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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Siena chapter.

For years, social media users have used hashtags and captions including the words “relationship goals,” but what does that really mean? Yes, it is nice to imagine standing facing the sunset holding hands with your prince/princess charming, it’s true. However, there is so much more to a relationship than the pictures you take with the person, or what gifts they buy you. I am very blessed to have grown up learning and forming my relationship goals from two people who exemplify the idea of true love. That doesn’t mean it is easy; it isn’t all wedding bells at the end of the fairytale. Their love includes ups and downs, poison apples, and lost shoes; but in my opinion, that is what makes it so great. In their relationship, and now in my own, the relationship goals aren’t just nice ideas, they are real targets that we work towards everyday.

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Growing up, my relationship goal was always to be just like my parents. I wanted to hold hands in car rides, dance around my kitchen together, and go on exciting adventures. While I have accomplished these somewhat shallow goals in my own relationship, I have learned that there are other relationship goals that are much more important. The goals you set with your partner probably won’t be to dance around the kitchen or hold hands in the car. They might, however, be to always find time to have fun together, and to pay attention to little ways to show each other how much you care.

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One great goal is to talk about your goals. The thing about relationship goals is that you aren’t achieving them alone. So, why would you set them alone? Talking to your significant other about what you want in your relationship gives you somewhere to start, and somewhere to go. 

In my relationship, we set goals continuously. We learned that we have to make time for date night because we are both always so busy. We have learned that we always want to communicate, and in a timely manner, what we are thinking. This lowers the risk of passive aggressiveness, since neither of us takes a hint very well. We want to find little ways to show we care, like holding hands, or snuggling after a long day. 

Above all, we have learned to keep each other accountable in these goals. When I started to get too busy last semester, my boyfriend compassionately reminded me of our goal to always make time for date nights. There was no argument, no passive aggressive hinting. Just a mature conversation about how we were both feeling and how we could make the other person feel better. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? The goals of any relationship should center about being there for each other, to grow together, and to help each other be the best that you can be.

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The phrase “relationship goals” becoming regularly used on social media is not a bad thing. It’s far from a bad thing, it’s really good. I am so glad that our generation has started thinking more about the relationships we are in and the relationships we want in our futures. My hope is that we start to see relationship goals as more than just good captions, but real necessities. Here is to setting goals and achieving them, together.

Kelsey Baron is Siena College Class of 2021 alumna. She spent her time at Siena studying as an Interdisciplinary Major specializing in Healthy Intimate Relationships.