Healthy relationship


We have undoubtedly seen a lot of #RelationshipGoals hashtags and memes on social media ranging from pictures of cute couples with matching outfits to poorly exaggerated and overly unrealistic images.

Relationship goals are very important because growth is always needed when building a relationship.

However, the relationship goals portrayed in this trend are beginning to lose their true meaning and become over-the-top, nothing more than a cute picture to be seen on social media.

Making real relationship goals does not just mean taking walks in the park and cuddling on the sofa. It involves making plans and goals for yourselves as a couple so that you can reach for real happiness and longevity in the relationship.

You should know that everyone is different, and while a couple might love each other very much, their goals and plans might differ. This difference and lack of common goals can cause conflict in relationship and possibly break it if you do not understand each other well enough.

Therefore, it is important to discuss your proposed goals together and make sure that you are on the same page either as a player or as a supporter.

On this note, here are 5 important long-term relationship goals you should actually strive toward.

1. Communicating and Listening to Each Other.

No matter how much a couple loves each other, lack of communication could ruin the relationship. Communication is one of the most important ingredients of successful relationships and marriage.

It is important for couples to be able to communicate and understand each other whenever the need arises without hindrance or fear of misunderstanding.

Couples need to learn to speak about their feelings, listen to each other and resolve issues properly without having to hurt each other.

A lot of couples are stuck in unhappy marriages due to lack of communication and inability to listen to each other. As much as listening is overlooked, it is also very important for couples to listen to their partners so they can understand and help each other. This is one of the reasons better communication and listening is one of the goals that couples should develop.

2. Being on the Same Page About your Future.

Of course, it’s cute that you are both happy with each other, but it might be a good idea to discuss, evaluate and understand where you are both headed so you can move in that direction happily.

Aligning your goals is a relationship goal you should both have. This will dispel misunderstanding and leave no doubt in your minds about what your future targets are, including enhancing each other’s career and investing for a better future.

3. Talking About Money.

Whether it’s friendship, family, work, marriage; money is always a major cause of conflict in all types of relationships.

So, one of your relationship goals should be to set up a proper financial management system which is transparent and fair so that you can build your finances as a couple. This involves analyzing your income and your needs, making plans together and avoiding frivolous spending.

4. Becoming Best of Friends and Having Fun Together.

In addition to being romantic, you should become best friends, joke and have fun with each other. Having fun with each other should involve participation and suggestions from both of you about activities and fun stuff to do together.

Your relationship goals should include doing what your partner loves doing, just like your partner participates in what you love.

From simple activities like going to the movies or visiting a museum, to bigger events like going on a cruise, you can make your partner happy by showing interest in what they love. The friendship process entails participation from both parties.

5. Keeping the Spark Alive.

One important relationship goal is to always keep the fire of passion burning in your relationship. In addition to sex, there are several ways you can do this that will please your partner. Most people think that marriage and long-term relationships usually lead to a decline in passion and sexual relations, but this is not true and should not be so. Lovers should always strive to spice things up and please each other in bed as much as possible.

Sometimes, as we have seen in recent times, it is clear that love is enough to keep a relationship going.

This article will help you understand what is required to create and maintain a happy and healthy relationship.

1. Get back on track with communication

No relationship, romantic or other, is going to proceed without conflict. What ends up getting the relationship back on track is good communication. Communication, therefore, is the single most important factor in the health of a relationship because it represents the relationship’s ability to self-correct. But what makes for good communication? Entire books could be written on this, but for now let’s keep it simple:

  • Preemptive: Easier to be upfront because then problems can be spoken about instead of experienced.
  • Consistent: No point in communicating some of the time, or only on certain issues; it only works if it’s always happening.
  • Honesty: Good communication is a trust-building act, bringing you and the other person closer (see below). Dishonesty has the opposite effect.
2. Start with trust

A relationship must have a foundation of trust to succeed. Imagine what it would be like to have a relationship with someone you fundamentally mistrusted. Not enjoyable, right?

A lack of trust often initiates a vicious cycle. The one who is distrustful often causes the other partner to become secretive, even about things he or she does not need to hide, just to secure some privacy and control. This gives the suspicious person more to suspect.

Overall, a lack of trust or a breach of trust is one of the most difficult situations to overcome in a relationship.

3. Align on core values

Core values can be defined simply as those you cannot tolerate a partner NOT to share. Most relationships can have healthy disagreements about a wide variety of subjects, but each person has their “non-negotiable” beliefs. For some, this might be politics; for others, it might be whether to have children; between friends, it might be a matter of ethics.

Whatever your non-negotiables, it is important that your partner share them; otherwise you will constantly feel as if you are compromising on a deeply personal level.

However, keep in mind that not all beliefs are set in stone. If both people are willing to hear each other out, they might be surprised at the compromises they discover.

