With social media so focused on cute relationship goals, it’s easy to forget what really matters in a relationship. These are the real goals to have.
How many of you follow some type of relationship goals page on social media? I, myself, follow about three separate accounts that highlight what a successful relationship *looks* like.
I emphasize the word “looks” because these kinds of pages don’t touch on the reality of the couples they depict through pictures. They simply show you pictures of happy-looking couples, and you assume that their relationship is perfect. But what about what it really takes to build that kind of happiness?
Social media’s role in relationships
You may look at all of those social media accounts and think that that’s what you need in order to be happy in your relationship. The truth is that social media has ruined what a healthy and happy relationship really looks like.
More and more people are reporting that social media actually causes hardships in their relationships. You might be jealous that your boyfriend isn’t acting like these Instagram boyfriends, or that your girlfriend doesn’t do all of the things that those other girls online are doing for their boyfriends. [Read: Why social media is killing your relationship]
The real relationship goals you need to have
Throw away all you’ve ever seen about “real” relationship goals. Those photos of couples standing on a beach holding hands as the sun sets over a mountainous horizon are not what makes for a happy relationship.
These relationship goals are what you should have. This is what you should strive for when it comes to your significant other. Just think about what your grandparents valued in a relationship—those are the true relationship goals, and here are our top 15 favorites.
#1 Having true trust. Forget about holding each other’s hands overlooking a mountainous terrain. Real relationship goals are being able to be at the top of that mountain and trusting that the person you’re with would never let you fall over the edge. Trust is the most important relationship goal that we all need, yet it is the most forgotten. [Read: How to build trust in a relationship and make it last]
#2 Being honest with each other. I’m not talking about never, ever telling a little white lie. I’m talking about being able to go to your partner and be honest about all of the big things in life. Real relationship goals include being open and honest with your partner about whatever you have to say, knowing that they’ll hear you out every time.
#3 Open communication. I don’t care how many cutesy pictures you take and post online, if you can’t communicate how you feel, then your relationship is doomed. Ultimate relationship goals include being able to openly speak your mind and tell your partner how you feel about anything. [Read: A guide on effective communication in a relationship]
#4 Caring about each other’s safety. In order to have a healthy and happy relationship, you have to feel safe and protected by your partner. This is definitely one of my relationship goals, because if I didn’t feel this way with someone, how could I ever let loose and enjoy myself? Caring about someone’s safety is caring about their life.
#5 Caring about one another’s happiness more than your own. If my boyfriend ever came to the conclusion that he would be happier with someone else, I would let him go. It would obviously be extremely painful to me, but I care about his happiness more than my own. When your partner’s happiness means more than yours, that’s when you know it’s real. [Read: 16 things you need to give up to have a happier life]
#6 Reserving time to spend together. Sometimes, spending time together doesn’t come naturally— you need to make the time. Real relationship goals means reserving special date nights to spend with each other so that you never forget how to enjoy each other’s company.
#7 Reserving time to spend apart. Every relationship needs to have time to miss each other. Your relationship goals should include knowing this and being able to make time for yourself. It’s okay—and actually very healthy—not to always be right with your partner every second of every day. [Read: How to give space in a relationship without drifting apart]
#8 Enjoying spending time with each other’s friends. You spend the majority of your time with your significant other, but you spend the rest of your time either alone or with your friends. If your relationship goals include spending a healthy amount of time with both of your friend groups, then you’re absolutely on the right track to a happy relationship.
#9 Caring for each other’s family as your own. I care about my boyfriend’s family as if they were my own. I care about their safety and wellbeing just as much as I do for my own family, and I would hope that he feels the same.
Relationship goals are knowing that whomever you’re with will not only care about you, but care about your family as well, especially if they see themselves eventually becoming a part of your family.
#10 Supporting each other’s dreams. Now, your dreams and aspirations are the driving force that make you happy in life and that motivate you to do what you love.
You need someone there to support those dreams because without support, you will feel defeated and may even give up. Your relationship goals should include supporting each other’s lifelong aspirations. [Read: Love or career: How to make the right choice]
#11 Being able to argue. Arguing is not the same thing as getting into actual fights, mind you. Arguing is voicing an opinion that doesn’t necessarily match your partner’s.
Arguing should be a part of your relationship goals because it not only helps you to understand how the other person thinks and feels, but it also strengthens your relationship. You can be two different people and still have a successful relationship. [Read: How to fight fair in a relationship and grow closer]
#12 Working as a team. When you’re in a committed relationship, you now have to work as a team to accomplish what you want in life, and to help your partner succeed in what he or she strives to do.
#14 Keeping your promises to each other. Breaking promises is the fastest way to lose someone’s trust. Relationship goals means knowing that when your partner promises something, they’ll follow through with it. On the flipside, it also means that you will keep your promises when you make them. [Read: The 20 things happy couples never do in a relationship]
#15 Loving each other at your worst. Whether that means makeup-free, hair a mess, sick as dog, or when you’re a complete grump who just spews out insults at every turn, real relationship goals are being able to love each other at your worst. Nobody is perfect, and you have to know that even if you’re being a terrible person, you’ve still got someone to stand by your side.