On Choosing Relationship Health Over #RelationshipGoals

Her Voice

They hustle together, they eat together, and they post pictures on social media to let everyone know that they are exclusive. If they're even more ambitious, they might have a YouTube channel documenting it all. If you scroll down their comments you're bound to see emojis with heart eyes and the hashtag #RelationshipGoals. It looks picture perfect, right? But have you ever thought about how many pictures were taken, prior to the one they posted, that didn't make the cut? That's because some of those pictures weren't the most flattering. Just as such, they don't post the unflattering moments in their relationship.

I would be lying if I said I didn't want a partner that I could make money with, grow with in character, laugh until our stomachs hurt, lay back and listen to old school R&B on warm summer nights, and support one another. Quite frankly, that's just scratching the surface. I've watched movies such as Love & Basketball, The Holiday, and Love Jones and said, "I want a guy to express his love for me like that." In all of those movies mentioned, there were broken hearts, disappointments, and years of stagnation. I'm sure you didn't incorporate those into your relationships goals. I know I didn't.

We can't confuse happy moments with happy endings. Relationships are forever being developed. I'm sure you've heard countless times that a relationship is not a destination but a journey. It's not a resort you check-in to and live forever in lover's bliss. As people grow and evolve, so do relationships and that's not always easy. There is no telling how many times the person in that picture cried themselves to sleep over the mate they cling to in the photo. Perhaps the other couple have a rocky marriage and aren't sure things will last. For some, they've become accustomed to being the model of a perfect couple that they ignore their true problems. You may scroll to see the next duo working together to make money, but beneath the surface they've stopped hustling to improve their personal relationship with one another. It's strictly business. Is this what you would deem to be #RelationshipGoals?

We have to be careful what we brand as a goal.

Look past the surface. I'm not saying to tear up your vision board that houses a picture of what appears to be a couple in bliss. But I want to remind you that what you're seeing captured is a moment of bliss. And with the right person and sometimes the wrong person (that's a different story), we can achieve those moments. Yet, any goals set in a relationship should be a healthy relationship. These goals may include: honesty, transparency, effective communication, respect, encouragement, and accountability just to name a few. These are the goals in a relationship that a picture can't capture.

Ultimately we have to realize that no one is perfect. That means that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship because two imperfect people are involved. But when you put two imperfect people together that are willing and actively working on themselves and committed to strengthening their relationship, that's a healthy goal.

The next time you're tempted to hashtag #RelationshipGoals under that picture or post, ask yourself why would you categorize it as such. Are they inspiring you with healthy practices that you can use in your own relationship now or in the future?

Healthy Ways Online Relationships Can Inspire You:

1. Date night inspirations – Pictures and videos of other couples may inspire you to take a cooking class together, have a game night in with friends, or inspire you to go a little above and beyond for the next date.

2. Words of Encouragement – Those touching captions under their photos can inspire you to tell your significant other how you feel. You don't have to post it for the world to see, but texting your significant other a picture of the two of you with a moving message of how much you love and appreciate them is sure to put a smile on their face.

3. Financial Goals – Seeing these online couples work together and travel can inspire you to bring up the conversation of finances. Are you saving enough? Can you save a little more? If you want to travel and become a homeowner, you can learn trendy ways to save and how to accomplish these things on a budget.

Goals in a relationship start with two individual healthy people. YOU being mature, whole, and emotionally equipped are the foundations of healthy and achievable relationship goals. Just remember that no relationship is perfect and each comes with its own set of challenges. It's all about learning how to healthily prioritize instead of idolize goals within a relationship.

Featured image by Getty Images

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissions@xonecole.com.

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