We've seen the hashtag and there are social media accounts dedicated to it too – they usually involve images like wearing adorable matching outfits or kissing on a beach with a beautiful sunset as the backdrop. While such #couplegoals might look great, they're generally not realistic. Relationships involve both good and bad moments and not every snapshot of a relationship is Instagram-worthy. Here are seven real #couplegolas you should be aiming for.
Couple Goal #1: Be Yourselves
You should make compromises in a relationship but never change for a partner, full stop. Be yourself around him (and vice versa) and not the person you think your partner wants you to be. Sure, there is a certain amount of 'faking' when you first start dating, perhaps pretending to like particular types of movies or sports just because he does too. But if the relationship progresses beyond the first stage, come clean about anything that you lied about before. Being yourself also means not being dolled up with make-up and your fanciest clothes every time you're with him – you should be comfortable just being you.
Couple Goal #2: Be Independent
You have to be okay with spending time apart. You need the time not just to miss each other but also to do your own thing. A healthy relationship involves having your own individual lives too and not being joined at the hip. Make it your goal to set time aside for catching up with your friends or family, or even just doing things alone. Having 'me time' will make you grow as a person and also as a couple.
Couple Goal #3: Be Honest
This doesn't just involve being honest about your feelings, it's also about telling it like it is when you're not happy with each other. So if there's something he does that really annoys you – from something as simple as chewing really loudly to that silly fight he's having with his brother – tell him he needs to fix it. The aim is not to change each other, but to be honest about things you don't want to put up with. And if he's being honest in the same way with you, don't get upset but instead see if there's something you can do to make things better and your relationship a happier one.
Couple Goal #4: Argue
Get those images out of your mind of the 'perfect' relationship being the one where every moment together is a lovey-dovey one. It's healthy for couples to argue, as long as you're not bickering about every little detail. Argue about the important stuff if you have a difference in opinion but, at the end of it, make sure that you still feel the same about your partner. Don't end up feeling bitter or, worse, resent him. The make-up process after an argument is important too.
Couple Goal #5: Be Best Friends
Your partner should not just be your lover but your best friend too. You should be able to tell each other anything and everything and spend time together doing absolutely nothing yet enjoy every second of it. And you should be able to count on each other when the chips are down, as well as accept and love each other even at your worst – whether it's just dealing with a very bad mood or an extremely sick day.
Couple Goal #6: Travel Together
One of the best ways to 'test' your relationship is to go on holiday together. Travelling can take a toll on your relationship so if you come out the other side still in love, you've won the love lottery. Only strong relationships are able to deal with stressful situations like flight delays, less-than-ideal hotel rooms or any other unpleasant surprises that pop up – plus the fact that you're in each other's faces 24/7 – so set that as a #couplegoal.
Couple Goal #7: Aim For The Long Run
If you're serious about spending the rest of your lives together, work towards it. This means inculcating values such as trust, honesty and good communication in your relationship, instead of just aiming for photogenic moments that you can share online.