15 Examples Of SMART Goals For Relationships And How To Set Them

Love and Romance | | , Lifestyle writer & Editor
Updated On: December 19, 2023
smart goals for romantic relationships

Lose ten kilos by summer. Read at least three books a month. Spend more time with mom. My to-do list of goals is forever evolving. I recently came across the concept of SMART goals for romantic relationships, which intrigued me. What are relationship goals now? My only relationship goal has been to ‘stay married’, so I was keen to know more. 

Like me, most people associate goal setting with personal development or in terms of your career. But, according to experts, setting actionable goals in a relationship can benefit both you and your partner in multiple ways. When two people have clarity about their needs and what is expected, it creates a healthy and motivated foundation. 

What Are SMART Goals? 

What exactly are these examples of SMART goals for communication and relationship building? Well, S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Let’s take a closer look at each of these and discuss the most common attainable examples of SMART goals for healthy relationships

1. Specific 

It’s getting down to brass tacks here. For any goal to succeed, both partners need to be very specific about their needs and expectations from said relationship. When you identify the specific thing you seek in your relationship, you remove room for doubt and inconsistencies. A few common examples of setting long-term relationship goals could be,

  • If you are looking for commitment and exclusivity, say so
  • If you wonder when to talk about the future in a relationship, the time is now
  • If you need space and alone time, don’t be afraid to mention this

Related Reading: 21 Signs He Finds You Irresistible & Is Attracted To You

2. Measurable 

This is where it becomes real. When you have a goal or an idea you want to work toward, this is when you quantify the process. Let me explain. Say you both want to buy a home together in a few years. Now is when you determine exactly how much you both plan to save toward this goal. Put down a measurable amount for every month. This is not limited to financial targets. You could also quantify certain aspects such as the amount of time you both agree to spend with each other. 

3. Achievable 

For any healthy relationship to survive, goals must be achievable. If there is no way you can meet each other seven days a week, then why even put this down as a goal? Similarly, if both your salaries don’t allow for much savings, then honestly, how can you be putting aside a portion toward your dream home? When your relationship values don’t align with your partner, it’s all the more important to ask yourself some tough questions before committing to any added pressure on your partnership. 

4. Relevant 

For any goal to be relevant, it must align with your personality, core values, and lifestyle. Otherwise, the goal is doomed to fail from the start. Remind yourself why the goal is important to you; this will make all the difference in your combined efforts to see it through. This holds for both long-term and short-term relationship goals.

5. Time-bound 

And finally, we have time-bound. If your goal is ‘to make the relationship last’, defining timelines for different relationship milestones can make the ultimate more achievable. So, sit together and figure out,

  • Would you like to be engaged after three years of dating?
  • Get married a year after getting engaged?
  • Have children within two years of marriage? 

Related Reading: 50 Things To Discuss Before Marriage

Why Do You Need SMART Goals For Relationships? 

If you feel this is all a bit OTT and excessive, and you would like your relationship to run naturally, hear me out. There’s a reason that goal setting is becoming important for building a successful relationship – whether you both are just starting out or already have several years under your belt together, setting SMART goals for building relationships helps you in the following ways:  

1. Saves time 

Listing out your goals and expectations from the outset is the easiest way to check if you and your partner are compatible. Why waste your precious time with someone not on the same page as you?

2. Keeps it real

Feelings can change, and they do. Over time, you and your partner will have different views on where you want to be and how you want to get there. Emotions will go up and down, and challenges will arise. In times like these, setting SMART goals for building trust and respect will help keep it all reigned in and under control.

3. Helps you stay motivated 

SMART goals for marriage/relationship help you keep your eye on the prize. They remind you why you started and guide you on the right track. Having an end goal in sight is one of the most powerful ways to never give up on love.

4. Keeps you accountable

Setting long-term relationship goals forces you to act more responsibly and take things seriously. It’s all fun and games until problems such as debt or infidelity kick in! Laying out your expectations ensures that both partners are on the same page and respectful of expectations. 

It is, therefore, essential for a healthy partnership to set couple goals. These should be characterized by honesty, respect, intention, and communication. It helps build a balanced relationship with equal responsibilities and freedoms. Decisions can be made without fear as it is already established that you are both working toward the same love relationship goals.

