You may have seen the term “relationship goals” on social media, but most of those posts pertain to small elements that add little value to a relationship. As we approach take on this new year, we want to set you up for success as a couple. Here are 10 actual relationship goals for 2018, courtesy of our couples counseling centers in Michigan.
1 – Set Aside Time For Each Other
Have a weekly date night, plan a couples vacation, and block out some time to talk together every night. Once you get comfortable in your relationship, you may forget to schedule time for one another. Simply seeing your spouse isn’t enough. Make a definitive effort to spend time with your loved one, and your relationship will naturally thrive.
2 – Acknowledge Each Other’s Accomplishments
People are happier when they feel appreciated. Show your spouse that you care about his or her accomplishments, no matter how small they may be. You are your spouse’s core support system, and your opinion matters more than anyone else’s.
3 – Find A New Hobby Together
This is a great way to spend more time together and build memories as a couple. Pursue a new hobby or get active in a local organization together. All the events that you go to as a result will be more opportunities to bond with your spouse.
4 – Keep Your Conflicts Confidential
If a conflict arises in your relationship, talk to your spouse about it directly. If you are in couples counseling, you may also discuss these issues with your counselor. The key here is to avoid bringing friends and family members into your relationship conflicts because that will ultimately make matters worse. You’re more likely to work things out without the influence of your peers.
5 – Turn Your Phones Off During Family Time
If you’re going to eat dinner together or watch a movie, turn your phones off. If you get distracted during your bonding time, your spouse will think you are not interested in the moment. If you give your undivided attention to the moment at hand, you and your spouse will both have a better time.
6 – Leave Work At Work
Do not bring work stress into your household. Ignore emails, phone calls, and anything else associated with work until your next work day starts. This clears your mind so you can focus entirely on your family.
7 – Establish And Sick To A Budget
Financial stress is one of the biggest sources of conflicts for couples. You can reduce that stress by creating a household budget and sticking to it. Determine exactly how much money needs to go to bills, savings, emergency funds, allowances, food, personal expenses, and more. Then hold each other accountable until you maintain good money management practices.
8 – Create A Balance Of Responsibilities
Take some time to re-evaluate the division of responsibilities in your household. Is one person carrying more weight than the other? Think about the time it takes to care for the children, clean the house, prepare meals, go shopping, work, go to school, etc. The more balanced the responsibilities are, the less stress there will be on your relationship.
9 – Use Thoughtful Gestures To Express Your Feelings
Something as simple as an “I love you” text during the day is enough to show your spouse that you care. Leave sticky notes on the mirror or add funny notes to your spouse’s lunch. A small surprise and a corresponding smile will go a long way.
10 – Don’t Focus On Examples…Become One
Instead of getting caught up in the happy life you think everyone else has, create your own happiness within your relationship. Every couple goes through struggles, but success is measured by how you overcome them. If you focus on resolving your issues and strengthening your bond, you will become an example that others live by.
For more helpful tips or personalized solutions, contact the couples counselors at Heron Ridge Associates.