Relationship goals are a beautiful way to get from where you are to where you want to be with your partner. If things have grown stale or the emotional connection isn’t what it once was, the following love goals will bring it back to life.
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But before we dig in, remember that it’s the effort and commitment that make relationships fulfilling. To have an inspiring, deep relationship, you must do the work! In our world of social media and reality tv, it can be easy to think that it should come easily. That’s the fairy tale.
In reality, if you want the beautiful results you seek, you need to stick with these relationship goals even when you are past the highlight reel. Even when the going gets tough. That’s where the TRUE magic happens.
What are relationship goals?
Relationship goals encompass the things we want to do or attain in our relationship for it to thrive. Most of us want healthy connected relationships, but this takes clarity, direction, and follow-through.
So, make sure you use these ideas to write your own specific goals (how to do this at the end of the post) and if it’s a daily habit, use this free habit tracker printable.
List of 35 Relationship & Marriage Goals
These couple goals include both short-term and long-term ideas to choose from. Start small and choose a few that make the biggest impact on your relationship. Then, build from there!
1. Get on the Same Page With Values & Beliefs
First, before all other relationship goals, hammering out your core values as a couple will save countless arguments later. We all come from a different set of life experiences, and will therefore have differing beliefs. Discuss them often so that you and your partner are aware of the differences.
Talk through these things:
- Relationships: getting married or not and what a happy relationship looks and feels like to you
- Kids: having kids or not and belief systems around raising kids (discipline, spending, education, activities, etc.)
- Where you want to live
- Your beliefs on money (making money, spending money, investing)
2. Split Responsibilities (In a Way That You Are Both Happy)
This is a HUGE one once you have kids because the house workload is often lopsided – regardless of whether both parents work or not. This doesn’t mean it has to be “equal,” it simply means the division of tasks needs to work for both parties.
It’s something we constantly work on in our marriage too. I’ve found that I am MUCH happier (and see results) when I am clear and direct in what I need.
Here’s an example:
Instead of, “I wish you picked up the kids from school more!”
I now say “what two days a week can you pick up the kids from school?”
He picks and we mark it on the calendar. Drama is averted, and we are both happy.
More Actionable Ideas:
- Write on paper who is responsible for what (adjust it until it fulfills both of your needs)
- Women – be specific and direct with asking for help
- And if that doesn’t work…start hiring the help you need. (or carpooling, asking relatives, etc.)
3. Kiss & Touch for Your Love Goals
According to Psychology Today, a study on men in Germany during the 1980’s found that the men who kissed their wives before going to work in the morning lived an average of five years longer than husbands who didn’t kiss. They also made more money, used fewer sick days, and were less likely to be in a car accident after leaving.
That’s pretty crazy, right?! It’s believed that it wasn’t the kiss alone that made the difference, but the healthy connection and positive attitude that came from the kiss.
More Actionable ideas:
- Start a new ritual of kissing goodbye before work (or bedtime, etc.)
- Think about other touching habits you can incorporate into a day or week. Hugs, shoulder pats, and small touches are easy to do and build your relationship without much effort.
4. Create a Date Night Routine
Marriage Foundation research finds that married couples who go on occasional date nights have 14 percent lower odds of their relationship breaking down.
And The New York Times reports that by picking new experiences during these date nights, you can re-create the chemical surges you felt in early dating – making you feel more connected and excited towards one another.
- Schedule a date night once a week
- Ask for a babysitter once a month (or as often as you can)
- Let the kids watch tv in a different room while you eat together alone
- Plan a year of holiday dates to spice things up, or try to pick new places at least once a month
5. Use the Love Languages
Knowing how your partner best receives love is incredibly helpful in having a mutually satisfying relationship. You will both thrive on at least one of the 5 love languages below, but they may be different.
Words of Affirmations: This person enjoys notes, compliments, surprise texts, appreciation of effort, and words of encouragement.
Quality Time: This person craves undistracted time with the people they love: connection through conversation, walks together, date night, etc.
Touch: This person enjoys touch (intimate or not) – hand holding, arm stroking, hugging, kissing, intimacy, cuddling.
Acts of Service: This person appreciates when you help lighten their load. Helping with a chore, bringing them coffee, and making a meal.
Gifts: This person enjoys thoughtful gifts and gestures. It’s important to remember special occasions and be enthusiastic about giving and receiving.