Related Reading: 20 Questions To Build Emotional Intimacy And Bond With Your Partner On A Deeper Level

15 Examples Of SMART Goals For Relationships And How To Set Them

Now that we have understood the concept of SMART relationship goals, let’s look at 15 goals and how to set them: 

1. We promise to schedule a date night once a week 

When your goal is to spend time together, one of the easiest ways to do this is to schedule it. Both partners must honor this schedule and only spend time only with each other and not in a group setting. 

How to set this goal: 

  • Determine the frequency that works for both of you 
  • Don’t choose an unrealistic number. If both of you work crazy hours and weekly dates are not possible, then even one date a month is a great starting goal 
  • Be intentional with your time. No phones and screen time are allowed. Focus on improving communication and intimacy 
  • Give it an end date. For example, “We will have two weekly date nights every month for a period of six months and then revisit this goal and reassess our requirements.”

2. We promise to spend time apart 

It’s not healthy to spend every waking minute with each other. Couples who realize the importance of ‘me-time’ also understand that independence is essential for improving relationships and increasing their longevity. 

How to set this goal:  

  • List out the number of monthly nights you plan to spend apart from each other 
  • Ensure that there is no guilt or resentment about this time-out
  • Keep an end date in mind to evaluate the success of this goal 

3. We promise to pay off our debt

Loans and debts can creep up on you, putting immense pressure on any relationship. If financial stability is your goal, make sure you prioritize paying off your debts over other expenses. 

How to set this goal:

  • Sit down and focus on your current financial stressors and status. List out all debts and work out the best strategy for repayment 
  • Take it small but make the effort equal. His and her goals take a back seat when the common goal is financial freedom 
  • List out cheaper options that help you save money, such as making coffee at home instead of always ordering out

4. We promise to save money for XXX 

If you are religious about paying your bills on time and are debt-free, one of your financial goals may include spending on big-ticket items. For example, a car or a lavish holiday. Saving together to make this happen is an amazing way to bond as a couple and reap the very real rewards at the end of the day. 

How to set this goal: 

  • Determine your big idea. Needless to say, it has to be equally desired by both parties 
  • Plan how much each person is going to contribute and for how long 
  • Enjoy the fruits of your labor 

5. We promise to be physically intimate

Sure, this could mean sex, but it could also mean daily cuddles including platonic cuddling, kisses, or even just holding hands. Physical touch is crucial for any romantic relationship to flourish and if you or your partner feel that this is lacking, then it’s time to remedy the situation and add some sexual couple goals to the mix. 

How to set this goal:

  • List out the specific ways you are committing to touching each other  
  • Make this non-negotiable and time-bound
  • Spend even those few minutes of intimacy wholeheartedly

Related Reading: Expert Tips On How To Increase Physical Intimacy In A Relationship

6. We promise to have fun together 

If you are anything like my husband and I, you will understand how difficult it is to find a common activity that both partners enjoy. He loves rock, I love pop. He wants to sleep in, I love my early morning runs. But we understand the importance of finding a pastime we both want to do together. Making time for fun is a goal that allows you to be present and enjoy the moment together. 

How to set this goal:

  • Discuss all options. Think out of the box. Try something that you both haven’t done before
  • Commit to a particular time-bound limit and stick to it 
  • Include a family member or friends as well. Think of fun things to do with your partner like competitive sports or board games

7. We promise to exercise together

This is a goal that will help you bond with each other as well as improve your physical and mental health. One would not usually associate working out with relationship and marriage goals. However, exercising can also improve your sex life, so what’s not to love? 

How to set this goal: 

  • Assess your joint fitness levels and choose an activity or two that both enjoy 
  • Give yourself a goal – to run 10k, lift a personal best in the gym, and join a sports team 
  • Allow yourself time to learn and improve along the way, ensuring that this goal does not begin to feel like all work and no play 
infographic on smart goals for relationships
Smart goals for relationships

8. We promise to communicate honestly and openly 

When we talk about effective communication, we refer to becoming good listeners, talking, and openly discussing each other’s needs and emotions. If one partner is more reticent about expressing their feelings or less demonstrative about their requirements, a SMART goal for building trust and communicating more effectively is essential. 

How to set this goal: 

  • Understand each other’s style of communicating 
  • Reach a middle ground that you are both comfortable with 
  • Put aside daily or weekly time to touch base with each other and connect

9. We promise to forgive each other 

We are all human. Mistakes happen, and everyone messes up. Leave behind your ideas of perfection and impress upon the need for compassion and forgiveness in the relationship instead. Now, this does not mean being taken advantage of or pretending problems don’t exist. Rather, let go of resentments and petty troubles and work toward true forgiveness. 

