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Couple Goals: 27 Fake & Real Things You Want in a Relationship

You hear the term “couple goals” thrown around a lot, but what does it mean? What are the REAL couple goals you should be following?

couple goals

There are so many people who have opinions on what couple goals are. Most people base these opinions on their religion, social media, or purely on what they’ve been told growing up.

Either way, it’s hard to know what you should really look for in a life partner. Since couple goals have become a thing, they don’t really show a real couple at work.

The idea of “couple goals” has been all over the Internet. But, what are couple goals really showing? Many different social media accounts cover this topic and basically just show pictures of—probably—models posed for a really cute couple-like picture. The problem is that those aren’t real. So, what are couple goals? [Read: How to be a happy couple that everyone envies]

What are couple goals?

Couple goals are things you are aiming for in a relationship. They are the things you want out of a relationship. This is what you strive for.

But just like many want to make a lot of money in life, they eventually discover that connections, experiences, and relationships are more important. And couple goals are no different.

What we recognize as couple goals, especially online, are not what any true and healthy couple is working towards. Couple goals are essentially what you put on display, not how you actually are as a couple. [Read: 20 things happy couples don’t do]

Why do we crave couple goals?

We are SOOOO obsessed with super cute couples who seem to be perfect and amazing and really happy with each other. We ogle at images on the internet of couples posed to look really intimate, and we can’t get enough. But why is that?

Well, it’s because we think that’s reality, and we wish it were ours. We wish we had someone to hold us just like the person in the image is holding their “loved one.” We think we’re able to have that reality and daydream about those specific couple goals. [Read: The good, bad, and ugly of social media and relationships]

Fake couple goals

The thing about couple goals is they are usually pretty surface level. They are things that look amazing but have no depth. And we often dream of these couple goals when we are single.

When you don’t have someone that makes you feel good, you imagine you could have what you think others have. Whether it is a real couple’s highlight reel or a bunch of models, couple goals should be about becoming a healthy, happy couple, not how you seem to the outside world. [Read: 10 signs your relationship is doomed]

1. Amazing photos together

We look at romantic photos of a couple on a beach in each other’s arms with golden hour lighting, and it makes us feel things. We want that romance and passion. But we don’t realize that behind that photos are two freezing models feeling super awkward.

2. Going on extravagent vacations

Expensive and fancy vacations may look amazing in photos and videos, but they don’t make a happy couple. I’ve known couples who did these amazing things and went on beautiful adventures but came home miserable because of each other. It isn’t about where you go, but who you’re with.

3. Getting engaged

Engagement is a beautiful thing if you’re with the right person. Unfortunately, I’ve seen a number of engagements end because they were more excited for that moment, the ring, and the wedding, than sharing life together. These symbols are nice, but only if you have the foundation to hold them up.

4. Having someone change for you

It is such a romantic notion that you should change for your partner or that they love you more if they change for you. But that never works. We’ve all seen TV shows and movies where the good girl tries to change the bad boy, and if that doesn’t work, she becomes a bad girl for him. *WE SEE YOU, GREASE*

This never works. There will always be resentment and fakeness layered beneath what may look so amazing from the outside.

5. Being together all the time

Couples that spend 24/7 together are not all they’re hyped up to be. This much time spent with one other person is a recipe for disaster, no matter how perfect they seem together. It may be couple goals to see a guy out to eat with his girlfriend and her friends, but this is really a sign of insecurity and sometimes controlling manipulation.

Couple goals you should have

The problem with all of those couple goals pictures taking over social media is that they’re not real. Sometimes, sure, they’re real people, but even then, it’s one still frame in their lives. Nobody posts pictures of all the hardships relationships endure.

Not all of those pictures are full of junk, though. Some of them do depict real couple goals to emulate in your relationship. But more often than not, the real couple goals you should have for your relationship aren’t seen on the outside but felt on the inside. Here is what you should be working towards in a relationship. [Read: 23 things to look for in a relationship]

1. Real, and sometimes brutal, honesty

Real couple goals mean telling your significant other when they’re acting like a whiny little twit and then proceeding to tell them to fix their attitude. Be honest with your life partner!

Whether it’s just about something small or coming clean after withholding important information, your goal should be to find someone you can be open and honest with, no matter how painful the truth may be. [Read: Enough is enough: How to stop playing relationship games]

2. Unwavering trust

Without trust, you just don’t have much of a relationship at all. If you really want to emulate real couple goals, then you have to be able to trust your partner unconditionally, and they have to be able to trust you too. If you find this kind of love, it’s worth more than anything else.

3. Open communication

Being able to talk to your significant other about anything is SO important in a relationship. Real couple goals allow you to bring up any topic of discussion, mild or severe and get through it without issues.

When you keep open communication, you’ll get through fights easier, have your needs met, and bond and relate to your partner on a much deeper level. All of which makes for a stronger relationship.

4. Being yourselves

This may be the most important couple goal for you to have walking into a relationship. BOTH of you have to be able to be 100% yourselves around the other, no matter the situation.

If you cry during sad movies, then you better be able to let those tears flow around your significant other. If you’re a total heartless brat when you’re hungry—like me—you have to be with someone who accepts that completely without hesitation. [Read: How to make love last: 19 love commandments]

5. Caring about each other’s safety

Now, this may be a couple goal you’ve seen plastered on those cutesy couple’s accounts with a screenshot of a text conversation where the guy says, “Drive safe,” or “Let me know when you’ve made it home, okay?”