You can take an online quiz here to learn more about yourself and your partner.
We have also found the Enneagram test to be helpful in understanding personalities! The Road Back to You is a wonderful book for this.
6. Take Care of Yourself
This is critical and often undervalued. No one is going to make you happy. If you are anxious, depressed, or stressed out all of the time, it’s impossible to make your relationship what you dream about.
So, don’t forget to treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve first. This will be the model for how others (including your partner) treat you.
- Learn about simple self-care ideas
- Print off a self-care checklist (daily or weekly)
- Begin a gratitude practice or make a list of things you are thankful for
- Work on loving yourself (find self love affirmations, loving journal prompts, and a self-love challenge HERE)
7. Keep the Intimacy Alive (& Fun)
It’s not easy to keep the spark blazing in a long-term relationship, but sex is part of a healthy and connected life together. According to studies, it is strongly related to well-being, affection, and positive mood (source).
In a 2013 Survey, 96% of respondents said that sex is better when they feel emotionally connected.
We all like to compare our lives with others, but what is satisfying to one couple does not work for another. What matters is how YOU feel about your sex life. If it’s not fulfilling, experts encourage:
- talking about it (communication is KEY in everything)
- trying new things and experimenting in the bedroom
- being more affectionate and generous outside of the bedroom
- seeing a therapist that can help you work through it (often there’s more going on than meets the eye)
8. Talk, Talk, Talk
In a recent study, Cornell gerontologist Karl Pillemer interviewed 700 individuals with 40,000 years of marriage experience. The top advice that these couples gave is to learn to communicate with each other. They believed that most issues can be solved with open communication. (Importantly, many whose marriages ended sited lack of communication)
- Set a weekly time to talk about important things: weekly schedules, the budget, goals and thoughts, etc.
- Put your technology away in the in-between moments with your partner: car rides, before bed, waiting for an appointment, etc.. These are often the best moments to talk.
9. Flirt Again
Flirting never goes out of style, and is good for your self-esteem, positivity, and well-being. However, sometimes it’s harder to do when you’ve been with your partner for a long time. We lose the need to impress and instead settle into comfort and routine.
Here are actionable ideas to shake it up:
- Send a flirty text message
- Make eye contact when they are speaking (show you are interested!)
- Touch more often (#3)
- Meet your partner separately for a date night – and flirt like it’s a first date
10. Go on New Adventures
Having novel experiences together brings you closer and enhances your emotional bond. So, make a bucket list and schedule a few things in the coming months that help you both branch out!
More Actionable Love Goals Ideas:
- Take a cooking class together (or any other class that learns a skill)
- Go on a trip to a place you’ve never been
- Try a new restaurant this week for date night
11. Stay Open to Learning
Relationships are complex. And, we as people, are always changing and evolving. So something that used to work for your relationship may not work anymore.
Instead of playing the victim, use any relationship challenges you have as a way to learn and adjust. Stay curious, and you’ll find the solutions you seek.
12. Get on the Same Page With Money
According to a survey by Ramsey Solutions, money fights are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity. Often, this is due to things like high levels of debt, hiding purchases, and lack of communication (#8).
In that same survey, 94% of people who say they have “great marriages” discuss their money dreams with their spouse.
- Make a vision board together and discuss your dream goals around money
- Get out of high levels of debt (this relieves much of the anxiety around discussions)
- Set up a weekly budget check-in (add snacks, keep it positive, and review your dream goals too)
13. Plan for Your Bright Future Together
Next, as Ben Franklin says, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Give your life and your relationship a clear direction by talking about where you want to be in 1, 2, 5, and 20 years. Yes, your dream goals may change over time, but what’s important is that you are looking ahead and taking action TOGETHER.
- Make a vision board for the next 1-2 years
- Hash out a 5 year plan over a coffee date
- Plan your year out and schedule your priorities first
14. Be the Most Supportive Person in Their Life
We all want to feel like our partner has our back. We want that one person who will stick up for us, give us the constructive feedback we need, and encourage us when we are down.
Ideas to Be More Supportive:
- Researchers suggest asking your partner what you can do to support them.
- Refrain from immediately trying to solve their problems (sometimes they just need you to listen)
- Give encouragement and even brag about them to others
15. Let Go of the Past
If you can’t let go of toxic feelings towards past actions (big or small), it’s almost impossible to move forward in any relationship. So work on letting go, and forgiving your partner (and yourself) of past transgressions.
