Creating relationship goals together is a great way to connect and strengthen your bond with your partner. Doing so can take time, but it’s an important component of fostering a loving and healthy relationship.
Having open and honest discussions about what you both need individually and as a couple can help you both ensure that you are the right fit for each other and continue to strive towards a healthy relationship.
Boosting your relationship’s health is a never-ending process that requires effort throughout the duration of your relationship, but it is so worth it to prioritize each other and the happiness that you share.
Having open communication can create a great foundation for a strong relationship. Open communication can benefit all types of relationships from just dating to fully committed to each other for years. To work towards open communication:
Being honest with each other is something that all relationships could use. Doing so creates trust which can feed into better communication. Being honest means sharing your true selves with each other and expressing your needs to one another. This can help you avoid mind reading sparked arguments (when you assume you know what your partner is thinking and react prematurely), which many couples experience. To be honest with each other:
Being emotionally vulnerable is one of the most difficult things to do. This can be challenging for those who grew up in homes where emotional honesty and safety weren’t taught or valued. Being able to be emotionally vulnerable with your partner means letting them see your true self, flaws and all, and can feel very intimidating. To begin to strengthen your emotional vulnerability as a couple:
With time, being emotionally vulnerable with each other will feel like second nature. Note that with healthy partners, you will never be shamed or discouraged from opening up and being vulnerable. They also will not use this information to exploit you emotionally.
Feeling physically and emotionally safe with your partner makes for a strong and loving relationship. In order to establish physical and emotional safety, it’s important to set boundaries with each other. This means you should discuss:
Sharing common goals can help you feel super connected to each other. This doesn’t mean that you need to meld your individual goals with one another, but sharing a few couple-related goals can make you feel like you are both on the same page. To do so:
Respect looks different to everyone. Having a respectful relationship is a key component to a healthy partnership. To better understand your partner’s take on respect:
Part of being in a healthy relationship is understanding that you each deserve to have your own interests outside of the relationship. Each partner will have different needs when it comes to their own independence. To better understand what you partner needs:
In loving relationships both partners lift each other up and support each other. Honoring each other’s individual self-care needs is one of the best gifts you can give to each other. Healthy individual partners make for healthier relationships. This means that:
Being together for however long is something worth acknowledging. Take time to honor your commitment to each other by celebrating small milestones with one another. This can mean:
Active listening is an important skill to have in a relationship no matter how long you’ve been together. Active listening can help you both better understand each other and avoid miscommunications. To engage in active listening:
Arguments and tiffs are a completely normal part of any healthy relationship. Working through them in a kind and considerate way can strengthen the bond you have with each other. To create a safe space to process arguments or disagreements, be sure to:
Surprises now and again can be a really thoughtful and unexpected act to do for each other. Every once in a while, plan a sweet surprise for each other that shows how much you care. This doesn’t have to big a huge, grand gesture, just something that tells your partner that you know what they like and you’re paying attention to their needs. You can:
Throughout the ups and downs of relationships, there can be some rough periods where you feel pitted against each other. This can happen for couples who have only been dating for a few weeks to those that have been together for years; it doesn’t matter what relationship stage you are in. To re-align with each other:
Doing thoughtful, small acts for each other can feel like a huge act of love to your partner. Think about what types of acts or behaviors they tend to value. Examples include helping around the house, running errands for them, planning a date night, buying gifts, giving them a massage, or writing little love notes to each other. To figure out what types of things your partner likes:
Romantic movies often portray that one or both partners just simply know what makes the other person happy. This is not true and sets up inappropriate expectations. By being honest with each other, you and your partner can meet each other’s needs without having to guess or pretend.
Intimacy is a concept that will vary from couple to couple. Some couples may feel comfortable sharing everything and doing anything in front of each other, while others may want to maintain some privacy. Discussing your unique intimacy goals is a great way to get on the same page. Intimacy topics up for discussion include:
Speaking with your partner about goals that you both would like to work towards is a great way to prioritize your relationship. Keep in mind that strengthening your relationship is a continual process that will help you maintain a loving connection with each other.