The state of our relationships is changing. Our relationship goals are changing. What worked for us in the past may not necessarily work anymore.
In the past the importance was usually put upon cultivating a family.
Here’s a sample “To-Do” list:
– Meet my prince/princess
– Get married
– Buy a house together
– Have 3 babies and a Labrador.
But things are changing, and with the current divorce rate between 40%-50% (in the US), it’s clear that maybe it takes more than babies and an obedient dog to keep your family together.
Fact: Relationships are changing.
People values about what is meaningful to them is changing, and it seems that whatever that meaningful thing is, we’re struggling to find it in our relationships.
I do not think that this is a bad thing.
That is my humble opinion. I think that we can use this as an opportunity to be more conscious in our relationships; to really figure out what exactly our end goal in our relationship is.
This is where I ask you to think about your end-goal in a relationship. What is the GOAL you want to achieve, your INTENTION that you want to manifest within your relationship?
Some people say it is to create a family together. This is a popular one.
But what about if your end goal was to just BE with your partner? Just to have an intimate relationship with this particular human being? Just to have a conscious and high-level, and non-destructive and loving relationship? Does that mean you can’t create a family together, white picket fence and all? Of course not. It just means that your priority is different. It just means that being with your partner and having a good and happy relationship is a more important foundation to you than anything else (what would you rather have holding your relationship together? love/intimacy/connection or a house/finances/children?). It means that what is meaningful to you is to share a relationship experience with this person. And everything else is a natural and progressional blessing. Hmmm “progressional”. I think I made that word up but it sounds pretty legitimate….hahahaha!!
And when you are open to that, you are open to many other possibilities – the highest of highest, the best of the best. And when you are open to other possibilities, the world will open up for you. You can create a family. You can vacation every year. You can continue working.
And all of these things will be GOOD things – not chores, not “to-do’s”, just an effortless flow of your life – because your end goal is to just be with this person.
And as your family grows, your end-goal will be to be with them too.
I know that we hear that as a society we are too materialistic and depend on material things to bring us happiness and satisfaction. But I think that we can be like that in the area of relationships too.
I think that sometimes we are so focused on playing a certain role, and we are programmed to reach a certain goal – fall in love, get married, buy a house together, have a child, get a pet, get mad at each other when the puppy pees all over your new bed, get a high paying job that you like, have another child, vacation once a year etc.
I’m not saying that these things should not be important and you shouldn’t have them. You should and you will (if that’s what you want of course), I’m just saying – don’t make them more important than your partner. The dude or super fox who you fell in love with. The man who is working every day to make sure you are comfortable and have everything you need. The sweetheart who is sewing the bottons on your shirt and folding down the pages in magazines of articles she thinks you might find interesting.
When couples undergo relationship counseling, the counselor will usually ask questions like:
“What do you like about your partner?”
“What bothers you most about your partner?”
“What changes would you like to see happening in your relationship?”
“How do you feel about intimacy with your partner?”
“What positive actions does your partner do in your relationship already?”
“What could they do differently?”
These are all “my-partner-is-my-end-goal” related questions. These are questions that are assuming that this is how you are thinking. That your partner is your end goal.
And if this is not the case (As it is sometimes not), and your end goal in your relationship is something different – you may have a hard time answering these questions, because you are not necessarily aligned with these questions.
And this is why many couples enter counseling but can come out worse for ware – not because they don’t know the answers to these questions (maybe they do, maybe they don’t), but because these are not the questions that are most important to them.
Remember that when you are setting relationship goals with your partner (Sooo cute!) you may say things like “Listen to each other more”, “be more affectionate”, “don’t blame the other person”, “always be honest with your partner” – ummm HELLO, these are all related to your partner being the end goal.
But if the poor gal isn’t your end goal, you probably won’t find much satisfaction doing any of these things. Or it will just be really difficult.
So I ask you to think about it. Why are you with who you are with? Are you with them just to be with them. To share this crazy life experience with them? To inspire, and protect, and love and nurture and just totally RELISH in the joy of their company (not all the time, let’s not be corny here.)? Or do you have another purpose, and do you think that your relationship is the best way to get you there? Are you comfortable using your boyfriend/girlfriend as a tool to fulfill the role you want to play in your life, or would you rather just want to be with them?
And maybe after you ask yourself all these questions, you realize that you don’t really even want to make your partner your end goal. That’s okay. But maybe you would want to reevaluate your relationship and why you are in it.
I think that if you make your partner your end goal, not only will you be a good partner back to them, but you will also be able to relax and let life flow between the two of you. You will be able to have all the other things that you want, such as a life together, a family together, a baby together, a lifestyle together, a home together, vacations together – all of these things – as long as you don’t forget that the most important part is the “together”.