This post may contain affiliate links
One thing that’s really important in relationships is making sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to your future plans and long term goals. Whether this is regarding your plans for marriage, buying a house, having children or even travel it really makes things easier when everyone is clear on what’s needed and what makes the other person tick.
Sometimes people see the idea of having a 5 year or 10-year plan as a bit of a joke – but in reality it’ actually quite a sensible thing to do. No matter you call it – goal setting, dream meeting, future planning it should be an important part of any relationship. Ask yourself where you see yourself in 5 or 10 years time.
Do you want to own a property?
Go back to studying?
In the last five years, my partner and I have done all of the above and had a baby too. During this time, things have of course changed. Our priorities are different, our incomes are different, our whole lives are different and we’re not exactly where we thought we would be five years ago.
However, I do 100% still think we’re in it together. We still have goals for the future – for the next 5 and 10 years. We know we want another baby. I’m seriously considering doing a degree with the OU. We want to do some more travelling – we did a bit before we had a baby and we’d love to get back to that when the time is right. And most importantly, we know what we need to do to get there, both individually and as a couple.
I know I’m very lucky having a partner who had the same goals as me – we’ve supported each other through complete career changes and though it’s been tough, we slowly starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel as our businesses build and grow – something we know will eventually provide a better future for us and our little family.
What can be difficult, however, is you and your partner don’t want exactly the same things.
Compromise is key situations where you’re struggling to agree on what’s best on what the most important thing or even who should be doing what towards your long term savings goals. Breaking down each goal into smaller chunks can help make a difference – especially if the goal is related to money, which let’s be honest goals so often are. Whether it’s a house deposit, money for travelling or a holiday, even starting a family takes quite a bit of money, especially maternity leave followed by the inevitable childcare costs.
Here are some tips for coming to a compromise when setting long term goals in your relationship
- Listen – It’s important to listen to your partner and acknowledge what they want to do, even if their goals are completely different from yours. Try to understand why those things are important to them and what you could do to support their dreams, even if it isn’t your dream yet.
- Compromise – Even if an idea sounds crazy to begin with, you could end up changing your mind. As an example, my husband really wanted to go to a particular place for our honeymoon and I wasn’t keen. We booked anyway and as a compromise, I got to choose where to spend the second half of our two week holiday. In the end, I loved his choice, even more than my own and I can’t wait to go back there in the future.
- Research – It can be easy to dismiss things when we don’t fully understand them. Knowledge gives us power and the goals in question may cost less than we anticipate or be easier to achieve than we first thought.
- Choose – If you really can’t agree on what to prioritise, you could choose to take on a goal each, for example, one of your starts saving for a holiday, one for a new car. It will take longer to reach your goals than working together would but it if it makes each of you happy in the long run it’s a good place to start.
- Talk – Saying things out loud makes them much more real and so does writing them. Keep talking even if your goals change.
- Setbacks – Like with anything in life, when trying to achieve something there are more than likely to be setbacks. We got told the business we worked for was being sold the day after we had an offer accepted on a house. The uncertainty meant we felt it was best to pull out of the sale – devastating but for the best.
- Change – Accept that your goals and priorities may change and that’s ok. As long as you keep talking and are open and honest with your partner then you can work together on finding solutions to change that work for both of you.
- Plan – having a set plan with small steps to work through together can really help. You could also try creating a vision board.
Remember that it’s ok to dream big – if your dreams don’t scare you then they’re not big enough! Even if your goals might seem impossible now with hard work you should be able to achieve them in the future. And don’t forget to celebrate along the way! It’s so easy to only see the negatives, especially if we’ve had setbacks but even achieving a small part of a bigger goal is a massive step in the right direction.