It is very important that both partners have the same goals in life, then you would work together towards those mutual goals, be happy about it, and grow together. You are partners in life and so you need to agree on which direction to take and which goals to achieve together.
Picture you are holding hands and walking together along the path of life. Then you come to a fork in the road, you want to go left, while your partner wants to go right. If you can’t agree on which path to take together, then you will need to let go of each other and follow your own paths.
This is like when you both realise you always wanted different things in life, or feel that life has taken you in different directions, and each no longer meets the other’s needs. This is when divorcing couples cite the reason for the split as “we just grew apart …”. If you had the same goals to begin with, then as you both progress through life, you grow and develop together.
However, if one of you gives up the direction you want in order to go along with your partner’s chosen path, then you would be doing so grudgingly. This will eventually turn into resentment towards your partner for having to give up what you wanted, and subsequently it’s likely you will break up later down the track because of it. This can come from issues such as what you both want out of life, perhaps regarding children or different career paths.
Goals over the long term
Think about what is important to you in the long term. Think about what your goals are, where you want to get to, what sort of life you want to lead. Then think about how your partner would fit and function in the life you choose.
If your career is important to you, then you would need someone that would understand that, share that and maybe even contribute to it. Your partner can understand because they are also career-minded. For example, if you and your partner are both career professionals, then they would understand all the pressures and issues that you face and vice versa.
If you are both in business, or even if your partner is involved in a part of your business then they would understand the business pressures. Especially if sometimes you need to come home late, or can’t make it to your son’s birthday because of an unexpected situation that you need to deal with. A partner who doesn’t understand would be unhappy about being let down and this sort of situation would automatically ignite arguments.
However, if they can’t be a part of your career or business because they don’t have that interest in common or are not involved, then it could still work very well provided both your goals are the same. This would be a case of both of you being committed to your work and supporting each other to achieve mutual goals. It will be like you are both acting as right and left hands working in concert to produce the final product. Each hand works on a separate part but together you create the finished product.
Alison and her husband Brian dreamed of an early retirement and had worked towards it by buying several investment properties for which they were servicing the loans. Brian worked in IT and Alison was a senior lawyer working in a law firm, and on the cusp of being made partner in the firm. She then fell pregnant. They both decided that as Alison’s career was at a critical junction, that she brought in more money than Brian, and she was just about to bring in even more money, that they would put her career first in order to keep on track with their financial goals. Alison only took the minimum time off to give birth and Brian quit his job and stayed home to raise the baby. In addition Brian did some freelance work from home. They acted to achieve the best outcome for themselves as a unit, with Brian unselfishly thinking of what was best for them both overall as a couple instead of just himself.
If what you want is the simple life and to live for the moment then it’s best to find someone like-minded and avoid someone career-orientated or too driven. If not then you will find that your partner is always too uptight, serious and boring. Your partner will see you as being too laid-back and even lazy, when to them there is still so much to be done. This is important even if you have the same interests elsewhere.
When Matt and Isabel first met it felt quite electric for both of them. They seemed to be on the same page with everything and they both seemed to meet each other on an intellectual level. Isabel found Matt to be very funny, and he was equally glad that Isabel was able to match wits with him too. They enjoyed each other’s company however problems soon arose when it came to planning. Isabel was a control freak and likes to plan everything down to a tee and this meant when and where they should meet, and what they would do.
Matt on the other hand was far more laid-back and did not plan anything. He preferred to make his choices as he went along and when he had to decide. He would wait until the day they were to meet then pick up the newspaper to check if there was anything on then ring Isabel about what they were going to do for the day. This constant lack of planning drove Isabel nuts, and Matt thought Isabel was just highly strung. Needless to say, they split up soon after.
A big issue for couples is the decision whether or not to have children. Both partners need to be in agreement on this very important issue and it is one where there should never be a compromise. Either you both want children from the heart and from the start, if not then do not proceed any further. There is a biological instinct in all of us to procreate, for women more so than men, though the reverse does happen sometimes. Women due to their natural biological clock need to be upfront and honest about this issue. It is no good just going along with your partner and hoping that they will change their minds later on. For if they don’t then you will end up resenting them and even hating them, especially once your window of opportunity passes.
Typically, it is the man that is not in a hurry for children. For a woman as there is only a limited window of opportunity to procreate, her decision whether to have children should be hers and hers alone. She should never feel pressured to go along with her partner’s wishes just to please him or to keep the peace. For once the decision is made not to have children and the biological window of opportunity closes, she cannot change her mind and undo her decision.
A man can biologically still have children throughout his life so the matter of time is not so pressing. However, a man can still be unhappy if he loves and wants children and if his wife doesn’t or wants to wait. This can be seen in the case of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Reportedly Brad wanted to have children and Jennifer Aniston wanted to wait and work on her career. Once he met someone who he clicked with and who also loved children (Angelina Jolie), he left Aniston for her. He had met someone who wanted what he did.
When the desire for children doesn’t match then the accommodating partner would be quietly unhappy. This unhappiness breeds resentment, then either the resentment will lead to the relationship breaking up by itself, or once they meet someone else who also wants the same thing then they will leave.
