Top Relationship Goals Of Modern Couples And How to Achieve Them
Updated May 11, 2020
Reviewer Audrey Kelly, LMFT
The goals of modern relationships are quite different than those of the past. Modern couples have different values and are faced with different challenges today. What's the one thing that's remained the same? Couples with the five characteristics discussed below seem like they're meant to be.
We live in a world where independence and individuality are valued higher than they used to be, which means that sometimes relationships and family become a second priority.
If you find that your own relationship has stagnated or has been pushed to the back burner, you're not alone. Thousands of individuals work with couples counselors every year. The good news is that of those individuals who sought out professional help, nearly 90% saw improvement in their emotional health, with nearly 66% even seeing improvement in their physical health. If you are ready to work towards a better and more fulfilling relationship, consider the following qualities we see in successful couples.
They Love Each Other Unconditionally
Modern couples should always aim to love each other unconditionally. The goal is to encourage each other to do what makes the other happy so you can be happy together. This means supporting each other through thick and thin, good times and bad.
We're living in a time where both men and women are actively pursuing careers they're passionate about. Gone are the days when men were the breadwinners and women were expected to stay at home, cook, clean, and raise the kids. In a true modern relationship, partners support each other in whatever they want to do (within reason).
When things get hard and one of you messes up, or you're both going through a tough time and have things to work on, the love is still there. Just because you get into an argument does not mean you don't love each other. In a healthy relationship, it's always clear: your love for each other is constant.
How to Achieve It:
- Always consider your partner's feelings
- Don't think you can change your partner
- Communicate your hopes and dreams to each other
If you're struggling to love your partner unconditionally, try putting yourself in their shoes. Think of how your words and decisions have an impact on them. Take the time to communicate with each other about your hopes and dreams so you stay on the same page. These talks are also a great way to reassure each other that your hopes and dreams can be achieved together.
They Trust Each Other
Trust is a big goal in modern relationships. Couples often have parts of their lives that are separate from each other, like work, hobbies, and spending time with friends. That's totally normal and healthy. It's important that couples can trust each other, especially when they're not together. Jealousy can tear a relationship apart, so it's important not to let it take hold of you.
Sometimes trust means giving your partner the benefit of the doubt. Realize that if you see your partner on social media and immediately jump to conclusions about them talking to someone else or liking another person's pictures, your own insecurities might be clouding your judgment. If you're really struggling, opening up about how you're feeling can help you get some reassurance.
How to Achieve It:
- Avoid trying to control your significant other
- if jealousy or insecurity come up, talk about it and work through it before it becomes a problem
- Be open and honest with each other
No one likes to be told what to do and who they can or can't talk to. If your significant other hasn't given you any reason not to trust them, don't let negative thoughts poison your relationship. Be open with each other as soon as any doubts come to mind and resolve them before they become a bigger issue. Give each other space when it's needed.
They Have Things in Common
Most modern couples have at least a few things in common. This is compared to the past when most marriages were arranged for practical reasons that had little to do with love and connection. Today's couples might share the same taste in movies, music, or food. They often also share the same values, intellectual interests, and/or political views. It's unlikely that a couple would get together and work out in today's world if they had absolutely nothing in common.
It's important to have some things in common with your partner. This way, there are at least a few things you enjoy doing together and you always have something to talk about. It is possible to build a relationship with someone you have a little in common with, too. Over time, chances are you'll discover more things that you can both enjoy and share together.
How to Achieve It:
- Always try learning new things about each other
- Try new things together-discover new things you have in common
- Plan dates and quality time around common interests
One good way to build a strong relationship is to never assume you know your partner completely. Because the truth is, you never really know everything about a person. People change. By accepting that, you'll always be open to learning new things about each other. You'll grow together when you celebrate the things that connect you and incorporate them into your plans.
But They Have Their Own Things Too
In addition to having things in common, it's also important for modern couples to have things that are their own. For example, I already mentioned work, hobbies, and time spent with friends. Being in a close-knit relationship is great, but it's also healthy for each partner to have their own individual identity. If you want your relationship to last, you need to be able to spend time apart.
