Relationship Goals.

In light of my 4 year wedding anniversary today, I thought I'd chat about relationship goals.

If a client comes to me, single or not, with relationship goals, I generally decline coaching them alone (there are instances where something at the individual level influences their relationship, but that's another story). Because at the heart of relationship goals is exactly that: a relationship between 2 people. You can't very well coach a relationship between 2 people only with one half doing the work; it takes two. Two people committed to their relationship with each other.

And the older I get, the more I realise that a commitment means work.

Regardless of whether you're married, your gender, your sexual orientation and preferences, etc, a long-term relationship means a commitment to making it work together.

The vow through thick and thin, through good times and in bad, through sickness and in health, is pretty bloody on point, marriage or not. Because life happens, and life will test that commitment. These things take their toll on mental and physical health at the individual level and it takes some mental and physical work to get through these things when you're in a relationship.

So how can you make the work in that commitment easier?

Personally, so far in my relationship, which is all I can speak for, it's been about being open. Open to doing things we thought we wouldn't do; open to honest communication; open to letting each other in, and making the other feel comfortable enough to do so; open to really listening to each other; open to forgiveness.

There are other things like shared values and friendship that help reduce friction in the relationship, but usually it's the willingness to be open when things arise, through both the thick times and the thin times, that has been key to making the work easier.