4. Use intimacy as a gauge

Although intimacy often stands in for sex in the psychological community, it can mean much more than that. I would define intimacy as an ability to communicate in a uniquely interpersonal level with another person, which can certainly happen between friends and family members as well as romantic partners. One subset of intimacy is sex, though, and in a romantic relationship this is one of the major readings of its health and happiness.

Sex in a relationship is similar to flossing, in that people who floss tend to live longer. It is not that flossing increases your life expectancy directly, but rather that those who tend to floss also tend to care for themselves in other ways, all of which lead to a longer life. Same thing with sex: a healthy sex life does not equal a healthy relationship, but it is an indication of many other positive things going on in addition to the benefits it bring by itself.

If your sex life is not where you’d want it to be, use it as a starting point to figure out what part of your relationship could change for the better.

5. Nurture vulnerability

One of the cherished things about being in a close relationship is that you can share things with another person that you do not share with anyone else. Simply being able to confide in someone about all the small and big things of your life is of enormous value — and the major reason why we enter into relationships in the first place.

Being able to share intimate details relies on a willingness to be vulnerable. This is a two-way street. Both you and your partner must develop an ability to be open as well as accept, nurture and respect the other’s openness. Vulnerability depends on this positive, reciprocal cycle.

6. Discuss the future: Children

Surprisingly, sharing a common past does not necessarily result in better relationships across the board. But sharing a vision of the future is essential in certain key areas: children, finances, and lifestyle. All of these are intertwined, of course, but it is important to understand your partner’s vision for each of these things.

One of the most common scenarios is a married couple who cannot agree on whether to have children. As you can imagine, both people feel very strongly about having or not having children. The heartbreaking thing is that there may be love, good communication, trust and shared values, but over time the couple cannot find a compromise for this extremely important life decision.

7. Discuss the future: Finances

At first, it is difficult to see how finances have anything to do with a relationship, but among couples and even among friends, differences in attitude toward money can create a serious rift.

Two friends who have two very different attitudes toward spending, for example, will have a hard time deciding what to do together. A couple in this situation will have a constant stressor on their hands, especially if finances become tight.

While it is not absolutely necessary to have identical attitudes toward money and spending, it is an important topic to discuss.

8. Discuss the future: Lifestyle

Lifestyle is sort of a catch-all phrase that includes aspects of life outside of children and finances that a couple will have to negotiate. This includes big things like how to spend leisure time or whether to be exclusive sexually as well as seemingly little things like diet or sleep. The point is that we all have preferences and needs, and when another person enters the picture with their own preferences and needs, we are forced to compromise.

When it comes to lifestyle, I have found in my practice that those who meet in their younger years have a harder time adjusting to their partner’s lifestyle. This is probably because our preferences and needs crystallize as we age. Couples who meet when they are older have a greater knowledge of their likes and dislikes, and tend to factor this into whether they would be compatible with each other.

9. Find a balance between dependence and independence

As mentioned in the trust section, the ability to rely on each other is a sign of strength. In fact, a relationship will stagnate without it. But as with everything, there must be a balance.

Too much dependence is just as tiring as too much independence. Without any dependence, neither partner feels as if he or she is part of a team, whereas with too much dependence, one or both partners is likely to feel overwhelmed.

In short, each member of the relationship has the responsibility to maintain a balance between relying too much on the other person and not relying on the other person at all.

10. Remember friends and family

This is an often-overlooked feature of a happy relationship because much of the beginning part of the relationship does not involve family and friends. Two people get to know each other by themselves and find they are beginning to form a strong relationship. But then comes the next stage when that person meets the other important people in their lives.

Couples tend to forget that how they fit into each other’s friends and family groups is important. As with core values, the important thing here is tolerance. Even if the person does not get along perfectly with your family and friends, is it tolerable? Can everyone basically get along?

Of course, the more seamlessly they fit into your circles the better, but this only really becomes a problem when the fit is so bad that you hesitate to bring them around.

11. Maintain commitment

In the beginning of most relationships, very little commitment is needed. Everything is rosy and you cannot imagine anything going wrong. I see many couples who are just coming down from their dating or marriage highs and are lacking one key component: a commitment to each other.

Commitment may be defined as a willingness to stay with the other person through times where it is no longer fun or easy to do so. Successful long-term relationships weather many such periods. Here are some other things to keep in mind about commitment:

  • Commitment is easier when we appreciate qualities in a person that do not change with circumstance — when we appreciate their sense of humor, for example, instead of their salary.
  • Too much commitment can be harmful. It can cause many people to stay in abusive relationship far too long. Healthy commitment is keeping a perspective on the qualities of the person that you love, whereas unhealthy commitment is elevating commitment itself above your happiness.
  • Commitment is also a two-way street: it is more sustainable to stay committed to someone who is staying committed to us.

