Relationship goals. We all have them. But while you might think they’re all positive, this isn’t necessarily the case.

In this article, we’re going to cover every goal, or stage, that a relationship has to go through in order to be successful.

Some of these you might have already experienced in previous relationships, and some you may have not yet encountered.

Here are 15 different goals that you will encounter during your romantic relationships.

1) Infatuation

happy couple
Image credit: Shutterstock – By Peter Berni

This is the stage of any new relationship that everyone enjoys and looks forward to – it’s the butterflies and goose pimples stage.

If your heart skips a beat when the phone rings and you change three times before your date, you’ve achieved this goal 🙂

It’s fun and exciting and full of possibility.

2) Disturbance

While infatuation is a fun stage, it doesn’t last long. In fact, many couples soon return to their routines and everyday life sets in pretty quickly.

Regardless of how long you have been together when this stage hits, you will find things to pick fights about, new annoyances will pop up, and suddenly, you find yourself daydreaming about slapping your partner if they don’t stop chewing so loudly!

Turning against your partner is one of the first things you might do, intentionally or not, when the relationship begins to sour.

Maybe something that was once cute and charming is now annoying and repetitive, and instead of responding with a hug, you might offer up a sassy comment.

But even these small, “harmless” comments aren’t as harmless as you might think. They breed toxicity, and create long-term pain. Stop the pain—be kind.

While not people will want to achieve the goal of disturbing each other, the real merit in achieving the goal is getting past all of this without breaking up and staying kind to each other.

3) Changing

Every couple goes through some form of change in the life of their relationship. Sometimes, only one partner changes or experiences a change.

Sometimes one partner expects the other person to change and it is causing issues in the relationship.

This is also a delicate stage of the relationship because each partner will be weighing their options when it comes to how much change they can take on and are willing to commit to.

4) Understanding – and no lies 

If you have made it through the disturbance and changing stage, you are likely in a good place in your relationship because you have come to understand your partner in a new way.

Congratulations!

A healthy relationship needs to be simple, and the first step to keeping it simple is by making sure you aren’t juggling two or three different stories or versions of reality with your partner.

Whether you’re lying about something as big as an affair or something as small as what you had for breakfast, you need to ask yourself; why am I lying?

If you’ve hurt your partner in a way that would cause the relationship to break, then would a lie truly help? Every lie gets found out, one way or another..

Remember, through this understanding honest stage, a lot of compromise comes up during as couples try to navigate what they other wants and needs in order to stay together for the long run. But it’s a goal well worth achieving 🙂

It’s a project worth investing in for the two of you.

5) Desire Each Other In Your Minds

It’s crucial in a long-term relationship for there to be an attraction for each other’s minds.

You can’t love each other if you can’t respect each other, and respect begins by acknowledging your partner’s intellectual capacity.

Simply put, after the excitement has gone, you need a way to fill the gaps in the day. You need to interest each other with new ideas, new concepts; books, movies, culture, art.

Your conversations don’t have to be academic, but they should be more than just “How are you?”, every single evening.

6) …And Your Bodies

Sex is crucial, and one of the biggest problems a relationship faces as it goes on is sex getting… well, boring.

No matter how intelligent or cultured you might be, you can’t get away from the fact that at your core, you’re still a person with natural sexual instincts.

And if your partner isn’t satisfying that side of you, a bubble of disappointment will slowly grow inside of you. Eventually, that bubble will fuel arguments, disagreements, and general resentment.

If you’re still sexually attracted to each other after a signifcant amount of time, that’s a great sign 🙂

7) You Continue to Have Fun Together

Serious conversations, intellectual discourse, emotional connections, and great sex. What more could a relationship need? One thing—fun!

You’re not always going to be in the mood to be romantic or sexual or emotional. Sometimes you’re just going to want someone to be with you to have some fun.

We all have that inner child, and keeping that child happy is a large part of keeping yourself happy.

So make sure that you know how to have fun with your partner—being silly, playing games, telling jokes, and simply enjoying each other’s presence.

8) Discovery

Discovery stages in relationships are about give and take. It’s about finding out what your life will be like as you continue to be in this relationship.

You may find that your needs and wants have changed over the years, but because you are both open to making the relationship work, that is okay.

If you achieve this goal, you’ll learn more about each other than you ever dreamed of.

9) Your Lives Don’t Revolve Around Each Other

This is quite a common mistake amongst young relationships, and is one of the reasons why so many relationships end up not working out.

