18 Relationship Goals Every Couple Needs For Long-Term Love
The term “relationship goals” is a popular hashtag thrown around on social media to accompany staged and filtered couple photos, but what exactly are relationship goals, and why should you have them?
Healthy, successful relationships are built on two individuals coming together and being intentional about their shared goals and actions, today and in the future. It’s common to set goals for your job, business, or even your health, so why should your romantic relationships be different?
Maybe you’ve been in a committed relationship for a few months, years, or even decades. No matter the length of time, one of the best ways to ensure your relationship remains a priority and continues to grow and strengthen is to set long-term relationship goals. Individually, you might have a solid idea of what you want your goals to be, but setting goals as a couple will help you unite as a team and ensure you’re both working towards the same things.
So, what exactly are relationship goals?
In a nutshell, a relationship goal is a mutual value, ideal, outcome, or experience that you share with your partner and want to work towards. A relationship goal should inspire you both, deepen your bond, and help you understand how best to give and receive love. It should help keep you on the right track and create a relationship that you’re both excited to be in and evolve in.
Here are 18 long-term relationship goals every couple needs
Now, you might be wondering, what are good goals for a relationship?
Every person and every relationship is slightly different, which is why I believe it’s essential that you regularly sit down and talk and set your own unique goals as a couple. However, there are some foundational relationship goals that every couple should aspire to, which are key to a happy, healthy, loving partnership. You can think of the below list as the ultimate relationship goals checklist.
1. Top of the relationship goals list: be best friends
Number one on the list of relationship goals every couple needs to have is to be best friends. Ultimately, the strongest romantic relationships are when you’re each other’s best friend, and there’s also that magnetic chemistry and spark stoking your inner fire.
So treat each other like you would a best friend. Be kind and caring. Be supportive. Practice honesty while also considering their feelings. Be loyal and loving. Encourage them to grow and be better each day. Learn from them and teach them. Play. Have fun. Be silly. Try new things together. Check in with them often. Have great adventures. Make mistakes, and grow from them.
It’s easy to take the people closest to us for granted, but remember that if you don’t regularly nurture a friendship, it will weaken and eventually fizzle out.
2. Master the art of communication
If you don’t know how to communicate effectively in a relationship, you’re destined for trouble. And what makes this even trickier is we all have slightly different communication styles. For example, you might be very direct and abrupt in your approach, while your partner might be more sensitive and emotional in theirs. This can lead to clashing every time you talk and leave one or both of you feeling hurt, misunderstood, and unheard.
If you know communication isn’t your forte, create time to learn where things are going wrong and build that communication line up as a team. It’s crucial you resolve any issues sooner rather than later because when left, they will only fester and spiral into something bigger.
Make space to check in with each other often (every day if possible) and openly share how you’re feeling and what’s going on in your world.
3. Align on the big things
Another important goal in a relationship is to make sure you’re on the same page regarding values and belief systems. That doesn’t mean you have to be an exact clone of each other and have identical opinions about everything, but there are some things that you must align on. I’m talking about the BIG stuff like whether you want to get married and have kids, where you want to live, the kind of lifestyle you want to have each day, etc.
If you’re not aligned when it comes to massive, life-changing things like that, you will inevitably find yourself bumping heads—and the friction will only disappear once one of you compromises on your internal beliefs, which is not fair on either of you.
This is why in my Little Love Steps, I recommend creating a love vision by deeply reflecting on the man and the relationship that’s compatible with your future. By doing this, you’ll discover how to choose the right men and avoid the wrong relationship.
4. Learn how to handle conflict
It’s normal to argue and have disagreements as part of a healthy relationship. Any couple who tells you they never fight is straight-up LYING to you. But the key here is to be mindful of how you handle conflict when it arises. This is where those communication skills come into play. Remain calm, speak with love and respect, and listen to one another, no matter how wound up you are.
Like all things, this requires practice. It’s okay if neither of you has mastered this yet. Just make it one of your goals to learn how to navigate conflict better together in the future.
Need a little extra help dealing with conflict in your relationship? Try working with a dating coach.
