I’m sure you’ve seen #relationshipgoals floating around social media, whether it’s on Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr, and though I appreciate the concept of it, what people post with that is unrealistic.
My boyfriend and I aren’t into following the hashtag trend, even though I’m absolutely crazy about Instagram. But we have made goals to pursue and work on to make it stronger.
If you’re looking to do some #relationshipgoals, here are some real ones that you and your S.O. should pursue to strengthen your relationship.
1. Having super strong communication skills.
Communication is one of those essentials that is more of a process than a one-time thing, because there is always room for improvement, no matter how long you and your S.O. have been together for.
When you have weak communication in your relationship, there is more room for misunderstandings, criticism and fighting. But when it’s sturdy, you two can power through anything.
In the beginning of our dating relationship, I had a hard time being open with my boyfriend, even though I was free and welcome to do so. But at one point, he called me out for being so passive-aggressive and that it wouldn’t help, so I’ve been working on that.
2. Do the small things to express your love.
In a new relationship, it’ll seem as if the big gestures are the only kinds that are important and that will make the bond you have with your S.O. stronger. But over time, you’ll realize that it’s the small things that count the most.
My boyfriend and I exchange a text message every morning before we start work for the day, saying something as simple as, “Have a great day! I love you.” It’s not a bouquet of flowers or a huge romantic gesture but it’s still considered romantic to me.
If your S.O. is sick at home, bring them a cup of tea or their favorite soup so they can treat their illness with a home remedy courtesy of the person that’s important to them. Or a text message to check in during the day or in the morning is meaningful too!
3. Discovering your love languages and practicing it.
Every person has a different love language. Though it’s awesome if you and your S.O. have the same ones, a vast majority of couples have different ones. Find out what it is that makes them feel loved and practice it.
For our one-year anniversary in August, I gave him a scrapbook of all the selfies we took, but he gave me an experience as a present. He knew that my love language is quality time so he took me to the local JC Penney’s and told me that I can pick something out and he’d pay for it.
It may not have seemed like a huge thing, but I was so touched when he explained to me why he decided to give me an experience. For him, I give him hugs and sweet short kisses because I know he feels the most loved when I’m physically affectionate with him.
4. Bond with each others’ friends and family.
Sure, it’s a lot of fun to just spend time with each other but it’s productive and an amazing feeling to get a glimpse and experience each others’ worlds.
Whenever my boyfriend came to visit me, my parents have always tried to have lunch or dinner with us. We’ve also gone on a couple of double dates with my brother and his girlfriend, which was a blast!
It’s exciting and it should warm your heart at the sight of seeing you and your S.O. getting along with your loved ones. Take time to interact with each others’ respective social circles.
5. Surprise each other every now and then.
It’s not practical to expect or to actually put together a surprise for your S.O. all the time, which is why when either of you do something out of the ordinary, it’s a lot more memorable and special.
It can be a series of small things or something that you know will make your S.O. happy. On my birthday last month, my boyfriend surprised me with a concert in NYC and I was so touched because I like going to concerts and he remembered that about me.
It can be done on an ordinary day or for a special occasion. There’s no right or wrong way to surprise them, but of course there are some things you shouldn’t do. They will appreciate the thought and be happy for the gesture.
6. Try something new together.
It can be as daring as rock-climbing or skydiving, or it can be as mundane and relaxing as wandering through a city neither of you have been to.
My boyfriend and I took our first trip to a new cat café in NYC and when I made the reservations, I was a bit nervous because I’m not a huge fan of cats. But when we got there and actually spent time playing or for me, watching, them, it did bring us closer together.
Throw around some ideas on a hobby or activity that both of you are willing to try. It can be anything but it needs to be something that both of you agree on because then it won’t be fun.