Getting Relationship Ready: The importance of having a shared vision
Posted by John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert onSo the final episode of the series Making Couples Happy aired last night and in this episode we saw the couples finally come out the other side happier and more equipped to maintain a better relationship.
The focus of this episode was all about the importance of moving forward as a team with shared goals. This applies to all couples - even when you're starting out in a new relationship, it's still vital to be on the same page.
For instance, if you've met the love of your life but they're not looking for anything serious - you've got a problem. If you want to stay living in the same city and they're moving away to be overseas then this is going to be an obstacle. If you want to hold off having sex, and they want to get naked right now - then this is going to be an issue.
What I'm saying is - having a shared vision as a new couple is very important so you can move forward as a team. Without this common ground you're going to feel disconnected, uncertain about the future, frustrated and anxious.
So with this in mind, here are five key areas to discuss with your new love interest to make sure you're on the same page:
1) Serious or casual?
It's one of the first things you need to find out with your new partner. You're simply wasting your time if one of you wants long-term while the other wants fun and casual. So - get this out in the open and find out where you both stand in terms of commitment.
2) Career ambitions?
Talk about career ambitions as this can really give the both of you a sense of the way life is going to be in the future. The work hours involved, the travel, the financial return, the sacrifice and the achievements. Where do you both sit in all of this, and can this work for you long-term?
3) Attitude to health and fitness?
This is all about how important a healthy lifestyle is for the both of you. This relates to alcohol use, drugs, exercise, diet and work/life balance. It can of course change over time, but you need to know if you have similar views about maintaining a healthy approach to life.
4) Travel plans?
Find out about each other's travel plans and the possibility that one or both of you might be looking to live in a different city or overseas. It's very hard to get serious if you're not going to be around to see each other, so consider travel and living location in all of this.
5) Expectations about sex?
Often this part of a new relationship never gets discussed. You just jump into bed and go for it. However it's worthwhile talking about your expectations around sex, how important it is to you in a relationship, how frequently you want it and the things you will and won't do. You want to be compatible in this department.
6) Thoughts on kids?
Finally, as you get to know them more you need to find out about their thoughts on having children. Neither of you may be sure about exactly how many kids you want - but it's important that you know if kids are in the picture. If one wants a family and the other doesn't, then this is only going to lead to massive disappointment down the track.
John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, currently seen on ABC's new series Making Couples Happy, and author of the new book Making Couples Happy: How science can help get relationships back on track (www.johnaiken.com.au)
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