5. Practice kindness
I’m gonna tell you a story about a couple named Kim and Rob who have been happily married for 20 years. Every morning when Kim wakes up and walks into her kitchen, there’s a cup of warm water waiting for her on the counter. Her husband Rob does this for her each morning, without fail (even when they’re fighting) because he knows how happy it makes her to have a warm mug to pour her coffee into.
That’s the epitome of #relationshipgoals right there!
If you ever needed proof that it’s the small acts of kindness that mean the most, Kim and Rob are it. But don’t even take their word for it. Think about what matters most to you in a relationship. Is it the big, grand, romantic gestures, or is it the little things that most people on the outside wouldn’t even notice?
Being kind to each other is one of the most important goals in any relationship. Be good to each other. Be generous with your love and affection. Even when you’re going through a rocky patch, be kind. It sounds cliché, but always treat people how you want to be treated.
6. Relationship goals: be on the same team
Chances are if you’re in a committed relationship, you plan on being with this person forever (if you can’t see forever, it’s time to call it quits now). So if you do see a future, then you must act as a team. Be there for each other, show your support, tell each other when you’re proud of something the other has done, champion their dreams (even if they’re out there), and don’t (under any circumstances) talk badly about each other to friends or family.
One of the best parts of a relationship is having someone standing in your corner, doing this crazy thing called life with you.
7. Together, you’re always 100%
In a relationship, you have to both be all in. But we’re all human, and that means there will inevitably be occasions when we’re unable to give 100% to the relationship, and that’s okay.
Maybe you’re sick one day, and you can only give 10%, and your partner has to field the other 90%. Perhaps your partner experiences a sudden loss in his family, and you’re the one who has to step up to compensate for a few weeks or months.
What’s important is that together, you always strive to be 100%.
8. Set and respect each other’s boundaries
A healthy relationship always has boundaries, so one of your goals should be setting and respecting those boundaries.
A boundary is simply a limit or space between you and your partner. You can have boundaries when it comes to every facet of your relationship: time, safety, money, sex, diet, commitment, friends and family, etc.
For example, is there something you don’t feel comfortable doing in bed? How much alone time do you need? What makes you feel safe in a relationship? How much time would your partner need to hang out with his friends for it to be too much for you?
Setting boundaries is #6 on my 7 Little Love Steps because without setting clear, healthy boundaries, any relationship is destined to fail.
9. Love each other unconditionally
“If he can’t handle you at your worst then he does not deserve you at your best. Real love means seeing beyond the words spoken out of pain, and instead seeing a person’s soul.”—Shannon L. Alder, 300 Questions LDS Couples Should Ask Before Marriage.
All relationships have their ups and downs, but what matters is how you treat each other on rainy days. You will both occasionally do things that irritate, hurt, and frustrate each other, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love each other, right? So think about this in those moments. Be considerate of your partner’s feelings. Remind yourself of the love you have for them. And take time to communicate with them if something needs to change.
This is what it means to love unconditionally.
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10. Trust each other fully
Next up on the list of relationship goals every couple needs for long-term love is trust.
Without trust, you cannot have a healthy, committed relationship with someone. It’s normal to have lives outside of each other in the way of work, hobbies, and friendships, and it’s vital that you don’t allow your insecurities and jealousy to eat away at the trust.
Remember, you cannot (and should not) control each other. If you feel insecure or jealous, talk about it openly with your partner and see if there’s a way to work through it before it magnifies. If you make a promise, keep it; otherwise, your word becomes worthless. And always be honest.
11. Do things together and apart
Another goal to help build a successful, long-term relationship is to spend quality time together and quality time apart.
When you enter a new relationship, it’s easy to become all-consumed by this new person. You’re infatuated. You cannot get enough of them. But if you let this continue indefinitely, it leads to one or both of you becoming codependent on each other.
To avoid this, carve out regular alone time for yourselves each week. See friends. Engage in your hobbies and interests. Take a mini solo vacation. Enjoy a night in the house alone. Take yourself out on a date. Watch a movie alone. Maintain your independence.