How to set this goal:

  • Understand the fallibility of human nature and that neither of you is perfect
  • Be honest about what went wrong and each person’s part in it 
  • Work toward a solution that both will mutually benefit from 
  • Make a vow to work toward forgiveness with an open mind and heart

10. We promise to be grateful 

Gratitude for one another and for the everyday life you have created is an easy and effective way to keep the spark going in your relationship. Try and instill a sense of gratitude in your daily life and see how it changes you both. 

How to set this goal:

  • Make a promise to list down what you are grateful for. Tell your partner what you love about them. Write down little thank-you notes. Make this a habit and one of your SMART goals for healthy relationships
  • This works best when it’s done daily. You can share a journal or create a gratitude jar
  • Revisit your gratitude lists regularly

Related Reading: 8 Good Reasons And 5 Great Ways To Keep Your Love Life Private

11. We promise to create new rituals and habits 

If you make a promise to do one positive thing with each other every month, just imagine how much more fulfilling your life and relationship will be. Positive rituals such as daily walks together, morning showers together on the weekend, and breakfast in bed on holidays all serve one purpose – to attach a new spin on a mundane activity. One that both of you look forward to and enjoy, thereby increasing your bond. 

How to set this goal: 

  • Decide on one or two activities that both of you will enjoy and schedule them in 
  • Make sure you stick to your timetable
  • Take turns pampering each other

12. We promise to learn (and practice) each other’s love language 

Both parties promise to discover and explore each other’s love language and try to incorporate this into their words and actions. 

How to set this goal:

  • Read up and explore the various love languages. There are several worksheets on the 5 love languages available online 
  • Take time to figure out what each of you prefers 
  • Commit to learning and incorporating the chosen partner’s love language into your daily routines 
  • Have a to-do list that can be ticked off. This gives the entire task a tangible quality 

13. We promise to resolve any conflict effectively 

Give yourself a month and make a promise to deal with any conflict that arises effectively. By this, we mean to talk things through without judgment, listen to the other person’s point of view, and keep aside any old issues, anger, and resentments. 

How to set this goal:

  • By giving yourselves a time frame within which to reach a mutually beneficial conclusion, you are effectively preventing any escalation of the conflict and setting one of the best SMART goals for building relationships.
  • When both parties commit to resolving problems in a mature, unemotional manner, solutions are easier to find and stick by

14. We promise to change – together 

When change becomes something to look forward to and work toward, it loses its power to scare us. If changing together is your goal, it will equip you to handle whatever life throws at you and make your relationship stronger

How to set this goal: 

  • Admit that change is inevitable and plan for any eventuality 
  • Chalk out each person’s roles and expected behaviors 
  • Think of various scenarios and work out possible solutions

15. We promise to support each other’s dreams and goals for the future 

Relationship goals examples can involve both partners as well as individuals. But the support always needs to be from both sides. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 kilos this year and your partner is to get a promotion at work, it’s important that both of you consider all the fundamentals of support and start supporting each other’s efforts. 

How to set this goal: 

  • List out all your goals – both personal and as a couple
  • Decide on ways to achieve them
  • Discuss your expectations from each other
  • Agree on conflict resolution tactics 
  • Give each other room to grow

Key Pointers

  • For any relationship to survive, it’s important to list examples of SMART goals for communication and relationship building and decide on ways to work toward them
  • Following the SMART format allows you to create meaningful long-term relationship and short-term relationship goals with quantifiable results
  • SMART love relationship goals give couples the framework they need to navigate tough times and enjoy the good times in their relationships

At the end of the day, this method of goal setting is a simple way to mark the progress in any relationship. Goals give us structure and help see us through times of low motivation or floundering without direction. When both parties commit to working toward a singular goal, the relationship has a higher chance of succeeding. There will always be ups and downs, but with a list of SMART goals for relationships to guide you, the chances of developing a healthy relationship with boundaries and mutual respect are greater. 

21 Core Relationship Rules To Deepen Your Bond

21 Ways To Be A Better Partner For A Better Relationship

27 Undeniable Signs He Is Slowly Falling For You

Ask Our Expert


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.