Going off and doing your own thing gives you a sense of independence. You might feel happy knowing that your partner trusts you and you trust them. It also stops you from getting sick of each other or feeling like you're trapped in your relationship. Once you spend a bit of time apart, you'll get a chance to miss each other and appreciate the time you spend together more.
How to Achieve It:
- Try to make separate plans with friends once a week
- Accept and support the parts of your partner's life that are not yours
- Encourage each other to pursue separate passions and interests
Source: pressfoto via freepik.com
It's not a bad thing for couples to want to spend time together, but being attached at the hip isn't good. Couples who need to be together all the time can be characterized as co-dependent, which is not considered healthy. The goal is to find a balance between spending time together and doing things solo. The things that you do apart should make you happy and encourage your sense of self.
They're Committed to Building a Future Together
In a world where cheating, mistrust, and differences of opinion are too common, one goal of modern couples is to be committed to building a future together. For a couple to be strong and last in the long-term today, partners need to be on the same page when it comes to what they want and where they're going. While some flexibility is always important, couples need to provide each other with stability.
Once you decide that your relationship is getting serious, it's important to make sure you're both on the same page with your expectations. Modern couples aren't afraid to talk about how marriage, kids, career, and other important things factor into their plans. By talking it out and keeping each other updated, you won't run into too many surprises later.
How to Achieve It:
- Be clear about what you want out of the relationship
- Make honesty and faithfulness a priority
- Include your partner's opinion in any big life changes
Modern couples may not agree about everything, but they do agree about one thing: they want to grow old together. To do that, you need to communicate with each other, stay faithful, and sometimes be willing to make compromises along the way. Committed couples are determined to make it work. They don't break up at the first sign of trouble.
Sometimes these goals of modern couples can seem so lofty that achieving them feels impossible. Rather than get overwhelmed, work on taking small steps to get you and your partner on the right track.
Go on a Date
It's easy to get lulled into "Netflix and chill" and not actually go on a date and get to know your partner on a deeper level. Make it a point to go on an actual date (out of the house) at least once a month to reconnect with your partner and make memories with them.
Show Your Appreciation
Make an effort to show appreciation for the things your partner does for you. It's easy to just come to expect the little acts of kindness they do for you, but it's always nice to let your partner know that you are thankful for the things they do for you.
Let Go of the Past
Stop and consider why you are holding on to the past and what it is that is stopping you from letting go and moving forward. Addressing these reasons can be far more productive in helping you understand what it is that you want and improving your relationship.
Focus on Yourself
Your own mental health and how you personally feel will have a major impact on your relationship. Take some time to really focus on yourself-what triggers you, how you react to certain situations, etc.-to develop the tools and skills you need to have a healthy and prosperous relationship.
How BetterHelp can Support You
While you can take steps to improve your relationship on your own, sometimes you need a little help. Getting the help of a professional can be beneficial because they are experienced with interpersonal relationships well versed in ways to improve these relationships. BetterHelp counselors are skilled at helping you understand yourself better and helping you develop the tools you need to have healthy and successful relationships.
Improving as a couple can involve working individually or together. Either way, you're likely to see changes in your relationship. If you want to focus primarily on your relationship as a couple, BetterHelp counselors are ready to give you the help you need through either BetterHelp or their specialized couple counseling site, ReGain. Since both of these services are online, you can talk to your counselor when it is convenient and comfortable for you. You don't have to find a time when schedules align and trek into an office on the other side of town. Below you'll find some reviews of BetterHelp's counselors from people experiencing similar issues.
"Stephanie is a gem! She's very thoughtful, thorough, honest, insightful but most of all helpful. This is coming from a person that never wanted to do counseling and just "knew" I didn't need it. She's been key in helping my wife and I find our better place. She made us grow as a couple and individually. Thanks, Steph!"
"This is my first time using an online counseling platform and I couldn't be happier. The interactions with Theresa have been positive and profoundly useful. Since I started using this platform, my husband and I have signed up for online marriage counseling which is going very well. I will never again have a need to miss work to attend an in-office meeting with my counselor."
Having a goal to work towards can enhance the quality of your relationship, even if your relationship is rock solid. Try the tools mentioned above to grow an even deeper relationship with your partner, and take the first step toward a more fulfilling relationship today.