Do you feel unlucky in love because you never seem to choose a good enough match? Does it look like your partner wants completely different things to you? Are you frustrated with doing all the work in your relationship but never getting anything back?
If so, then it’s time to work on your Relationship Vision!
What is it?
Most of us have entered relationships with people without really knowing what we were hoping to achieve. Many of us are unclear about what we want and expect from our relationship. Without a clear sense of purpose or an overall idea of what we want from a relationship we can feel aimless and frustrated. We fear that we cannot get what we want from it or that we have chosen the wrong partner.
But we no longer have to feel aimless, frustrated and hopeless within our relationship. Whether we are single or in a relationship, we can be proactive and create a Relationship Vision.
A Relationship Vision is a deliberate and conscious process that helps us explore what we really want from a relationship. It helps us identify the direction, quality, goals and values of the relationship we most desire so we can make it happen.
Why do I need it?
It might seem like a formal or effortful exercise to do. It might even feel like overthinking something that some people seem to do with such simplicity. But creating a Relationship Vision is one of the most powerful ways to create a healthy and happy relationship. Without it you remain aimless and reactive. Here are more benefits you will gain from working on your Relationship Vision:
Check for Compatibility
A Relationship Vision helps you to check for compatibility: identify and compare your wishes, needs, views and values so you can find out in which areas you and your partner differ. Once you know, you are able to figure out ways to complement each other and play to each other’s strengths.
If you are single, be honest about your strengths and weaknesses so you can start your next relationship with a newly enhanced level of self-awareness.
Become a Team
We unite when we consciously work on a shared Relationship Vision. We bond over creating and working towards common short and long term goals. We become part of a team that supports, motivates and encourages each other. We both take responsibility for our relationship and take charge of moving it in a joint values-guided direction.
When we become part of a team in our relationship we prevent the dangers of ‘drifting apart’. Life will present us with challenges and opportunities. Without purpose we easily start to drift. And if there is no one we feel accountable to or that we share a vision with, we drift away. Choosing someone to share our life with will help us keep on track.
Unite in Love
When we unite in love we start to pull together. We start to become we-centred rather than me-centred. We start to create something bigger than ourselves. We start to fulfil our need for belonging.
Researcher Robert Levenson and colleagues at University of California, Berkeley, found that couples, who use the pronoun ‘we’ when talking about their relationship or when trying to resolve conflict are usually happier, calmer, more emotionally open and connected and experience less negative stress arousal than those who use the pronouns ‘you’, ‘me’ and ‘I’.
Whereas ‘we’ leads to connection, ‘you’ indicates separateness. ‘We’ strengthens trust and enhances affection. It shows us that we are not separate, no longer alone. ‘We’ are together. ‘We’ are a team. ‘We’ sets in motion a connectedness program in our minds and bodies so instead of retreating into our threat systems we can relax, grow and open up to love.
Create a Dream
A Relationship Vision serves as a perfect guide to a shared life together. We are creating a plan and starting to work together as team towards shared goals based on shared values. It serves as a vision of the perfect relationship we want to create for ourselves and our partner.
This is the perfect opportunity to be totally honest with ourselves and conjure up the most amazing relationship we can possibly imagine. We can face our expectations with honesty and get to know our deepest hopes and desires. At this point, we are not interested in the hows. We just want to imagine what we believe our most perfect relationship would look like.
Once we know, we can evaluate how possible, realistic and healthy our expectations are. From that point on we have an idea we can share with our partners to see how compatible our dreams are. We aim to be open-minded about our partners dreams so we can balance their needs with ours. And then we’re off creating our joint dream …
Love with Intention
In order to create something we truly value and love, we must first be clear about what it is that we want. It is too vague to ask for a happy and loving relationship. We must be clear about what ‘happy and loving’ looks like as ‘happy and loving’ can be expressed in many different ways. At this point the ‘how’ comes in. Once you have a joint dream, we have to develop a clear mission that supports it. We need to identify priorities and employ helpful strategies and tasks to make it happen – one day at a time.
If you struggle to have a clear vision of what it is you want your relationship be like, reflect on past relationships and what you liked about them and what didn’t work so well for you. What was your intention behind your past relationships? Once you know, consider your future long-term intention. What kind of relationship do you aspire to create?
Our intention is also strengthen once we Identify who we want to be in our relationship, what kind of partner we want to be and what we want to contribute. All this is solely in our control so we get to experience full autonomy within this area of our relationship.
Creating a Relationship Vision allows couples to become more deliberate and intentional with their lives together. It makes it obvious for us to see what we desire, what we want to contribute , where we are aiming to go and what kind of person we want to be within that relationship. Of course we can’t control everything, but we can plan and increase the chances of reaching our wishes and hopes for ourselves, our relationship, and our lives.
How shall I write it?
Phrase every statement
- in the present tense
- in a positive way – say what you want, not what you don’t want
- by starting with ‘we’
- being specific, concrete and detailed
Here’s an example:
“We go out one night a week by ourselves to spend quality time together and engage in activities we both enjoy such as bowling or eating at a restaurant.”
Consider the following areas affecting your relationship and explore what you want from them:
- romance and dating
- attachment and connection
- intimacy and sexuality
- communication and conflict resolution
- personal growth and individuality
- family, children and parenting
- money and economic considerations
- work and education
Other questions to can ask yourself to get to know yourself and your needs better:
- What do you want your life to be about?
- In which ways do you feel supported?
- What fulfils you?
- What do you want to accomplish?
- In which ways do you struggle?
- What makes you feel loved?
- What do you value?
- How do you like to support others?
- How do you express and show your love?
- How do you support your partner?
- How open are you to deal with uncomfortable feelings?