5 Goals You Don't Have To Share With Your Partner To Have A Lasting Relationship, According To Experts
When you think of an ideal relationship, you might have it in mind that you and your partner, or your potential partner, need to have all the the same interests, values, and ambitions. But the truth of the matter is, that is a pretty tall order for another unique human being. While each relationship might have non-negotiable pillars, it is worth noting that there are plenty of ways to be a very committed couple with different goals.
"Common ground can help to set the stage for safety and trust," Florida based psychologist Dr. Karin R. Lawson, PsyD, CEDS-S, tells Bustle. "That common ground can be similar values, similar backgrounds, similar professions, similar family dynamics. However, we continue to develop throughout our entire adulthood, which means our values can shift, because experiences impact us."
It's OK for two people to grow and change, Lawson says. And we won't always grow in the same way, or be interested in the same things.
"That can actually keep a relationship interesting, because then it's a continual process of getting to know what's new with your significant other," Lawson says. "People in relationships don't have to share every little detail about life and change, but people do need to feel connected and safe to share the important ones."
Yes, people can continue to have their own journeys while in a partnership! Below, look at a few goals you don't have to share with your partner, according to pros.
1. Your Levels Of Education
Just because you have a doctorate, doesn't mean your lover has to. As Kevon Owen, a relationship expert and clinical psychotherapist, based in Oklahoma City, tells Bustle, "It's important to support educational goals, but it is not necessary to share them."
Owen says that he works with plenty of couples who have very different levels of education, and for these couples, there are other elements to their relationship that are a lot more important to them.
Owens says that when it comes to maintaining a partnership for some, things as simple as having fun together and sharing similar values on life are often a whole lot more important than where you went to school or what degree you have.
2. Your Professional Goals
"You may want to pursue a career in law while your partner wants to simply strengthen [their] business," Celia Schweyer, a dating and relationship expert at DatingScout.com, tells Bustle. "You may want to attain a doctorate while your partner strives hard to be the next company director." Schweyer says.
Or, you may want to shift your career to something less stressful, or focus on emotional growth while your partner is all about that 9-5 life.
Basically, while there are goals you need to share with your partner to make the relationship work and last, there are also personal goals or growth you may want to achieve without affecting the relationship, Schweyer says.
"It's all OK as long as you support each other and are on the same page — meaning that you are both aiming for something good for yourselves," Schweyer says.
3. Your Religious Beliefs
Yes, your relationship can last even if you don't share the same beliefs or religion, Schweyer says.
"It will get tested out from time to time," Schweyer says. "But the fact that you still chose to seriously pursue the relationship despite knowing these differences in the first place is already an indication that you are willing to sacrifice some things to make it work."
This shows that you understand the importance of your relationship beyond these differences, and can support each other in your personal belief system. You can have faith in each other's faith, you know?
4. Your Financial Goals
Your earning power, your salary, or your long-term financial goals do not have to be the same to have a working relationship. While there are elements of your finances that will probably have to be aligned if you are the type of couple who are living together or sharing a lot of expenses, your personal salary goals, for example, do not have to be the same as your partner's.
Schweyer says that when it comes to finances, your bank accounts certainly don't have to match, but it's always worth considering how well you both manage your time, your own income, and your responsibilities.
5. Your Personal Interests
Truly, you can have your weekly D&D meet-up while your partner is at ice skating practice. It's all good.
"As individuals, we have our individual interests," Schweyer says. "Neither person must drag the other to do what they are not interested to do."
And while that might seem somewhat obvious, oftentimes people feel obligated to share the same interests and hobbies with their beloved.
"[Having your own interests] is the perfect time to enjoy personal space to grow — not away from their partner, but to keep the relationship healthy and not suffocating," Schweyer says.
Yes, there are oh-so-many ways you can continue on being your bad self even when you are partnered up. Trust, it will only keep the relationship more alive!