Does the phrase "relationship goals" make you want to barf a little? It's a bummer, because in theory every relationship should have goals, but the 4 million and counting photos on Instagram tagged #relationshipgoals can skew your perception of what exactly those goals should be. Some are ironic memes of people doing decidedly not-goal-worthy things. And others are earnest couples holding hands on beaches — which is fine, but doesn't have to be the goal of your relationship.
"Goals are what you envision for the relationship; how you'd like it to look based on your shared values, not what you see in social media," says Kristin Zeising, PsyD, a relationship therapist in San Diego. "It could be a certain level of commitment, a feeling you'd like to have, or experiences you'd like to have." And there is no set formula for what those things should be, because every couple is completely different, she says. "A relationship goal is something that you think will bring your relationship greater satisfaction, intimacy, and connection," says Samantha Burns, LMHC, a dating and relationships expert.