12. Create a future together
Romantic city breaks, bottomless brunches, and indulgent spa days are lovely, and you need fun activities like this to give your relationship a little boost of happiness now and then. But channeling your resources into longer-term goals and plans is equally important and will add a sense of security and achievement that will bring you joy in another way. So if you do see a future together, one of your relationship goals should be to focus on building that.
Whether it’s saving up to buy your first house, going back to school, investing in a business venture together, revamping your diet, or planning your wedding—it’s not weird to make plans in the future because you see each other there!
13. Keep it sexy
“It’s no secret that relationship satisfaction is correlated with sexual satisfaction and people use physical intimacy as a way to bond and connect with their partners. For many people, physical sexual intimacy is a way to increase attachment and help satisfy our needs to feel desired, wanted, and nurtured with partners. For some people, physical intimacy can help create security and deepen our emotional and psychological connection with partners.”—Dr. Hernando Chaves, a licensed marriage and family therapist.
Too many couples in long-term relationships stop flirting with each other, and all the romance dies a slow, painful death. But your emotional connection is just as important as your physical connection—so prioritize it.
Tease each other, write love notes, send a naughty text, surprise each other with romantic gestures, and make time for sex (schedule it if you need to!). One study found that couples who have sex once a week are happiest, so don’t think you have to be doing it every day to maintain the intimacy.
14. Cute relationship goals: set (and stick to) a date night
Just because you fall in love with someone and decide you want to spend your life with them, that’s no excuse to stop dating them! Dating is one of the most enjoyable experiences on the planet, and if you’re doing it with someone you love and trust, it’s even greater.
One of the most beneficial (and fun) relationship goals is to have a weekly date night. You could take it in turns to surprise each other or create a bucket list of dates you both want to go on and work your way through. You can stay in, go out, or even fly to a different country—it’s totally up to you.
By taking the time to date each other, you’ll strengthen that physical connection and be able to give each other some much-needed attention.
15. Be spontaneous
I know I said earlier it’s the small, sweet gestures that mean the most, but that doesn’t mean spontaneous grand gestures don’t have their place!
Every once in a while, go crazy and do something BIG that reminds your partner how much they are loved. The only rules are it must be over the top and make your partner blush with all the fuss.
Set aside a budget for spontaneous acts of love like this and enjoy watching your partner’s face light up.
16. Have new adventures together
One of the reasons people grow apart is that they subconsciously stop growing together. What I mean is, they stop having new experiences together, which leaves no room for growth.
So another brilliant relationship goal to have is to commit to new adventures together. This could be taking a dance class, learning to bake bread, exploring a new country, hiking up a mountain, volunteering abroad… make a list of all the things you would both love to do, then start making plans to do them.
17. Talk about money
We can’t talk about relationship goals without mentioning the M-word: MONEY.
Money matters a lot, and unfortunately, it’s the number one cause of relationship breakdowns.
Because people don’t talk about it. They’re conditioned to think it’s rude or awkward to bring it up, so everything gets swept under the carpet. The problem is, it lingers there, it swells, and it becomes an even bigger problem.
We all have a different relationship to money, and problems can arise when you and your partner are not operating on the same money blueprint. This is why you need to open up and talk about it. How do you see money? Where do you want to spend yours? How much are you saving each month? Do you have a budget for household expenses?
Have these conversations regularly because money matters.
18. Be a safe space for each other
Finally, focus your efforts on being a safe harbor for each other from stormy seas. Resist the urge to judge, always be honest, and be protective of each other and your relationship. We all need a person we can go to when things get rough, and we need to offload something, seek advice, or feel like we’re being heard.
Setting relationship goals will help you love each other better
When you take the time to be intentional, set relationship goals, and commit to working on them together, your bond will deepen over time, and you’ll build a future that nourishes you both. So make sure you do create space to sit down together and talk about your needs, hopes, and dreams for your relationship.
Whether you’re single or in a relationship, what are some of the long-term relationship goals that are most important to you? Let me know in the comments below.