In the early stages of a relationship, falling in love is exciting and thrilling. Finding someone who is willing to commit to being with you makes you feel special and giddy. And because all of this is so fun, couples often forget to address some important questions in order to make sure they’re on the same page before getting too comfortable.
There are a million burning questions you probably want to ask your partner if you’re in a new relationship, but one of the most vital is asking what their goals are. That is, not just their goals in your relationship, but their personal ones too (if they are willing to share!).
Your goals are a representation of your values, dreams, wants, and needs, and that is something super useful for your partner to get to really know you better.
In saying this, yours and your partner’s goals will most likely shift and adapt to your changing lifestyles over time, so if your goals clash at the start of your relationship, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to make things work.
On the other hand, the most important point is to remember to check in with your partner on a regular basis to see how their goals and plans have shifted since the start of the relationship.
If things continue to clash — for example, if they plan to move overseas and that’s something you’re not interested in, or if your dream is to have children but your partner has a stance on not wanting children — then you might need to re-evaluate how things are going to continue to play out as their and your personal goals come closer to actually happening.
So, to avoid being shocked by your partner’s goals later on in your relationship, here are some reasons why checking in with each other is so vital.
You can better understand your partner
Knowing what your partner wants out of life through their goals allows you to be aware of their wants, needs, desires, values, and so much more. You understand them on a deeper level, instead of always guessing what they want – both out of life and out of your relationship.
The reason couples fight, complain or feel disconnected all ties back to one problem: a lack of understanding.
It doesn’t take much to fulfil one another’s needs – most of the time it’s as simple as saying what they need to hear in that time, the hardest thing is knowing what it is that’s needed. That’s what understanding is, and learning your partner’s goals and the evolution of their goals is a great step in the right direction for getting to know your partner better.
It helps foster communication
Speaking about something as personal as your goals will not only help start a conversation but also foster communication in the long run, as you and your partner begin to feel more comfortable sharing these things with one another.
It can also spark the inspiration for creating your own set of relationship goals, which are a great way to enhance the time you actively spend on strengthening your relationship. Considering you have personal and professional goals in your life, it makes sense to also have mutual couple goals if you are in a committed relationship.
Since you and your personal goals change over time, having a common vision through relationship goals and setting boundaries can safeguard you from drifting apart, and instead help you grow and evolve together. Of course, remaining flexible and nimble as life and each of your goals changes is essential, but having these mutual couple goals can really help strengthen your bond throughout it all.
You know when to celebrate achievements
Yours or your partner’s goals are unique and tailored to each of you, which means that sometimes achieving your goal might not necessarily look like an ‘achievement’ to someone else because it differs from their own desires or the norm.
If you don’t know what your partner’s goals are then you don’t know when they have achieved something that means a great deal to them. Therefore, you can’t celebrate those achievements.
Being able to celebrate something that other people might not fully understand makes it special for you both, and will likely strengthen your bond and connection.
It lowers the risk of being in a dead-end relationship
If you don’t know some of your partner’s goals, then you don’t know if they clash with your own. When things eventually are revealed, the impact may be something your relationship can’t bounce back from.
If your goals clash it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in a dead-end relationship, just that you are aware you may need to make compromises.
Simply being honest and open with these things is the best way for your partner to get to know you, which is why finding out goals that perhaps your partner never expected from you can cause tension as it can feel as though they never fully knew you or your intentions in life.
You can see how their priorities change
As mentioned, learning your partner’s goals when you first enter a relationship is a great way to quickly understand your partner better, but it’s important to remember that these will rarely stay exactly the same. Just like your own goals and desires evolve, so will your partner’s.
The key is to check in every so often, where you can also share how things have shifted for you too. As you see their goals evolve, it will also show how their priorities change over time, which can be a good representation of where you stand and how important you are in each other’s lives. For example, if one of their initial goals was to live overseas for a few years with a desire to explore new cultures and they knew that you had no interest in moving, perhaps that goal has changed to going for just a few months or instead embarking on a shorter trip where you would also be interested in going along.
If things don’t change and your goals continue to clash, it might not mean that you aren’t still a high priority in their life. Perhaps they are just trying to fulfil a lifelong desire. Talk about these desires and ways they can be met, how pursuing each goal will affect your relationship, and what compromises you will need to make in order to satisfy one another.
Openly communicating about your partner’s goals and your own goals is the key to better understanding each other and will ultimately help fuel a successful relationship.
This article was written by Laine Fullerton and originally published on A Girl In Progress.