Social media platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, are filled with inspiring images of happy relationships. A quick search reveals some of the most popular hashtags to elevate your relationship to an inspirational love story. All the #CoupleGoals images and videos have a central element in common: Couples have embraced the inclusion of the typical “you” and “me” identities into a new entity: “us”. When you think of a happy and successful relationship, you naturally depict a symbiotic communication where both individuals understand each other perfectly. The symbiosis is often the result of a strong “us”. Couples that can talk about their relationship as a “we” rather than a “me+you” approach have already unlocked one of the biggest secrets behind the Insta-worthy #CoupleGoals photos: Common projects.
What does a common project say about your couple? Sharing activities, ideas, and values with your other half allow you to build a new entity – the “us” – that can stand strong. Common projects are essential to the strength and survival of your relationship. The more you share, the more you define your couple goals, and the more you allow for an “us” to exist.
Turning a house into a home for the two of you
For each couple, a home is a special place where both need to feel happy and safe. Nobody wants to be in a relationship where they feel they only live in their partner’s home. Unfortunately, the situation can present itself naturally. Perhaps, when you met with your current partner, one of you already had a home. Yet, even though one moves in with the other, it doesn’t mean the interior decor should stay the same. On the contrary, seize the opportunity to make a home for both of you. Decorating together can be tricky – there’s no point denying it – especially if you have different tastes. But putting a place together that suits both of you will help create a healthy balance in your couple. You both have a say in the design and conception of a shared home. Think of it as the foundation of your couple.
Planning your next holiday
Another typical project that should be shared but is often one-sided is your holiday. Planning a vacation with your other half is not just the opportunity to get away together and leave everyday routine behind. It’s also the chance to share the excitement and joy of the vacation. Couples who plan their travel together stay together. What does planning together mean? It’s a matter of creating a common purpose, such as deciding about the destination together. As you discuss each location, you can also identify areas that interest you both and areas that one of you would rather avoid. Additionally, you can also create daily itineraries together. Would you prefer a morning on the beach while your partner wants to visit the local zoo? Make sure the day has a little bit of everything. Working together to plan exciting holidays encourages you to compromise to ensure it works for both of you. What’s the point of creating new memories if only one of you has fun?
Not fearing the future
The future brings a world of uncertainties and questions. But you can face it together as a couple, discussing eventualities and considering how to best face some situations. Admittedly, nobody wants to think about the death of their loved one or their own, but planning the future together already includes that conversation. You can feel reassured about facing the worst-case situation if you’ve already considered your preferred course of action. Knowing that you have planned a pair of standing cemetery headstones, for instance, can remove a lot of the anxiety linked to the unknown. Unfortunately, some things are not preventable, and while you may delay them for as long as possible, there will be a time when one of you will be left behind. Yet planning together can give you more control and protect your sense of togetherness, even in death.
Improving your mental health day after day
Couples who embark on a self-improvement journey together are more likely to boost each other’s motivation and overall health. Starting a fitness challenge together can help to stick to your workout and encourage each other. More often than not, deciding on health changes together creates a shared dedication to get better. But that doesn’t only mean working out. Simple healthy additions to the home, such as an air purifier or anti-pollution houseplants, can have a bigger impact when both of you are involved in the decision. When both of us stand behind the decision to improve our health, you build a positive environment that supports our motivation. Motivation makes it easy to stay fit!
Sharing and making your happiness
At the core of a strong and happy “us”, there’s a need for clear, honest, and transparent communication. Secrets shatter a couple’s loyalty. Being open about what you both want and expect from the relationship from the start will ensure you are both walking in the same direction. As silly as it might sound, there’s only so much you can compromise for love. If one of you wants kids, for instance, and the other doesn’t, there will be a point when the relationship can’t grow any further before it doesn’t fulfill your needs. The bottom line? You are in charge of how to build and make your togetherness, and to do that, you need to have all the pieces.
Making memories together
Marriages – or unmarried long-term relationships – don’t create togetherness through their official or unofficial union. They build togetherness by giving the “us” space to grow. Creating traditions and rituals that work for your couple is the key to making meaningful memories. There is no right or wrong when it comes to your couple’s culture. Most couples build a language that is theirs, referring to shared experiences, or inventing sweet pet names for each other. Ultimately, you write a story that gives life to your relationship.
In conclusion, joint projects turn the “me + you” into an “us”. While it doesn’t mean that all projects should be together, it is your responsibility in a relationship to give enough space and opportunities for the “us” to grow into its own entity. You don’t have to share absolutely everything, me-time is something you can and should preserve. But sharing enough of the good times lets you go through the stormy days safely.
This is a collaborative post.