Hopefully you have recognized each item on this list as at least a factor in your relationship. Problems are especially troublesome when you or your partner are not even aware of them.

If an item or two on the list jumps out as being problematic in your relationship(s), return to item #1: Use communication to get back on track. Communication or the relationship’s ability to self-correct is always the starting point for change.

We gathered advice from some of the most renowned voices when it comes to love and romance to find out what the signs of a truly healthy relationship are. We also discovered what to look out for to know that a relationship isn’t built to last and could be heading for a breakup.

Their Life Goals Are The Same

According to the experts at Psychology Today, a clear sign of a healthy relationship is two people sharing the same life goals: “You both know what you want out of life, what your common goals are… and are firmly committed to achieving these together.”

There is room for difference in a relationship, but not on the important matters like these.

They Respect Each Other’s Family And Friends

Being good to a person means nothing if you treat their family and friends poorly. Another sign of a healthy relationship is being on good terms with each other’s family and friends.

This shows that you’re willing to make an effort with the people in your partner’s life for the sake of your partner, even if you wouldn’t otherwise get along with them.

They Look Forward To Seeing Each Other

Los Angeles-based relationship expert Dr. Gary Brown told Elite Daily that looking forward to seeing each other is a sign that a relationship is happy and healthy.

Things like finding yourself “excited to make plans” with your partner and disappointed when you have to cancel show that the relationship is in a good place.

They’re Able To Spend Time Apart

A healthy relationship isn’t about spending every moment together. Dating experts agree that a couple should also be able to spend time apart doing things that are important to you as an individual.

If you’re able to spend time apart without getting jealous or possessive, it suggests that your relationship is going along smoothly.

 They Bounce Back From Arguing

Arguing in a relationship doesn’t mean it’s not healthy. All couples argue, whether they admit it or not. What’s important, according to Mind Body Green, is the ability to bounce back from fights.

“If you can resolve issues and move forward in your relationship, then you’re on the right track!” explains the wellness site.

They Accept Each Other The Way They Are

A big part of any healthy relationship is accepting the other person the way they are. While couples can support each other and help each other to grow, they ultimately need to be able to love each other unconditionally and embrace each other’s imperfections.

This isn’t always easy, but if you can do it, your relationship is probably in a better state than you thought.

They Maintain Their Own Identities

Too often, people lose all sense of self when they begin a relationship with someone else. According to Psychology Today, it’s a sign that your relationship is healthy if you can both keep your own identities while still putting time and effort into the relationship.

A relationship might be part of who you are, but it’s not the complete story.

They Contribute Equally To The Relationship

A healthy relationship requires both people to contribute equally. One-sided relationships tend to result in a lot of resentment, as well as feelings of entitlement.

Instead, each partner should be contributing what they can and putting an equal amount of time and effort in so that the relationship works.

They See Each Other In Their Futures

Black couple having a conversation at a cafe outdoors in the spring

According to Mind Body Green, your relationship is in a good place if you currently envision each other in your future. It’s even better if you can’t imagine your future without your partner.

For a long-term relationship, it’s obviously important to see yourself with that person in the long term, even past marriage and kids if that’s what’s in store for you.

They Encourage Each Other To Improve

Relationships are about accepting people for who they are and loving them anyway, but that doesn’t mean a couple can’t encourage each other to improve in various ways.

Psychology Today explains that when a relationship is healthy, two people “inspire each other” to be better people and encourage each other to grow and change.

They Connect On A Number Of Levels

There are more levels to a relationship than just physical or just emotional. A healthy relationship takes into account the various elements of a relationship at which two people should be able to connect.

A sign of a healthy relationship, according to Mind Body Green, is being able to bond with your partner spiritually, physically, emotionally, and intellectually.

Their Communication Game Is Strong

Any relationship expert will tell you that a couple needs to be able to communicate efficiently to make things last.

You know that your relationship is in a good place when you can talk to each other about anything and know how to communicate your needs and wants without the fear of being judged or shut down.

They’re Able To Disagree Respectfully

A couple will always have arguments, so they need to know how to disagree with each other in a respectful way.

If they can disagree with each other without hurting each other’s feelings, and accept that sometimes they’re going to feel differently about things, it’s a sign that they’re in a good place.

There’s A Sense Of Peace Between Them

Mind Body Green explains that there should be a sense of peace between two people in a relationship. Your partner should bring you comfort and happiness, not stress and anxiety.

If you are overrun by negative emotions when you’re with them, it’s a sign that the relationship isn’t healthy.

They Trust Each Other, No Matter What

Trust is a non-negotiable part of being in a relationship. When your relationship is in a good state, you should trust each other to be there and support one another.

You can also trust your partner to stay loyal to you, keep your secrets, and follow through with their promises.

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