Two years ago, my boyfriend and I decided to go to Ireland for the Georgia Tech (our alma mater) vs Boston College football game.
I LOVE planning, especially travel, so the first thing we did was to sit down and decide where we wanted to go. Luckily, we have similar travel styles. We love local food, walking, and history but could pass on the art museums and shopping. We picked out our must-dos for the trip (Arthur’s Seat, the Cliffs of Moher, and Shakespeare’s Globe were top of the list) and spent about an hour calculating a rough budget based on hotel, food, and flight prices.
Starting with an agreement of what we were working towards was the best thing we could have done! We knew how much we needed to save, and we had plenty of time to meet our goal. We had a shared vision of our trip, even though neither of us wanted to plan too much in advance. There was plenty of room for spontaneous adventures and last minute decisions without breaking our budget.
When faced with going to a fancy restaurant or putting more money into savings, we easily chose to save because we cared so much about this trip. It’s easy to pick up each other’s bad habits in a relationship. If you’re trying to eat better, and your partner wants to get takeout all the time, how long do you think it will be until you give in to pizza?
You don’t need to have the exact same goals in every situation- that’s unrealistic. But setting some goals together, and supporting each other’s individual goals, will make it so much easier to achieve your life vision.
The Right Mindset
A couple is made of two individual people, but it’s much more than that. I encourage you to have individual goals, but thinking in terms of “us” is important for planning major life decisions. If you have a dream of starting your own business and traveling the world, but your partner wants to buy a house and stay in his hometown, that’s going to cause problems.
Start by sitting down and creating a shared life vision. What do you want to do together? What do you want your life to look like? Like my trip to Ireland, you don’t need to have everything planned out. You do need to know that you’re on the same path.
Here’s what a shared life vision looks like (in the words of my clients)
- Being in control of my finances for the first time in my life
- Feeling like part of a team
- Not feeling judged or isolated
- Being prepared to deal with whatever challenges come up
- Feeling like a couple instead of two people who happen to live together
- Feeling respected
What is it worth to you to feel in control, respected, and part of a team?
If you’re anything like me, you’d give anything to have a true partnership. If you’re interested, click the button below to get a free intro session. We can talk about what you can do to bring the “we” mindset into your relationship.