Hey hopeful romantics,
It's great to be in your inboxes again. I need to tell you something: I'm backtracking.
After thinking long and hard about this newsletter and, given the times we're going through, it doesn't feel right to make this a paid newsletter.
I'll be honest: yes, it would be great to make money from the work I put into this. But I write this newsletter because I freakin' love it and want to stay connected with all of you.
So my newsletter will be staying free for the foreseeable future. I've issued refunds. Email me if you haven't seen yours.
I still have big plans for this newsletter! Don't worry about that. And I'm glad to grow this with you all and make this into a resource for love that you.. ahem.. love!
Now on to why you're here…
I was on the phone with one of my guy friends recently. We were talking about his relationship with his long-time girlfriend. Specifically, the pressure he gets from his family about kids and getting married.
"It's not that I don't want to marry my girlfriend," he said, "but is that the biggest goal we could accomplish as a couple? It'll be great when we get there, but we're focused on other stuff."
It got me thinking about relationship goals. Not too far in the past, people did think of marriage and kids and commitment as the ultimate #RelationshipGoals. Back when "#" was called a pound sign instead of a hashtag.
But times have changed. Fewer people are getting married. Couples have kids way later in life. Those kinds of goals are still relevant, but they're more like milestones rather than something to be achieved.
So then, what are some modern relationship goals? While there are little things you can celebrate with your partner every day, what are things you can work together towards, as a couple?
Learning how to handle conflict together
I'll be honest, my boyfriend and I still struggle with this. We both have our ways of trying to get the other person to see our point or how we handle our emotions. They don't mix well.
But we talk things out. We let each other know what hurt our feelings. We discuss how we can do better next time.
If you and your partner get to a point where you handle conflict in a way that's not detrimental to your relationship and can even be a learning experience, that's the ultimate relationship goal, in my book.
Because once you move on to living together, marriage, kids, etc., chances are you'll argue even more. Conflict resolution skills will be a savior for your relationship.
Being 100% around each other
One of my friends said the hardest thing for her to do around the person she's dating is farting. You might be like, ew.. gross. But let's be real, we all do it. And it's pretty freakin' embarrassing when you do it for the first time in front of the person you're dating.
When you get to the point that you can be completely yourself in front of your S.O.—bodily gases included— you've accomplished a great goal. I love how I don't have to pretend to be anyone but myself with my boyfriend; I can sing, dance like I've lost my mind, anything.
Hitting that point was one of the best #RelationshipGoals
Having a thriving life together and apart
It's one thing to have a great relationship when it's just you two. You could be going on fantastic dates, having amazing sex, and communicating without issues.
But if you don't have lives outside of each other, things won't be sunshine and Cupid arrows forever.
You show up as the best partner you can be by taking care of your individual needs first. That includes seeing your friends, doing hobbies you love, indulging in self-care.
A relationship is not two halves coming together to make a whole. It's two wholes coming together to form even more abundant lives together.
Helping each other through difficult times
While I don't wish difficult times upon any of you, it's a huge accomplishment if you've gone through something dark together. Whether that be the passing of someone important, a job loss, or a health scare, you form a deep bond with each other when you whether that kind of storm.
Not everyone can support another person through difficult emotions. Being empathetic to your partner (or them you) creates a pathway between one another for vulnerability.
Relationships exist through the downs, not only the ups.
Putting the stepping stones in place for a kick-ass future
Marriage and kids are a tremendous future milestone, but what's even better is you laying a foundation for a stable future. This could be saving money for a future mortgage. Perhaps you're working towards a promotion so your partner can go back to school.
While I think it's great to go through the milestones of becoming and starting a family, you should also celebrate your willingness to create a solid foundation for those future plans.
Some helpful content…
A great piece from the Gottman Institute about conflict management. An interesting survey about how long it takes people to feel comfortable around their partners (though definitely in no way the "norm"). Relationship advice from happily married people. Expert thoughts on helping your boo get through hard times.
Like I said before, I'm grateful for having you as a reader. I can't wait to build out this newsletter with you.
Until next week... stay sane & healthy.
All the love,
I'm looking for beta readers!
If you want to be part of the process of creating my book, shoot me an email. You won't have to read the whole book, just a few chapters, so you can give me feedback.
I'd be eternally grateful. 💕
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