If you’ve rolled your eyes whenever you see #relationshipgoals tacked onto a tweet or Instagram post about a celeb couple, I’m right there with you. Who says we have to aspire to be like the super rich and famous? Obviously we don’t date like them (and we definitely don’t break up like them – have you ever given a guy a “conscious uncoupling” breakup speech?), and that’s a good thing. Here are some actual relationship goals you should wish for instead — they’re a lot more realistic, and probably a lot more meaningful, too:
- A friendship. It’s amazing how many couples never seem to talk about anything interesting or meaningful. Don’t they want to be friends with their person? A relationship is about more than just passion and lust. If you don’t have more than that in the beginning, good luck forming an actual bond later on.
- A partnership. While women have gotten stronger, more confident, and more career-minded in the last few decades, there seems to be a disconnect in how to be part of a couple. Sure, you can be strong and powerful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be in a partnership with your boyfriend. You can still make decisions together (even if it’s only whether you should start Parks and Rec or Happy Endings for your Friday night binge session) and run your own choices by him. There’s nothing wrong with that.
- A productive fighting style. You’re seriously dreaming if you don’t expect to ever fight with your boyfriend. Everyone fights. But if you can fight the “right” way – where the two of you actually listen to each other and leave with some sort of conclusion – then that’s a great goal to strive toward.
- The ability to be open-minded. After the first few months and beyond, you and your BF will most likely fall into some sort of routine that’s uniquely yours, whether you end up living together or not. If you can both be open-minded about food choices, entertainment, vacations, etc. then you’re definitely in a pretty solid union. No one wants their s/o to whine and complain when they don’t get their way.
- The wish for excitement each and every day. You don’t have to go skydiving together (unless that’s your thing). But you should be working hard at keeping the excitement alive in your relationship. Without it, things will get old fast, and you might start resenting each other when you still are super into each other – you’re just bored.
- Some shared interests. It’s super cool if you enter into a new relationship with some common interests. You’re both into horror movies or playing the violin or traveling to Ireland or whatever. Just as important? Having shared interests that are a direct result of your relationship – the kind that you can develop as a couple. Maybe you decide to take a wine-tasting class together on Monday nights or a weekend yoga workshop. The more stuff you do together that’s not just sitting around drinking beer and watching TV, the better chance your relationship has at survival.
- A game plan. We have goals and dreams and make to-do lists about what we want to accomplish today, tomorrow, next week, next month. You may not be into tradition and don’t want to walk down the aisle in a pretty white dress and pick out tablecloths and china for your registry. Totally cool, but your relationship still needs a game plan of sorts – a road map or general sense of direction. If you’re not on the same page about commitment, marriage, kids, or at least just the idea of moving in together and seeing how things go from there, that definitely spells disaster.
- That vacation feeling. You probably want to travel with your guy and you definitely should if that’s what you’re into. Yet you can totally experience that “vacation feeling” on a daily basis with each other. Sure, you may not be lying on a beach every day of your life (or even anywhere close to the water) but that doesn’t mean you and your BF can’t make your shared life as cool, chill and fun as possible. You can work to make things as simple as possible, even if it’s just deciding to pick up some take-out rather than cook an elaborate dinner. That will do wonders for your sanity and stress levels.
- Inspiring your friends. You don’t want your BFFs to be so jealous of you that it causes a weird rift in your friendship, or for them to feel bad about their single status. Instead, hope that your relationship is so beautiful and adorable and sweet that it makes your friends believe in love again. They’ve been hurt, sure, and had more then their fair share of awful dates, but you’ve made them believe in something, and that’s worth wishing for.