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5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward

5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward

Most of us are always online, so many of us have seen #RelationshipGoals hashtags and memes on social media. These so-called goals usually range from pictures of cute couples with matching sneakers to overly exaggerated and sometimes unrealistic images. Relationship goals are very important because growth is always needed when building a relationship. However, the relationship goals portrayed in this trend are beginning to lose their true meaning and become over-the-top, nothing more than a cute picture to be seen on social media.

Making real relationship goals does not just mean taking walks in the park and cuddling on the sofa. It involves making plans and goals for yourselves as a couple so that you can reach for happiness and longevity in the relationship.

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It is time to forget about Instagram-picture-relationship-goals for likes and shares and get at real relationship goals. However, you should know that everyone is different, and while a couple might love each other very much, their goals and agendas might differ. This difference and lack of common goals can cause conflict in your relationship and possibly break it if you do not understand each other well enough. Therefore, it is important to discuss your proposed goals together and make sure that you are on the same page either as a player or as a supporter.

Here are 5 important long-term relationship goals you should actually strive toward.

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1. Learning to Properly Communicate and Listen

No matter how much a couple loves each other, lack of communication could ruin the relationship. Communication is one of the most important ingredients of successful relationships and marriage. It is important for couples to be able to communicate and understand each other whenever the need arises without hindrance or fear of misunderstanding. Couples need to learn to speak about their feelings, listen to each other and resolve issues properly without having to hurt each other.

A lot of couples are stuck in unhappy marriages due to lack of communication and inability to listen to each other. As much as listening is overlooked, it is also very important for couples to listen to their partners so they can understand and help each other. This is one of the reasons better communication and listening is one of the goals that couples should develop.

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2. Getting on the Same Page About your Future

Sure, it’s cute that you are both happy with each other, but it might be a good idea to discuss, evaluate and understand where you are both headed so you can move in that direction happily. Aligning your goals is a relationship goal you should both have. This will dispel misunderstanding and leave no doubt in your minds about what your future targets are, including enhancing each other’s career and investing for a better future.

3. Talking About Finances

Whether it’s friendship, family, work, marriage; money is always a major cause of conflict in all types of relationships. So, one of your relationship goals should be to set up a proper financial management system which is transparent and fair so that you can build your finances as a couple. This involves analyzing your income and your needs, making plans together and avoiding frivolous spending.

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4. Becoming Best Friends and Having Fun Together

In addition to being romantic, you should become best friends, joke and have fun with each other. Having fun with each other should involve participation and suggestions from both of you about activities and fun stuff to do together. Your relationship goals should include doing what your partner loves doing, just like your partner participates in what you love. From simple activities like going to the movies or visiting a museum, to bigger events like going on a cruise, you can make your partner happy by showing interest in what they love. The friendship process entails participation from both parties.

5. Having the Best Sex You Can Together

One important relationship goal is to always keep the fire of passion burning in your relationship. In addition to sex, there are several ways you can do this that will please your partner. Most people think that marriage and long-term relationships usually lead to a decline in passion and sexual relations, but this is not true and should not be so. Lovers should always strive to spice things up and please each other in bed as much as possible.

Featured photo credit: Mary Sherman via theodysseyonline.com

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Elise Bauer

Freelance Writer, Lawyer & Blogger

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Last Updated on September 10, 2018

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]

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Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

Looking at images of loved ones

While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.

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In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]

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Exercise

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.

Meditation

Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.

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In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.

With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

Featured photo credit: condesign via pixabay.com

Reference

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