It’s likely you’re one of the millions of people who use the popular social media app Instagram. And chances are you’ve also come across (or even used) the hashtag #relationshipgoals. Boasting a whopping 4.3 million+ posts (at the time of writing this article), it shows us a general consensus of what we ‘should’ all be aiming for in our romantic lives.
This (overused) phrase and hashtag is also responsible for setting completely unrealistic relationship expectations and goals. Attached to an augmented reality of picture perfect photos filtered to a point they no longer represent anything that’s real. Sure, there are some honest and genuine tips for #relationshipgoals on Instagram, however like airbrushed fashion models, the majority are presented in a way that can make us feel insecure, jealous, or question if what we have is really good enough.
Sound familiar? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s easy to get caught up in ‘Instagram-land’ but the good news is you can have a kick-ass relationship with real, solid, authentic goals that will enrich your relationship all round.
So get your head out of the hashtag, put your phone down and start doing the following for your relationship because trust me, these #relationshipgoals are worth their weight in gold.
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1. Have regular date nights
Life gets busy so organising regular date nights is crucial. These date nights should be planned together and put into the calendar in advance – aim for two a month. Your date nights must be technology-free, so leave your phone in your bag (or at home).
Date nights are a way for you to reconnect personally as a couple so make it a point to refrain from talking about the children, work, finances and family issues. Focus on conversations about your lives and futures.
2. Be spontaneous
Surprise each other when you can. These don't need to be grand gestures – it could be a random movie night or a weekend drive into the mountains. Spontaneity is all about keeping things exciting, evolving and moving. Why not leave some love notes around the house?
3. Consistently check in
This is about asking your partner how they’re going within your relationship, how are they feeling? Are they happy? Could they be happier? Do they feel loved? What areas need improvement?
It’s crucial you check in with your relationship at least once a month to ensure you know where the other person’s head (and heart) are at. It also lets you work things out together and keeps you on the same page.
4. Keep communication open and honest
If you feel a certain way, speak up. Humans can not read minds, so never treat your partner like they can. If something is wrong, it’s your responsibility to talk about it. The more honest you are, the more solid your relationship will become. Keep the lines of communication open, always. Most importantly NEVER give the silent treatment, it’s childish and petty.
5. Demonstrate love and appreciation through words and actions
Mean what you say and say what you mean. Love and appreciation are things that can be communicated physically as well as through words. Perhaps a bunch of flowers to go along with your thanks? Maybe you take their share of the chores this weekend to show you’re grateful? Whatever it is, doing something to show your appreciation and love is a great way to make your partner feel valued.
6. Support each other’s goals and independence
Your partner is not your possession and if you treat them like one I’d seriously suggest you re-think relationships. Independence and personal goals within a relationship are crucial to self-esteem/development and love. Encouraging the other is a great way to show them you care and have their back. Championing their independence also demonstrates your trust in them and will ensure you always have new topics of conversation to chat about!
7. Be friends, not just lovers
Your partner NEEDS to be your friend, period. If you don’t look at your partner as your best friend I can wholeheartedly say your relationship won’t last. If it pisses you off reading that, vent your frustrations into changing your relationship. Friendship is long-term and if you aren’t friends first, nothing longstanding can be built on that.
8. Have great sex
Ladies, this means having orgasms. Men, this means more than missionary position. Couples, this means having sex when you BOTH want it. Change things up in the bedroom. Be confident in asking for what you want. Sex is about being vulnerable to another person completely and enjoying the passion it brings, so enjoy each other.
9. Be invested in your combined futures
Have a plan on where you want your relationship to go and the steps it needs to take in order to get there. No, I don’t mean you need to sit down and map it all out. I just mean to have the conversation so you’re both on the same page. Do you both want children? Do you want to travel the world? Do you want to run a business together? Whatever it is, ensure you’re both committed to ensuring you’re contributing equally to your combined future.
Why not plan out your adventures together with a Bucket List book. It also makes the perfect Valentine's Day activity (no fancy restaurant required).
About The Author
Megan Luscombe is a certified Life & Relationship Coach based in Melbourne who believes that everyone should be in a relationship that is fulfilling, fun, adventurous and soul changing. She takes a ‘no bullshit’ approach in how to have a great relationship by delving straight into the truth when it comes to love, lust, sex and fear. Find out more at www.meganluscombe.com.au