Now that spring is upon us, we need to look to the future and figure out how to make that future look the way we want. So, it’s time to clean up our romantic relationships and set some goals.
When you’re in a long-term relationship or marriage, it's important to set sexual, relationship, and overall life goals together. Goals are a positive force—a shining light you can work towards. Setting goals helps to frame relationship issues in a way that seems manageable and adds a sense of togetherness to achieving these goals as a couple.
It's important to have goals that are attainable, reasonable, and specific, but how you achieve the goals is just as important as the goals themselves. Read on for tips on how to do so.
Figure out What Each of You Needs Fulfilled
First, you have to do some individual work. Take some time alone to contemplate how you currently feel in your relationship. Are you happy? Do you feel content? Is there an area of your relationship where you think you could improve? Where could your partner improve?
Ask yourself the hard questions. Be willing to feel uncomfortable, whether it's how your partner interacts with your parents, your need for more orgasms, or your desire to try a new thing in bed—discomfort probably means you should set forward-moving goals around that topic.
Write It Down
Each of you takes a piece of paper and write down broad categories: relationship, sex life, work, family, and whatever else you think you should work on (relationships should never be stagnant, so feel free to list several categories).
Write down at least three goals in each category that are important to you. Ask yourself why they are important in your life and how you could improve on them. Be as specific as possible. Be ready to openly discuss everything you have written down.
Come With an Open Mind (And Heart)
Before you even write your own goals down, be open with each other about how real this might get. It can get very heavy, very fast. Come to each other with an open mind and an open heart, ready to work through your issues and strengthen what you already have going for you.
If you don’t think you can openly talk about the goals you’d like to set, well, that’s a goal for you right there: Be able to openly talk about my feelings without judgment or fear of defensiveness.
Be Willing to Compromise
After you’ve both shown each other your goals, have an honest discussion. Remember: open mind and open heart. There might be some things you don’t want to hear—too bad. This is a forever relationship, and you’re not going to get anywhere by being hostile.
With that being said, be willing to compromise. For instance, maybe you want to have sex more often. You are interested in doing it every single day. Your partner, however, only wants to do it once a week. Instead of getting frustrated, negotiate. Have sex three times a week so both of you can be happy. Set aside specific days for sex so you can meet these goals.
Compromise is the glue that holds together a long-term relationship. When one person is unhappy so the other person can have what they want, no one ends up happy.
You Both Need to Give It 100 Percent
Once you have a few realistic goals set, be ready to give it your all. Now is not the time to phone it in just because you can’t be bothered. This goes for your partner, as well. If one person is putting in the effort while the other is lagging, you will not meet your goals. Check-in regularly. Be ready to set new goals, if needed. Don’t take this lightly. Make your goals happen. Together, you’re capable of anything.
Gigi Engle is a certified sex coach, educator, and writer living in Chicago. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.