How to Set Some Couple’s Goals
We set goals for everything from where we plan to be in five years to how much we plan to weigh. So why don’t we ever set goals for what we want out of our relationships? You already know where you want to be with your lover, but how much of that is just cautious hoping and how much of that are you actively working towards.
More importantly: how much of that are you involving him in?
Sure, it’s one thing to set relationship goals for what kind of relationship you hope to be in, but how does that fit in with his reality?
Who’s Goals are These?
Think about that for a moment. How many times have you used the word “we” to talk about where both of you are headed in this relationship? How certain are you that this is where he is truly heading? How do you know for sure?
That part is easy! You have to communicate. It’s one thing to assume that he want to marry you as much as you want to marry him or that you two will simply start living together very soon, but there could be a bajillion reasons why that’s just not in the cards for him. You can only know for sure if you ask.
Here’s the super-secret part: you can never judge him if his answer is nowhere near what you were expecting. The moment you freak out on him for being honest is the last time you will ever see real honesty from him.
Couples destroy any hopes of moving forward when they ask earnest questions of each other, but never allow for answers that are different from what they are expecting.
Find out His Relationship Direction
It all starts with getting everything out on the table. First of all, don’t have this conversation about real honest couples goals until you’ve been together for a little while and you’ve both exchanged your “I love you’s” and you’ve let that settle into a warm goodness. Actually, you should be asking “innocent” questions about where he’s heading with his love-life just about every time you see him, but they should be cute and fun. So by the time you ask a real question, he feels comfortable enough to tell you what he’s really feeling.
What does that look like? These questions should give him a chance to be creative and fun, but they serve another goal: you are planting seeds in his brain that he might actually decide he wants. Think about a few of the following questions:
- Would you ever consider buying a sail boat and traveling the world with your girlfriend?
- Where would you have your ideal wedding?
- If we started a band together, what instrument would you play?
- What are you most grateful for in your life?
- If you knew you would die in a year, what would you do differently in your life?
- When did you last cry in front of someone?
- If you were running into your burning house but could only save one thing, what would it be?
- What would you share with your best friend but would be embarrassed to share with your partner?
Did you notice that most of these don’t directly involve you? He gets to answer these questions hypothetically (and thus—safely) and you get to see where he’s going with his love life plus you get a glimpse into his emotional intelligence. Another benefit is that he gets to say things out loud that he may never have thought of before and he might just impress himself with his answers.
All of these thoughts, even if they are brand new in his brain, get to germinate. Over time and with an endless stream of deep and interesting questions, his mind starts to get comfortable with things like commitment and direction and they all get associated with you.
Where most people screw it up is that they make these questions directly about themselves. “Have you ever considered marrying me?” is a very serious and direct question that leaves him no room for imagination. If he’s talking about the perfect place to get married, he gets to roll this idea over in his brain instead of wishing he had a fresh pair of underwear.
Let’s say he says he never thought about getting married. That might not be the ideal answer, but you can still direct it by saying something fun like, “Nobody does, but where would you want the perfect place to be.” The thing is that what he answers after that doesn’t really matter but it’s crucial he says something so he has something to think about later on. For you, you realize that if he’s never thought about getting married, you just haven’t done enough to make him see you incredible you are. If you’re on a timeline to get things moving, you will probably be disappointed. However, if you just see it as an opportunity to get him deeper into you, then you understand how much fun you have in store for the both of you.
Once you have a bearing on where he is, now you know where to direct your couple goals. These goals need to be excellent and fun and not at all coming from a place of need. You’re much better off setting a couple goal of traveling somewhere sexy once a year than moving in together as soon as your lease expires or being engaged by Christmas. If you can prove to both of you that setting goals means living a more interesting life, then making goals that bring him closer to commitment will seem easy and seamless to him because he already knows the great things that happen when goals are set.
You should never get discouraged at his reality. Even if he is in a completely opposite place than where you are hoping him to be, it just means you need to adjust your goals until they are truly couples goals.
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