The worst case would be where a woman has given up her desire for children out of love for her partner, while at the same time assuring her partner and herself that she is all right about it. However, once she hits her 40s then that unhappiness would have built up and depression can hit. She will then lash out at her partner for pushing her into this situation. Her partner might not have been any the wiser at her unhappiness, a terrible situation for the both of them. She might not be able to stay with him any more as she would then blame him for her not having children. The pain he would suffer from his guilt would also be so intolerable he would no longer be able to stay with her.
Kelly and Chris had been dating for three years and things were fantastic. They had so many things in common and marriage was on the horizon. In the beginning Kelly indicated she wanted children and Chris just said he wasn’t against the idea, but it was not the be all and end all for him. As their relationship was progressing so well, Kelly didn’t want to rock the boat so she didn’t press the issue. However, things came to ahead when Kelly felt time passing and decided she had to bring up the issue again. Chris then turned around and said he really didn’t want children, and said he never did. It was never a pressing need for him so he decided he preferred not to be burdened with the responsibility of them. Kelly was flabbergasted! She couldn’t believe it now after all this time. She had really been boxed into a corner now. Their relationship was great otherwise, but if she stayed then she would effectively be giving up her chances of having children. If she left then she would have to start again, spend time trying to meet and establish a relationship with someone else, with no certainty that she will be able to find someone compatible at all.
A common line from many men is: “If I find the right partner, then I’ll have children”. This is not the same as women typically saying: “I want children, so now I’m looking for the right person to have them with.” For everyone it should be a case of if you want children, then you go and find the right partner to have them with, not the other way around. Most importantly you need to clarify the issue from the beginning and choose a like-minded partner in the first place, not leave it and deal with the issue later and end up in Kelly’s situation.
If your partner’s desire for children does not match yours, then it’s in your best interest to find this out early on, and if your desires don’t match, then move on quickly and find someone else.
Another important goal centres around career and financial aspirations. If you are both committed to creating the best retirement, then you are much more likely to stick together. On the other hand, if one looks to the long term and the other just lives for the moment, then sooner or later one will leave the other. An ambitious and dynamic person will not have the same goals as one that is happy with the status quo.
Take the case where one partner is happy with the goal of just a regular life in the suburbs, relaxed and stress-free, while the other is a go-getter and wants to create their own financial empire. The go-getter would feel their partner does not understand and won’t and can’t support them because they don’t have a business mind in order to understand. That is the reason why they also don’t have the drive and their ability is limited, showing a definite incompatibility. The go-getter will eventually leave the other behind in terms of their career and will end up leaving the relationship. The partner who is more driven will feel they are alone without any support from their partner, who is the one person they feel should be providing the most support. This is clearly a manifestation of underlying incompatibility.
Robyn was a lawyer and Kevin was a professional dancer. In the beginning they had lots of fun together, as Robyn needed an outlet and a way to de-stress from her pressured job and enjoyed the great times dancing with Kevin. He also enjoyed teaching Robyn how to dance and loved the fact that Robyn derived so much pleasure from learning from him. However, after some time the realities of their lives hit. Robyn was a corporate professional and this meant that there were periods that due to workloads she would not have time to see Kevin, and when she did have time she just wanted to rest and was too tired to go dancing. Kevin started getting cranky as Robyn didn’t seem to be as interested as she made out to be in the beginning, and felt that she stopped being fun and was getting boring. Robyn also started to tire of dancing all the time with Kevin, and didn’t feel Kevin had much depth. When she came home after a stressful day at the office, she very much wanted to pick up the phone and tell Kevin about her day which she did in the beginning, but then stopped when she realised that Kevin couldn’t understand the issues and wasn’t interested. She also realised that their goals and priorities were very different. Her career and drive to succeed were her priorities and financial security was her goal. While Kevin was able to make a living out of being a dancer, money and financial success weren’t important to him — enjoying what he was doing and having fun were. After a while they realised how different their lives and goals were, and mutually agreed to break up.
However both partners don’t necessarily have to be doing the same thing, or have the same career to have the same goals.
Jake had his owned real estate business while his wife Kylie ran her own florist. On the surface they looked like a mismatch because they seemingly had different interests. He seems more like a salesman and she is artistic. However on closer inspection, they actually have the same goals. They are both operating their own business, both are business-minded, and both had the same drive of making their business work and the same financial goals.
Relationship experts and books may say you need to make a list of deal-breakers, such as: smoking, excessive drinking, moodiness and infidelity. However, as long as you stick to the three main factors you need in common you will find your perfect match:
· you both get along naturally;
· you share the same values;
· you share the same goals.
You may not really know what the right relationship breakers would be for you until you have experienced them and lists set out by these experts may not be right for everyone. For example, if your partner is a smoker and you are too, then there won’t be any problems. Similarly if your partner is unadventurous and so are you, then there is also unlikely to be a problem. As long as you can tick the three boxes above then you will go far together.
For the next factor you must match with to being the perfect match read here.