that each person feels like they are loved unconditionally and doesn’t need to hide their feelings for any reason.
8. Make each other a priority
Especially as time goes on, it’s important to remember to make each other a priority. With our busy lives and packed schedules, it’s easy to put your long term relationship on the back burner. However, shared goals should always include consistent love and attention. Putting in the effort is essential to a healthy long-term relationship.
9. Weather the storm together
Life can throw a curveball at any moment – a loved one dies, a child is sick, your partner is laid off, you get in an accident – and being in a relationship means you’re committing to weathering the storm together. It’s easy to be there for each other when life is going well. But the true test of a strong relationship is if you can be there for each other when life is difficult. If your partner is going through a hard time, focus on how you can best support them. If you are the one working though something, make sure you communicate your needs. As mentioned above, your partner isn’t a mind reader!
10. Mutual respect
You may not agree with everything your partner says or does but it’s important to treat them with respect. By saying something like “I don’t necessarily agree with you, but I respect your opinion,” you are signaling to your partner that your relationship is secure enough for each of you to have your own individual experiences through life. If you continually feel disrespected by your partner, it might be time to either seek professional support or end the relationship.
Being in a long term relationship shouldn’t always feel like work, it should also feel fun! Making time to hang out with your partner, like you would your friend, will help keep your bond strong. Try taking a cooking class together, learning to salsa dance, or picking up a new TV show. Creating new memories together will breathe fresh life into your relationship.
Part of prioritizing your relationship – setting relationship goals – is prioritizing time for intimacy with your romantic partner. If the hustle and bustle of everyday life is getting in the way of your sex life, it may be time to re-think how you are spending your time and why being intimate with your partner is falling to the bottom of your to-do list. If the two of you have different needs and expectations around sex, seeking the help of a trained sex therapist could be beneficial.
Being in a relationship is a two-way street. Both people need to be willing to put in the work for the relationship to be successful. Relationship goals can help you determine if the relationship is healthy, where you might want to improve your relationship, and if it’s time to get out of a bad relationship. Remember that some days will be better than others, but by creating relationship goals and setting healthy relationship boundaries, you will undoubtedly be setting yourselves up for more good days than bad ahead.