Many of us are looking for love.
We watch movies and read books filled with love stories — often with characters feeling these deep romantic feelings for the first time.
But what about what happens after that first kiss? What happens after the story is over?
Rarely do we talk about relationship goals as couples.
Whether you’re looking for a long-term relationship or just a physical connection, there are as many different kinds of relationships as there are people and it’s a good idea to have some love goals in mind.
Whether you’re looking for a long-term love or just a hot and steamy fling, every relationship is unique — and it’s important to know what relationship goals you have in mind. From holding hands to the honeymoon phase, understanding your personal relationship goals will help set the stage.
While we're not relationship advice experts, here are some of the top ten relationship goals (aka couple goals!) that can lead to a fun and healthy love connection in the bedroom and beyond whether you're in the early stages or are a married couple!
If you're looking for lasting love to figure out long-term relationship goals, or are just dipping your toes into dating, this list of relationship goals covers all the bases.
One of the most important parts of any healthy relationship is open communication - it’s how we connect to each other, grow closer to our loved ones, and resolve problems in a good relationship.
Great communication in a successful relationship can look like different things for different people. It can be the way you talk to each other as much as the way you listen to each other. Sometimes it’s being able to read each other’s body language and guess how your partner feels without a single word being spoken.
It’s important to consider what kind of communicator you are in a relationship - are you open about some topics and more closed-off about others? Do you tell your significant other how you are feeling or do you wait until they ask first? Maybe you even prefer text messages than phone calls to communicate things quickly!
Figuring your communications style out about yourself can lead to a more open and self-aware relationship. For example, if you are a passive communicator, you may want someone who is an involved and curious listener. This is the sort of behavior you can keep a lookout for, even during first encounters.
Obviously, we all want to have honesty in our relationships. Often honesty is boiled down to the basics — we think about it in terms of cheating or sneaking around behind someone’s back. Honesty is much bigger than that — it's about figuring out how to understand each other.
An honest relationship is one where you can confide your deepest thoughts to a partner. It’s like having an accomplice or best friend in building your best life - they’ll let you know if they think you need particular advice or if you need a push in the right direction. Honesty can also mean having someone that you can be your true and most genuine self around — someone who lets you take your guard down.
To foster and grow honesty in your relationships, you must first get to know yourself. Some people don’t realize that they’re being dishonest to themselves and find that affecting the relationships in their life.
By getting in touch with our true feelings and acting consistently on them, we can build the foundation of an honest and trusting relationship.
By communicating honestly with our partner, you build trust over time.
Trust is the glue of any relationship, whether that’s a hookup or a deep romantic relationship. It’s having faith not only in your partner’s loyalties but their capabilities. Without trust, there cannot be true intimacy.
It may seem difficult for some of us to trust a partner, because it relies on our own life experiences — we can’t force ourselves to trust our partner, even if we really want to.
When building a trusting relationship with someone, that sometimes means addressing your past experiences and taking a look at how they impact you today. By understanding our past and also learning to trust ourselves, we can have faith in why we picked this partner, as well as other big decisions we make.
One of the best things you can do for any relationship is maintain the life that you have separate from your partner. When you don’t center every waking moment to your relationship, you let it grow stronger. It’s important to remember that finding a partner doesn’t mean your solo life is over. Having individual goals sets you up for success in your own life and in the long haul!
Maintaining independence in a relationship can mean spending time alone and indulging in hobbies that you love or hanging out alone with your besties. As long as you’re honest and open about your life separate from them, independence can help you and your partner have well-rounded and rich lives.
All healthy relationships are built on the foundation of respect.
Respect can be something that happens naturally or something that we have to learn how to do, especially when it comes to boundaries. The boundaries that we set for ourselves are essential — and understanding our own boundaries, especially if we’ve experienced trauma, can be complicated. Having respect for yourself is the start of having respect in any type of relationship.
It’s also important to respect not only who your partner is but also where they came from and how they became the person you’re learning to love. This can be a matter of learning more about them, discussing principles and morals, and even challenging your own views.