Those aren’t just cute. They’re actually real couple goals, too. Caring about one another’s safety as if it were your own is the kind of relationship you hope to be in.

6. Being okay with spending time apart

No couple spends every waking moment together and remains together. Honestly, you may end up killing each other that way. You have to be able to spend your time with friends or even alone.

Everyone needs “me time,” and if you can’t handle being away from your significant other for whatever reason, your relationship crumbles. Have real couple goals and emulate being strong while being apart. [Read: How to give space in a relationship without drifting apart]

7. Arguing—over the stuff that actually matters—and make up

Yes. Arguing is definitely a couple goal and one that you may not see or hear about nearly as often. The truth is, it is really healthy for couples to argue about things if they matter.

You should be able to get through an argument about something you feel strongly about and still come out of it loving your significant other. Your arguments can’t be trivial, and you always have to find a way to get around your obstacles. [Read: 8 ways to avoid the awkward tension after an argument]

8. Sacrificing certain things for each other

It could be as simple as giving up one night a week to watch them play a sport or giving up a really good job because they got their dream job across the country.

No two people live in a healthy relationship without giving something up that they like as long as it’s not something too serious. Real couple goals involve giving up something you care about for the other person’s happiness.

9. Being able to have meaningful conversations

You’ll never believe how many people say how much they LOVE “just talking” with their significant other but can’t answer the question, “What do you talk about?”

A couple goal to emulate in your relationships is to talk about meaningful stuff with each other. You have to connect with someone in such a way that you can have those deep conversations and come away feeling as though you’ve gained knowledge and insight. [Read: 80 really funny “would you rather” questions to ask your SO]

10. Being with your friend

This is a couple goal pretty much everyone says is important, and there are so many pictures out there emulating this. It’s actually very true. In every sense of the word, you should be with someone who is your friend—that you’re attracted to, obviously.

The idea of being with your best friend is romanticized. You should have a best friend, but being in a relationship with them merges two separate things that are actually better off apart. Yes, your partner should be someone you count on to be there at every wrong turn, someone who never judges you, and someone you spend hours with doing nothing and have a great time with. That’s why you should also find those same qualities in someone you spend your life with.

11. Always learning

One of the most important couple goals you should have in a relationship is to never stop learning. You can be together months or years, even decades, but as two people grow, there is always more to learn.

You can be finding out something about your significant other on your 50th wedding anniversary. That doesn’t mean you don’t talk enough. It means you want to keep growing as a couple, not become stagnant. [Read: 20 questions to ask your lover to get to know them better]

12. Being able to talk about money

As unfortunate as it is, money is an important and even vital part of sharing your life with someone. You need to be able to talk about it, no matter how awkward.

Money is how you survive, and not feeling comfortable talking to your partner about this leaves you feeling unheard and even resentful.

13. Trying new things together

Not only should you be learning this about each other, but realistic and healthy couple goals should be about learning new things together. Go take classes together or discover new things. You can try new recipes, travel together, or just start a new project. But doing this bonds you. [Read: Fun things to do with your boyfriend]

14. Knowing your love languages

Love languages are not a trendy thing, but a helpful one. Knowing how you give and receive love and how your partner does it is so vital to be sure you are offering them the most you can. Without this, you could feel like you’re putting loads of effort in, but having your partner not feel that.

15. Chemistry

Although you may not need a spark at the start of a relationship, having a level of chemistry is important to keep your relationship romantic rather than platonic. That chemistry is what helps you enjoy sex, kissing, and PDA. Without it, a relationship can get stale. [Read: How to create sexual chemistry and make it stick]

16. Support

You may see this as a form of couple goals on Instagram. Maybe someone gets a promotion, and their SO throws them a big party to celebrate. That is amazing but is also a public gesture. It really doesn’t count if they aren’t supporting their partner through the long nights of work and stressful days it took to get there.

17. Laughing and fun

Fun is a vital part of relationships that people forget about. You want to seem like you’re having fun because of your ideal picture of what couple goals are, but you may not actually be enjoying yourself.

18. Planning the future

Not everyone is a planner, and that is okay. You don’t need to have a weekly schedule. But a happy couple should be aiming towards something together. Whether it is something small or big, they should be able to discuss what they both want out of their futures.

19. Intimacy

Sex is a whole other thing, but intimacy is so important. When a couple loses this, they can start to feel like roommates instead of a couple. Intimacy is about cuddling on the sofa, kissing each other softly before bed, or holding hands in the park. Make sure you are physically connected. [Read: How to keep intimacy alive in a relationship]

20. Banter

Banter may not be essential for a happy relationship, but it is certainly one of many couple goals that are realistic and worth aiming for. You can’t force this level of flirting, but you can hope for it in a partner. That back and forth of teasing and laughter put you at ease and ignites those butterflies no matter how long you’ve been together.

21. A desire for long-term happiness

You both have to want the relationship to work out and have the same couple goals. If one of you is pushing one way while the other is pulling back, it will never work.

22. Respect

This may be the best couple goal that everyone should be trying to secure. Without respect, a relationship can quickly become dysfunctional and even dangerous. Respect is required for open communication, honesty, trust, vulnerability, and just about every other couple goal on this list.

[Read: 15 real relationship goals most couples have no idea about]

With all the couple goals you may hear about through social media accounts, these are the real ones you should have. With these couple goals on your list of things to emulate in your next relationship, it would be nearly impossible for it to fail.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...