7 Goals To Share With Your Partner For A Lasting Relationship, According To Experts
To create a lasting relationship, it can help to share certain goals with your partner. These might include big goals, including where you'd like to live, as well as smaller goals, like how you plan to spend your downtime as a couple. Seeing eye-to-eye can mean you're heading in the same direction. But shared goals also make for a stronger relationship.
"Sharing goals is the glue and foundation that keep a relationship moving forward and bonds you as a couple," Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaker, tells Bustle. "If you [...] don't have goals together, the relationship can go stagnant or just become a little rocky."
Of course, that doesn't mean you have to agree on everything, or that you can't have your own personal goals. But it can help to agree in certain key areas, and compromise on all the rest. So make sure you talk about what you want, and check in often.
If you share the same goals, that's great. But if not, you can look for ways to meet in the middle. "If two people are willing, they can make things work," counselor and relationship expert Davida Rappaport, tells Bustle. Read on for some goals you and your partner may need to share, according to experts, in order to have a healthy and lasting relationship.
1. How You'd Like To Spend Money
While you can always have separate funds and personal goals for your own money, having a successful relationship means communicating about finances and seeing eye-to-eye when it comes to things that'll impact you as a couple.
For example, you'll want to be on the same page about big purchases like buying a home, and how much to spend on vacations, Trombetti says. And the same is true for things like how much money you'd both like to put into savings.
When you don't have the same financial goals, it can lead to resentment and arguments over time, Trombetti says, which explains why money problems are one of the top reasons for divorce.
2. Where You Want To Live
"You may also want to share the goal of where you 'want to end up,'" psychotherapist Laura F. Dabney, MD, tells Bustle, meaning where you see yourselves living in the future. There are always ways to negotiate, if you have different ideas. But if you can't reach a compromise, it's much more likely you'll end up going your separate ways.
3. Whether Or Not You'll Have Kids
Finding the answer to this question isn't always easy, but it is something you should talk about if you plan to be together. "Having children is a big decision and obviously you may not know if that is what you want," Dr. Dabney says. "But it is something that in the long run would need to be discussed because it will not last if you do not agree [...] It is not a goal either of you need to sacrifice." And, for obvious reasons, it's one where it can be really tough to compromise.
4. Your Lifestyle
While you certainly don't need to share all the same hobbies or hang out with each other 24/7, it can make for a much more successful relationship if you naturally share the same ideas for your overall lifestyle.
"If you’re going to spend a life together, it’s important to know that you have the same vision for what life looks like," relationship coach Tiffany Toombs, tells Bustle. Things like how much you'd like travel, how you'd like to spend your downtime, and even things like how often you'll visit family can all factor in.
There are always ways to reach a compromise, if you don't initially agree. But do keep in mind that, if you're total and complete opposites in this area, the relationship may not last.
5. Your Work/Life Balance
Another area that can drive a couple apart is a mismatched work/life balance. If one of you is always "on," for example, and the other is more laid back, it can lead to disagreements and hurt feelings, Toombs says. And that can certainly make life difficult.
In order to navigate a difference of opinion here, it can help to respect each other's careers and offer support, even if you don't understand your goals. If you're able to stay on the same team, so to speak, this issue doesn't have to result in a breakup.
6. How Often You'll Socialize
Again, it's always fine to have your own lives outside the relationship, and it's even OK to disagree about how often you'd like to see friends. But you will need to compromise before it leads to a misunderstanding.
"It’s important to be on the same page about how much time you want to spend one-on-one each week and weekend and how much time you want to spend with your other friends," licensed clinical psychologist Jaclyn Lopez Witmer, tells Bustle.
If you don't agree, this will be something you'll want to talk about ASAP. "It’s so important to communicate clear expectations and goals around social plans and how you as a couple plan to allocate your time together," Dr. Lopez Witmer says. "There is a tendency for people to worry about being seen as needy or codependent if they raise their concerns with their partner, [but that is] rarely the case."
7. How To Communicate
If you don't share the same goals and values when it comes to communicating, don't be surprised if it leads to tough situations in your relationship, including misunderstandings and arguments.
You can work on this issue, though. "Make sure you both state your intentions clearly and respect each other enough to ask if you are not sure what each other means," Rappaport says. "If your partner has a problem with your asking for clarification, keep working at it. Your partner should want to put in the time to make this work."
There are always ways to work on your relationship, if you don't see eye-to-eye. But do keep in mind how important these shared goals are, for the long-term success of a relationship. If you can't agree, you will definitely need to compromise.