- Allow yourself to feel the feelings. It’s better to let them pass through than pushing them down (only to come out later)
- Journal how you feel to help let them go.
- Remind yourself that what’s in the past can not be changed. Learn from it, but don’t live in it.
16. Build a Lifelong Friendship
Any inspiring relationship is that way because of the deep friendship that exists between two people. But maintaining a friendship for life takes dedication.
Actionable Ideas to Strengthen Your Friendship:
- Actively listen when you partner speaks
- Spend time doing something your partner loves (watching the game, engaging in a hobby, etc.)
- Be more supportive (#14)
17. Give Compliments
When was the last time you gave your partner a genuine compliment? A kind word builds the emotional connection you need for a healthy relationship.
Questions to help you find a compliment:
- How does your partner look good?
- What has your partner done that he/she is proud of in the last week?
- What personality trait or character trait do you love about your partner?
18. Double Down on Your Commitment
Sometimes, a relationship is less about passion and more about grit.
In the same study from #8, long-married couples said to treat your marriage as an unbreakable life commitment: “Rather than seeing marriage as a voluntary partnership that lasts only as long as the passion does, the elders propose a mindset in which it is a profound commitment to be respected, even if things go sour over the short term. Many struggled through dry and unhappy periods and found ways to resolve them – giving them the reward of a fulfilling, intact marriage in later life.” – Karl Pillemer
- Renew your wedding vows (to remind you of this commitment)
- See #8, #11, & #31 to shift perspective on a rough period
19. Set Health Goals Together
Proper nutrition and exercise are CRITICAL to a healthy lifestyle. But these things are incredibly difficult if you have a partner that doesn’t view health as important as you do. In fact, your partner could be enabling and sabotaging without even realizing it (yes, we all do it)!
Plus, having a partner who’s willing to go on your health journey together is a beautiful way to bond!
- Workout together (or take walks)
- Plan and make healthier meals and/or snacks
- Complete a 30-day health challenge together
- Make a friendly bet around a health habit (ex. no eating after dinner)
20. Set Technology Boundaries
You must be mentally present and open to conversation to have the deep, joyful relationship you want. But if you are attached to your devices, it’s guaranteed that your relationships are suffering from it.
So, put rules on that slot machine in your pocket! Commit to prioritizing your partner OVER your technology.
- Turn off your notifications for social media and text messages (this was transformative for me)
- Buy a phone safe and put your phone away at certain times of the day
- Check out these tips to help pry yourself away from your phone
21. Schedule Regular Anniversary Dates
While everyday and week rituals are important for the foundation on a relationship, scheduling something to look forward to with your partner is also a fun way to build anticipation and connection. So, look into a special date every year on your Anniversary, or an annual vacation for just the two of you.
22. Schedule Other Days off Too
Go beyond the Anniversary date, and decide on a few events that you’ll do together throughout the year. Take a day off of work too. By prioritizing time with your partner ahead of the busyness of life, you’ll be prioritizing your most important relationship – making it a lot easier to have a healthy, fulfilling relationship.
23. Work on Fighting
According to researcher John Gottman, there’s a magic ratio to sustaining a healthy relationship. It’s 5 to 1. For every one negative interaction a couple has during a fight, there needs to be five (or more) positive interactions (source) Couples who stay together in a happy relationship maintain this ratio.
What does this mean for your daily life? It’s a clear reminder to focus on the positives and add in appreciation even when all you want to do is complain and criticize. Letting go of the past from #15 will also help with this.
24. Make Time for Personal Space Too
While sharing each other’s interests is important, so is personal space. No one wants to feel smothered in a relationship.
- Set time daily to do something alone that you enjoy
- Set time weekly or monthly to be with other people on your own
25. Take 100% Responsibility
The 15 Conscious Commitments to Leadership has changed how I view my relationship. As humans, we spend a lot of time in victim mode, trapped in the blame game. But we can transform every aspect of our lives if we decide that we COMPLETELY steer the ship. Instead of blaming, criticizing, and complaining, ask these questions…
How am I co-creating this issue?
What am I expecting my partner to do, when I need to take action myself? (initiate intimacy, communicate, etc.)
