We all have a choice. We can drift through life until, one day, we realize it’s all over. Alternatively, we can set goals to guide us towards possibilities. More specifically, marriage goals align you with each other and motivate you through tough times.
Having a road map for ourselves and our relationships allows us to optimize our life. Goals give us that road map while also supporting our belief in ourselves.
Studies show that goals increase motivation and personal satisfaction. The same happens with marriage goals. This doesn’t just apply to businesses and schools.
As human beings, if we don’t have something to aim for, we lose interest. It’s the same with goals in a relationship. If we forget why we’re together, there’s nothing to hold us after the initial spark has become routine.
So, what are the goals in a relationship?
They are the dreams we have for our lives. They are the vision of our ideal selves that we’re working towards. Yes, marriage goals are an intricate balance of individual and couples’ goals.
Wedding goals and balancing the different goals in a relationship as it evolves are essential parts of marital satisfaction. Essentially, goals are driven by our internal needs. Some of them are basic, such as safety; others are more complex, such as the need for love.
According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, these needs, or the Hierarchy of Needs, have a significant social element. Marriage goals make up a large part of that social element where we aim to become a particular type of couple and type of married person.
In summary, marriage goals heavily impact our well-being. Either we reach them and become who we strive to be, increasing our sense of fulfillment. Alternatively, our “young couple goals” never get met and we enter a world of disharmony and conflict.
How to use marriage relationship goals to fortify your marriage
Setting couple goals means that you set expectations. You ensure that you discuss, for example, relationship family goals. If one partner wants several kids but the other doesn’t want kids, you potentially have an irreconcilable issue.
Setting goals for married couples is a reliable way to have those conversations about what you want from the relationship. Although, critically, you shouldn’t sacrifice your personal life goals.
We all have different goals in a relationship and defining your marriage goals means respecting those various wants. Overall, a marriage purpose has to respect both people and what the couple wants to aim for.
How to set goals as a couple means understanding the different types of marriage goals. These 3 types are companionship, personal growth and instrumental goals. The first one is where couples find the balance between commitment and intimacy while respecting how it changes throughout their lives.
“Personal growth” marriage goals are about supporting each other in learning, experiencing and evolving as a self. Some psychologists define love as an extension of oneself to nurture another’s growth.
Finally, instrumental goals cover all the practicalities of life, such as housework and finances. Please don’t underestimate the power of housework, as the 25% of couples who split up because of it will tell you.
This Harvard Business School study confirms that percentage while also telling us to get more food deliveries to reduce a couple’s stress further.
15 marriage goals examples to strengthen your relationship
It’s easy to get lost in how to achieve marriage goals, such as planning date nights and focusing on the positives. Instead, ask yourself what “couple goals” mean. It means defining shared goals that are both visionary and realistic.
Consider the following examples of relationship goals as you reflect on the specific details for your couple.
1. Grow together
One of the key relationship goals for couples is to agree to support each other’s growth. We never stop learning but sometimes we need a sounding board to help us process our various experiences.
A great “couples goals” list includes remembering that we’re both humans. Accepting each other’s mistakes and foibles isn’t always easy. Instead, we commit to learning to withhold judgment and appreciate the other’s insecurities and issues.
3. Strengthen your values
A relationship goals checklist needs to refer to our core values. If our fundamental beliefs are different, we will never agree on marriage goals and set ourselves up for a life of conflict.
If you want to explore your values, listen to entrepreneur and author Adriana Girdler go through her 3-step process in this video:
4. Discover your needs
Young couple goals differ from married relationship goals because they’re at different stages of life. For instance, old couples tend to be more interested in companionship, whereas younger couples might be more motivated by personal growth.
5. Set financial goals
Money arguments are a major cause of divorce. It’s essential to talk about your beliefs about money. You then need to agree on what you’re aiming for and put it into your marriage goals list.
Be as specific as you can, including how many houses, travel dream homes and other things you might wish for. Then again, you might prefer a simple life with only the essentials.
A wise “couples goals” list includes what happens when you both start aging. While these conversations are never fun, knowing each other’s wishes is essential if one of you gets a debilitating illness. Moreover, you can sign paperwork to ensure that your wishes are followed through.
7. Travel dreams
Many wedding goals include exotic travel plans. Sometimes they even start with the honeymoon. Either way, you’ll need to budget for it. Although, talking about it also gives you a sense of each other’s craving for adventure.
Relationship goals for couples must honor each person’s personal goals. This includes what you want out of your career and how you pursue your hobbies. You might even include how you engage with friends and alone time in this one.
9. Retirement vision
Future couple goals don’t just involve money and pension. They also include where you’re going to live and how you’re going to spend your days.
Does one of you have this lifelong dream of retiring to a farm where they can have a flock of sheep? You want to hear about the crazy marriage goals sooner rather than later.
10. Conflict management
As marriage relationship goals go, conflict management isn’t so much of a goal as a process. Essentially, the goal is to keep fine-tuning the feedback process.
So, how do you intend to learn from each conflict? What are you individually willing to sacrifice and let go off? Knowing each other’s trade-offs is just as important.
11. Develop your rituals
Other examples of relationship goals include developing your special rituals for each stage of your life. For instance, how will you commemorate your first house, your first children to be born and then leave home?
Many marriage goals fail because of interference from others. Extended family members and well-meaning friends have a way of getting into the marriage but they don’t help.
Having relationship family goals that cover how to deal with your different social and family circles is key to setting boundaries and respecting your unique ways of doing things.
13. Cherish your memories
What are goals in a relationship if we forget why we’re together? The memories often reinforce married relationship goals we have together. So, find ways to incorporate how you’ll save your photos and manage social media posts into your supporting actions for your goals.
14. Stay in the moment
Intimacy and commitment are important foundations for marriage relationship goals. Often, this means staying in the moment without dwelling on the past or overthinking the future.
As we get older, this becomes more natural as we tend to get wiser. Nevertheless, how will you support each other to grow into being more equanimous with life’s events?
A relationship goals checklist must include how to forgive each other. We can’t meet our goals for married couples without making mistakes along the way. So, how will you be grateful for each other regardless of what happens?
In a nutshell
Goals in a relationship give a marriage purpose. They give us something to aim for while keeping us motivated.
How to set goals as a couple means agreeing on how we’re going to support each other’s personal growth while keeping housework and economic arguments at bay. Future couple goals also include defining how our intimacy might change over time but that our commitment stays constant.
Marriage goal examples include techniques to support each other’s needs, values and dreams. Our bonds depend as we cherish the memories, learn to forgive and develop our rituals. Marriage goals keep you on track during the good, the bad and challenging times.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.