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Creating a Shared Future  

In the past few months I have talked about how sharing exciting activities and sharing daily experiences can help keep couples connected.  This month I’d like to look to the future. 

One thing that contributes to a couple’s sense of connection is having a shared view of where they are going.  Working together toward the same goals and having a common picture of what their life together in the future will look like helps create this view.

In order to create a shared vision, a couple needs to talk to each other about their own individual goals, desires and dreams.  While it may seem like some of them are competitive and not compatible with each other, couples usually find they can support each other’s dreams and goals while at the same time developing goals they want to achieve together. 

If you find there are conflicts between your dreams and goals, it is often helpful to back up a step.  In your conversations with your partner, try to move beyond the actual vision you have and instead identify the need you will fulfill with that vision.  When you focus on each of your needs and desires it should be easier to come up with compatible goals.

For example, one person might envision retiring to Colorado and the other to Florida.  When they talk about their needs one wants to spend time in the mountains and the other in a place that is warm year round.  Is there a solution?  Maybe South Carolina?  Probably not perfect, but a compromise that meets both people’s needs. 

When thinking about our own lives we often skip over really paying attention to what we want or need and jump to the solution.  Slowing that down, focusing on wants and needs rather than solutions, and then working on a future vision that meets the needs of both partners helps in the creation of a shared vision.