In relationships, there is no shortage of things which might trip you up. Whether it’s baggage from past relationships or long distances, it sometimes seems like there are so many potential obstacles that it’s amazing anyone ever stays together. Of course, love always finds a way, but there’s something you’d always do well to pay attention to – the value of shared goals.
Ok, so you’ve dated a few times, enjoyed each other’s company and you are talking seriously about a future together. It is now time to really drill down to what each other’s goals are in the medium and long-term. A shared set of goals would make life simple for us all but relationships break up regularly because of wishful thinking or blind faith.
It may be that one partner has a lifelong dream to live and work in the highlands of Scotland whereas the other has all their family in Norfolk. Possibly one of you has always wanted to retire early and travel abroad whilst the other is scared of flying and hates being away for more than a week at a time.
I have a woman friend who agreed with her partner that they would never have children. Eight years later, she felt strongly that she really did want children. Her husband, however, insisted that they agreed to remain childless and would not even discuss the matter. This was one of the reasons they split up.
I’m not saying that you hold your partner to a whole life plan because people can and do change their minds. Just make sure that you do not commit yourself in the long term without discussing your general ideas on kids, lifestyle, where to live, how much to travel and all those things that although in the long distant future can and do break up relationships.
Finally, never go along with someone’s long-held dream without having every intention of seeing things through. It’s not fair on them and may well prove disastrous for your relationship. As mature online daters, we can sometimes want to give every relationship a long run, but if your goals are opposing, it might be best to leave it where it is – as tough as that can feel.