Finding out what kind of partner you respect can mean asking yourself, what are my priorities and do they align with this other person’s? What do I think is important? Do I respect my partner’s differences and do they respect mine?
Whether you’re building a life with your partner or just having fun, you should understand the truth of who you both are and where you come from. Knowing the privileges and disadvantages that you and your partner have will help you understand how you might navigate life differently and how to see the world through each other’s eyes.
Equality in a healthy relationship can also resemble time and resources being shared between the partners. Sometimes this means re-examining impulse decisions as well as any assumptions made about your partner. Each person is the expert of their own life story and by listening and empathizing with them, we can engage in a relationship that values equality.
Ask yourself a few questions — like are there power dynamics at play in the relationship (i.e. age differences or large wealth gaps)? Does this person view me as an equal? Do I view them as an equal?
Kindness can take two different forms in a relationship — how you each express your affection and how you help each other out in times of need. In today’s world, there’s a lot of talk of love languages. It’s important to pay attention to how you prefer to give and receive affection and love.
But kindness can also make a difference in whether you are simply present in each other’s lives or if you actually benefit from each other. Kindness can make a real difference in the down times as well as if a relationship ends poorly or with grace.
No matter who you are, at some point you are going to have conflict with your romantic interest.
But that’s not always a bad thing - conflict can be how we fix something that isn’t working. It’s how we handle conflict that matters.
There are ways to make sure that any conflict you’re facing will help the relationship grow rather than wither away. What’s your goal - to win an argument or to build a stronger relationship? Are you and your partner both open and honest listeners? Are you and your partner both taking responsibility for your words and actions?
This is where honesty, trust, kindness, and respect really intersect. Neither you nor your partner are mind readers and you can only know what is being shown or told to you. When the conflict is approached with care and a willingness to understand, it can be a doorway to further intimacy and love.
Most relationships begin with a lot of fun and excitement. It can be exhilarating to meet someone new. Your date nights may include adventures that you haven’t experienced before and you’re getting to create and know a whole new world.
Having fun can look very different to different couples. It can also change over time - how you like to have fun in your twenties will not be the same when you’re in your forties. This rings true in relationships as well — how you have fun on the first few dates might differ when you’ve been dating for a few years.
Often we see a lot of different messages from advertisements and social media about what kind of fun we should be having - especially with cliches like Valentines Day and romantic cruises - but what fulfills you and your partner will be special and unique.
Ultimately the fun in your relationship will come from an understanding of both yourself and your partner and the kind of fun activities you both enjoy.
Last but certainly not least, there’s commitment.
Commitment doesn’t always look like a couple exchanging promise rings, getting engaged, or listing out affirmations - it can be as simple as looking at your partner and remembering why you like or even love them in the first place.
It can be expressing affection with them on a regular basis in a way that you know they’ll appreciate or find a way to set goals. Serious relationships can be building a life together while also making sure your individual lives are growing strong as well.
It can also be committing to your idea of what kind of love story you want to have. Because as wonderful as it is to be in a committed relationship with someone else, what matters in the end is the commitment that you have to yourself. Love can be a great adventure as long as you never leave yourself behind.
Check in with your partner every now and again to understand if you have the same commitment levels!
Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you. — Walter Winchell
When people show you who they are, believe them the first time. — Maya Angelou
Right and wrong, Who's to say which we should refuse? All we know, love survives either way we choose. — Gomez Addams.
The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. — Neale Donald Walsch
Setting relationship goals is making a promise to yourself that you should be able to experience the kind of love that you want and deserve. You may notice a common theme with these goals - that a lot of these traits can only be realized in a relationship when you start with yourself.
At the end of the day, learning how to build a healthy relationship starts from learning how to have your own relationship with yourself. The best love in the world is the love that you give yourself. By knowing who you are and what you want from the world, you can enjoy meaningful and strong relationships, and enough love for a lifetime.
Now that you know some relationship goals to strive towards, these are the top relationship skills you need to achieve these relationship goals and some relationship milestones you should celebrate! You can also take our relationship quiz to evaluate your relationship further.