You and your partner become too obsessed with each other during that honeymoon phase, so much so that your lives become completely intertwined.

But it’s essential that you retain your sense of self and individuality. It might seem right during the honeymoon phase, but being involved in every part of your partner’s life is unsustainable, and will drive both of you mad.

Take it easy, and don’t leave behind the sides that make you, you.

10) But Your Relationship Is Still Your Top Priority

With that said, don’t forget that your relationship still needs to be one of your top priorities. Some couples end up drifting apart too far or for too long after the honeymoon phase, and this causes them to lose touch.

Don’t stop doing the things that make both of you happy, and don’t ever forget what made you fall in love to begin with.

Keep the fire going; don’t stop adding fuel to it or it might just go out.

11) Connection

It is in the connection stage that couples come together in a closer way. Regardless of the situation, issue, or event, they find their way to each other and work through the problems together.

They celebrate harder and look for the good in things together. This goal is about sharing life at this point, not dominating it.

12) Doubting

Even the best couples have their doubts about each other and their relationships. It’s only normal that humans compare and contrast relationships, people, and partners.

It’s hard not to think about how an old flame made you feel or how a previous partner cared about your interests.

When you have been in a relationship for years and are starting to fall into routines, you might find yourself wondering if this is all there is for you.

It’s important to talk about those feelings with your partner to overcome those doubts together.

13) Sexual

You might think this one is good, but it usually turns out to be bad news for a couple. As people age, their sex drives change, and one partner might not be interested in sex the way they used to be.

It could also be that after many years together an affair starts up and threatens the relationship altogether.

Sex isn’t everything in a relationship and this is a tough goal to confront, but if you get through it, your relationship will be much stronger for it.

14) Trust

If you make it to a point where you trust your partner complete, be sure to not take that trust for granted.

Even if things are smooth sailing and you have been getting along famously for years, be sure to spend time telling each other that you care and show them so that they don’t feel like the relationship has become routine.

Think of someone you know who got out of a relationship and completely changed their live. In these cases, that person realised that the relationship was holding them back.

Now ask yourself: are you holding your partner back, or is your partner holding you back? If the answer is yes to either question, then you seriously need to reevaluate the way you treat each other.

The best relationships involve partners who motivate and trust each other.

These people want their partners to achieve as much as they can, climb as high as they can. So don’t hold each other back; push each other to continue.

15) Spiritual

As you get older, relationships change and go through many different stages, but many older couples will tell you that their older years were the best years because a new type of relationship blossomed: the spiritual relationship.

All of the unspoken thoughts and emotions come to the surface here and it becomes clear that partners for life is about give and take, support and trust, and continuous improvement and growth.

The best relationships are teams. You work together. You share the same goals. You want the same things. You make each other stronger.

In every aspect of your life, your partner should be your teammate. This doesn’t mean they need to be involved, but they need to care for you, love for you, and support you. And the feeling has to be mutual.

You know you’re truly in love when you’ve got each other’s backs no matter what.

In Conclusion

Every couple thinks they have the best relationship in history, especially during that initial rush excitement and hormones. You become convinced that it will feel just as magical and be just as easy to maintain this level of happiness and intensity of connection.

But like all relationships, yours will eventually start to dull. The flame will dim, the exciting nights will become routine, and the special moments will be forgotten.

The honeymoon phase, no matter how long it lasts, will eventually come to a halt.

It’s at this point that a couple must make the active choice: do they love the relationship enough to start putting in actual work and effort to keep it alive, or will they let it crumble and find something new?

Whether you are in a relationship now or are looking for one, keep these 15 goals of relationships in the back of your mind.

If you find yourself struggling in your relationship, consider how these goals are playing out in your own life and how you can use them as a jumping off point to start a discussion with your partner about the cycles of life in your relationship.

If nothing else, they will help you realize that we are all in this together.

 

If you’re looking for practical advice to break the cycle of anxiety, stress and unhappiness, check out Hack Spirit’s eBook on the Art of Mindfulness. Here's what you will get:
  • Learn what 'mindfulness' really is and the scientific benefits to practicing it daily
  • Practical exercises to be mindful throughout the day (even at work)
  • How to practice daily meditations to enhance peace and clarity of mind
  • Learn how to practice Yoga and Ujjayi Breath
  • Understand and implement the 7 key steps to practicing mindfulness
Check it out here.