How am I keeping this issue going?
What would it look like if I took 100% responsibility for this issue?
I’ve found that once I take full responsibility, my husband ends up doing what I was hoping for all along, and we dramatically change the situation together.
26. Build Trust
Trust is built by being honest, honoring your commitments, and showing vulnerability. If you can do these things in your relationship, the open trust you build will reward you with a warm emotional connection for life.
27. Show Your Appreciation
In a long-term relationship, we need to be intentional with appreciation. Because after years of being together, it doesn’t come as natural.
Yet, even on the hard days, your partner does things that you can appreciate. And remember: what you focus on grows.
Sweet Couple Goals Idea:
- Commit to giving your partner one appreciation every day for a month
28. Give and Take as a Couple Goal
The give and take of a relationship is always important, but it moves to a new level when you have kids. If you are going on a trip alone and leaving your spouse with the kids, be considerate. Ask instead of tell. And then make sure he/she has time in the calendar for something too.
29. Simplify Your Life to Make Room
No matter how much you want to prioritize your relationship goals, it’s impossible if your life is too full. So, take a look at your schedule. If every night is filled with a different activity and you don’t have enough time to breathe and communicate, it’s time to better align your life with your core values.
- Take the “Get Your Life Back” Free email course
- Scale your activities from 1-10 on things you want to do and your highest life priorities. Say no to anything below a 7.
30. Find and Get Rid of Your Relationship Leaks
Only you can know what these are, but we all have tension and conflict in our relationship that is specific to us. Maybe it’s that pet peeve that drives you crazy, or you’ve let something slip that seemed small but really isn’t. Speak up and get it out in the open.
31. Find the Positive Together
Next, our brains are wired to find the negative in everything. Many years ago, this was essential for our survival because it helped us spot physical dangers. But today, we no longer have to scan for threats to stay alive, and this action can hurt our relationships.
So, replace the negativity with light. And remind yourselves that you have an amazing life together right now.
- Make a gratitude list of your life together
- Tell each other three good things that happened to you before bed
- Make it a dinner ritual to share something good about your day
32. Give a Heartfelt Gift or Gesture
In the mundane routine or everyday life, it’s nice to know that you partner is thinking of you from time to time. So, buy that chocolate that she likes at the store, or let him pick the movie. It’s often the small daily gestures that mean the most.
33. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
I was once given this age-old advice: “Never go to bed angry.”
Now, fifteen years into my relationship, I can tell you it’s the worst advice I received. It turns out that when I’m angry I need space and time to re-set. This means that I go to bed angry and am much better at helping solve our problem in the morning.
So, read these relationship goals examples, but also understand that what works for another couple may not work for you.
34. Create New Habits Out of Your Relationship Goals
In daily life, we hardly notice our regular routines and habits. But they account for 40-95% of our day and determine the long-term direction of EVERYTHING. With relationship goals, it’s things like that everyday kiss, weekly date night, and daily appreciation habit. The small things add up to magic over a life together.
So, what relationship goals examples from 1-33 can you automate into your life?
35. Get Counseling
And finally, if you are struggling in your relationship, counseling is the best way to rebuild your emotional connection. Often, we aren’t aware of the behaviors and triggers that bring us down. So, have an outside professional listen to help you release your emotions and spot your hidden scars.
How to Set a Relationship Goal Checklist
Now, setting your own relationship goals comes next. Take one of the ideas above and…
1. Use the SMART Goals Format
Make sure your couples goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. (See more about SMART goals here)
For example: By December 31st, we will kiss goodbye five times a week in the kitchen before work.
2. Check in For Accountability
Now that you have a clear goal, put a little positive pressure behind it. Make a friendly bet with each other, have a friend check in with you, or take a daily picture of your progress to show someone. If you can make yourself accountable for your actions, you are much more likely to follow through!
3. Make Your Love Goals Fun
Next, make sure that your goal has an element of fun! Add a bit of play that you both enjoy or give yourselves a healthy reward for following through.
To Consider With Marriage Goals
Phew, that’s a big list! I hope you found these love goals inspiring and helpful!
What examples of relationship goals do you find make the most impact? Let me know in the comments!
More Posts for Your Couple Goals…
- Exciting Questions for Couples to Connect
- The Best Would You Rather Couples Questions
- Valentine’s Day Ideas for Couples at Home