1-Sentence-Summary: Relationship Goals will open your mind to the true nature of healthy connections with others and help you prepare for health and happiness while you’re single and when you get married by outlining common relationship traps and how to avoid them.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
While you often see #relationshipgoals with pictures of happy couples, the truth behind this social media trend is that a truly healthy relationship is hard to come by these days.
Between divorces, fights, celebrity drama, and the portrayal of broken relationships on TV, you’re at a loss for what real connection between people looks like. It’s no wonder then that some of your relationships are struggling!
It doesn’t have to be this way though. You can find hope by seeking and focusing on the experiences and examples of those who have made it work. And most of all, by setting some actual relationship goals.
This is what you’ll learn how to do in Michael Todd’s Relationship Goals: How to Win at Dating, Marriage, and Sex. These tips will improve your ability to connect with others, whether you’re single, dating, or married!
Here are 3 of my favorite lessons that Todd teaches in the book:
- Don’t be picky, nobody’s perfect, so you need to keep your relationship goals realistic.
- If you want to have a strong marriage, become mentally and emotionally strong while you’re single.
- To have a healthy connection with your spouse keep improving yourself and continue to date each other.
Ready for some real #relationshipgoals that are better than what you see on social media? Let’s get right to it!
Lesson 1: Trying to find the perfect person will keep you single forever, so adjust your relationship goals accordingly.
I recently deleted my Instagram and Twitter accounts. I’ve reluctantly kept Facebook but locked myself out intentionally. The half-truths that people share about how good life is just got to be too much for me.
I worry that even my own posts were filled with an unrealistic picture of what my life is really like, especially when it comes to relationships.
The truth is whenever you see #relationshipgoals online you’re not getting the full picture. Relationships are hard and messy. People fight and yell, and everyone has flaws.
Unfortunately, your addiction to social media has given you a false goal to find the perfect relationship, which doesn’t exist. This is why you look at the surface-level traits like looks or financial status instead of what you really need from a partner.
And it’s also why your relationships may be suffering.
The author’s experience with a girl named Sarah who is a member of the church where the author is a pastor shows how this sometimes happens. She’d gotten to an age where she was disappointed that she wasn’t married, and often talked with the author about it.
But when asked about what she was looking for in a companion, she gave a long and strict list. The author had to be honest with Sarah, her relationship goals were too unrealistic.
You can and should identify what you’re looking for in a companion, but apply a healthy dose of sensibility as well.
Lesson 2: Becoming the best person you can be while you’re single is the surest way to guarantee a strong marriage.
Some of my favorite relationship advice is that you should try to develop the kind of qualities you want in your future spouse. That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. But it does mean that what you do with your time as a single person is vital to your success when it’s time to find a partner and settle down.
Growing up, the author didn’t receive much relationship advice beyond “no sex until after you’re married.” Because the church isn’t great about handling this aspect of life, many people turn to advice from TV, movies, or celebrities and end up ruining their relationships while single.
The problem with these sources is they oversimplify it all into just love, marriage, and children. But this doesn’t account for the intricacies and steps in between.
Instead, the author teaches there are six levels of progression in relationships:
Although it may not seem like it, singleness is one of the most important steps. That’s because it lays the foundation for your connection with others throughout the rest of your life. It’s the time for various “I’s” that you need to work on, such as:
- Investing in your personal development and creative projects.
- Imagining and planning your future, then working hard to make it happen.
- Inspiring others by doing things like mentoring.
By working on these you’ll prepare well for your relationship future by getting to know yourself and your purpose.
Lesson 3: Keep dating your spouse after you’re married and never stop improving yourself.
I don’t like Disney. They make pretty good movies, but those princess ones put some dangerous ideas into kid’s heads. The biggest offender of all is the idea of “happily ever after.”
Luckily I didn’t watch a ton of these films growing up and I had a lot of great mentors, so I was prepared for the work marriage would take. Unfortunately, too many people aren’t ready and think that marriage is where the work ends.
But it’s actually where the hardest work in relationships begins.
The puppy-love stages are easy because you’re on your best behavior trying to impress each other. Love, energy, and enthusiasm are all high, so it doesn’t take much effort to keep the fire going.
When you get a few years in and throw in some kids and a mortgage, however, things get tough. But there’s hope to remain connected to your companion, and it starts with continuing the work of improving yourself.
If you want your marriage to be the healthiest, you’ve got to be your healthiest, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Also, keep dating your spouse. My wife and I love to talk with each other about the common topics we’re interested in so we try to get as much time to do that as possible. It isn’t easy with kids, but when we make it a priority it helps us stay happy and work in synergy with each other.
The Relationship Goals Review
I really liked Relationship Goals! It reminded me of what’s strong in my own marriage and gave me some ideas on how to improve. There were a few points that I didn’t agree with, although it may have just been the way the author presented them.
Who would I recommend the Relationship Goals summary to?
The 30-year-old who thinks that her life is over because she isn’t married yet, the 62-year-old empty nesters who want to work on their relationship with each other, and anyone that wants to be in a healthy romantic relationship.