Setting goals in a relationship is a constructive way to strengthen your connection and work toward a shared future.

How to Set Goals in a Healthy Relationship

Whether it’s working out a certain number of times a week, getting a promotion, or learning a new skill, we all set goals in life.

While individual goals are important, setting and sharing goals with your partner can help promote a stronger, healthier relationship.

Here, we’ll look at how relationship goals can help support a stronger relationship, how to set goals in a relationship, and examples of relationship goals that can help foster a healthy, meaningful relationship.


What Are Relationship Goals?

A relationship goal is something you want to achieve, learn, experience, or work toward with your partner. It should be something positive that both of you value and should feel attainable to both of you.


The Importance of Relationship Goals

Have you heard of the phrase, “Two is better than one”?

Well, this is certainly true regarding relationship goals.

Setting goals and working toward them together in a relationship may:

  • Strengthen the future of your relationship and keep you on track toward your shared vision
  • Increase relationship satisfaction
  • Offers a sense of mutual achievement
  • Help promote bonding between you and your partner
  • Help develop healthy habits in your relationship
  • Promote teamwork between you and your partner as you work together to learn how to achieve something
  • Helps identify areas of the relationship that can be improved
  • Help build the future you and your partner dream of together

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What Are Examples of Relationship Goals?

Relationship goals can come in many forms. They can be short-term or long-term goals. They can be significant goals that involve important life decisions or be something simple and fun. Shared relationship goals can be physical, spiritual, intellectual, or emotional.

Examples of relationship goals include:

  • Saving up a set amount of money each week or month to work toward a specific financial goal, such as a house purchase
  • Booking a trip to a dream travel destination, planning what to do on the trip, and looking forward to the trip together
  • Taking a new class together to learn a new skill
  • Volunteering at an organisation that matters to both of you for a certain number of days or hours each month
  • Agreeing to get healthier together (this could mean exercising a certain amount of time each day, cooking one new healthy meal a week, or taking at least three walks, jogs, or hikes a week together)
  • Prioritising each other more (this could mean not answering any work emails at night or on the weekends, not bringing your phone in the bedroom or to the dinner table, etc.)
  • Staying more connected (agree to call each other on the phone at least once throughout the day, hug or kiss a certain number of times a day, or check in once or twice by text to let your partner know you are thinking of them)
  • Spicing up the bedroom by trying one new position a week or increasing how many times you want to have sex each week
  • Spending more time together (schedule at least one date night a week and stick to it)
  • Agreeing to experience more new things together (this could include agreeing to try one new restaurant a month together, checking out a new museum or exhibit every month, etc.)

It's crucial to maintain individual goals and interests alongside your shared ones.


10 Tips for Setting Goals in a Healthy Relationship

1. Frame the Goals in a Positive Perspective

Instead of saying you are going to set a goal to argue or fight less, make sure you positively frame your relationship goals.

It is better to work toward shared goals with a positive focus. So rather than a negative approach of “fighting less”, make a goal to work on assertive communication with each other and trying to let minor issues go.


2. Be Flexible

When you and your partner set goals together, listen closely to each other, keep a flexible mindset, and remember you are on each other’s team.


3. Start Small

Rather than setting several goals all at once, start small. Consider setting one fun goal to start with and adding on more goals once you accomplish your first one.


4. Brainstorm Goals On Your Own First

Before you set goals with your partner, take some time by yourself to consider what your goals are and which ones are most important to you.

Once you brainstorm goals on your own, discuss the ideas with your partner. They may come up with totally different ideas or perspectives you wouldn’t have thought of.

Together, you can agree on the goals you are most excited about and feel the best about.


5. Set Realistic Deadlines

Keep your deadlines realistic in terms of reaching your goals. Change takes time and we all know life can throw unexpected setbacks at you. Keep deadlines realistic and be willing to be flexible with them if needed.

Be flexible and willing to adapt your goals as your relationship evolves.


6. Be Clear About the Goals

Goals that are too vague can decrease your chance of meeting the goal as a couple. Make sure your goals are shared, attainable, specific, and clearly outlined.

Be very clear about what you want to achieve or do together and how to do it. Discuss the steps to achieving each goal and decide what success will look like.

For instance, compare these two goals:

  • We want to spend more time together
  • We are going to spend more time together by scheduling a day and time each week to have a date

It’s very clear which of these goals is more likely to be achieved. Make sure your goals involve a clear outcome, actionable steps, and attainable results.


7. Set At Least One Fun Goal Together

Make sure that at least one of your relationship goals is fun, not just focused on work, achievements, or significant life changes.

For instance, you could pick a place you both want to travel to together, find a new class you want to try together or agree to plan a unique date night every week.


8. Make Sure the Goals Aren’t One-Sided

A goal should be equally important to each partner. One-sided goals won’t do much in terms of improving your relationship or making it stronger. Make sure each goal involves equal input from both of you and involves an outcome that matters to both of you.


9. Make Sure the Goals Feel Good

Yes, some of the goals will take hard work and commitment. However, even if it is hard work, the relationship goals should make you feel excited, optimistic, and motivated. If the goals are making you or your partner stressed or overwhelmed, it is time to reevaluate.


10. Revisit Each Goal Regularly

Check-in regularly with your partner to see how they are feeling as you work toward shared goals. Are they getting frustrated with the progress? Or are they feeling like this goal is no longer worthwhile? Take the time to make sure you are both still excited about the goal and feeling good about the progress.

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Ensure that your goals are realistic and achievable.


Benefits of a Matchmaker

Shared goals can help promote a stronger, healthier relationship.

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