Lately, it’s hard to read anything on the internet without a hashtag attached to it. It’s gotten to the point that unless there’s a hashtag, your sincerity is in question. While I have no intention of furthering this communication hiccup, I couldn’t help but take a peek at what passes for #relationshipgoals these days. By and large, I wasn’t impressed. However, when it comes to relationship goals, there were two posts that stood out to me that I can’t help but share.
Relationship Goals to Aim For Before and After Marriage
“Before entering a committed relationship, ask yourself whether you are stable enough to be in it or continue it.” When relationships first start, there’s not usually a lot of forethought. I mean, you meet someone and something clicks but who’s to say where things will lead. The casual dating begins and while you may not know much, you know you enjoy each other’s company.
Eventually, however, things start to get serious. You realize that life tastes sweeter when your Boo is by your side. Some people need a month to get to that feeling. Some people need a year. Regardless of how much time it takes to make that decision, one thing is certain. You must make sure that you are stable enough to be in and maintain a long term relationship.
But what exactly does it mean to be “stable?” I suggest that when you start to contemplate having a long term relationship that can lead to a lifelong commitment, make sure the following areas are covered:
Before the Vows
- You have taken the time to get emotionally and mentally healthy for you and yourself alone.
- You have put a clear and indisputable end to all other intimate relationships.
- The family values that matter most (having vs not having kids, living with your parents, etc.) are clear in your mind.
- You are financially ready to bring another person into your world.
- Whatever your spiritual convictions, you know the areas you are either willing or unwilling to compromise.
- You have friends you are willing to listen to who will call you out on your crap when you start to sling it.
- You are in a headspace that enables you to listen to, serve, encourage, and sometimes carry the past, present, and future of a significant other.
- Sharing your heart or being vulnerable may not come easy, but you are at least open to the possibility.
- Go on lots of dates, hold hands, kiss.
And yes, this is all before walking down the aisle. If you can handle these relationship goals before marriage, there’s nothing to stop you from handling the ones that come afterward.
After the “I dos”
“Thank God our parents never needed #couplegoals and #relationshipgoals.” This post hit the nail on the head for relationship goals after marriage. Don’t get me wrong. There are modern trends that make sustaining a relationship easier than in our parent’s time. However, there is something our parents had that can’t be denied. For many of them, their relationship goals were limited to maybe two things: build a solid foundation and work hard to maintain it.
They didn’t need to spend a lot of time going to boot camps or marriage seminars. For them, marriage guidance came from church. And once they made the decision to get married, it usually meant for life. But what is it that they did that kept the divorce rate low and the family bond strong? Well, after the “I dos,” the following is important if you want your relationship to succeed:
- Self-care, physically, mentally and emotionally, must remain a priority.
- Don’t cheat.
- Keep extended family out of your relationship and family decisions.
- Discuss financial matters often.
- Make a decision to grow together spiritually.
- Have at least one close friend you can be open with who will help you see things from a different point of view when necessary.
- Remember and commit to your vows every day.
- Communicate honestly and openly with your spouse.
- Go on lots of dates, hold hands, kiss, etc.
I know that #relationshipgoals is a thing and if it helps keep yours thriving, then no shade from me. But the hashtag holds no meaning if you don’t put in the work needed for a successful relationship before and after marriage. Maybe instead of relationship goals, it might be time for a change, like #putinthework. I don’t know. I’m just sayin’.
BMWK, what relationship goals are important to you?
Up Next: 20 Marriage Quotes for a Lifelong Marriage Beyond the Wedding
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