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Olawunmi Esan: Before You Set those Relationship Goals

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dreamstime_l_30060956Girl: I see us having 2 kids, a house with a white picket fence, a Labrador and 2 luxury vehicles. My parents would visit during Easter, your parents would visit for Christmas but we should have both parents come around for Thanksgiving. I also think we should run a joint account for long term savings, while still keeping our individual accounts. In addition, we should also have an account for the children’s college fund. Very importantly, we need to plan for vacations twice a year, one for us and the kids, the other for just you and I. It’s vital that we keep our relationship full of life. What do you think?

Guy: *clears throat* We have only been together for 6 months and I haven’t said anything about getting married to you.

This happens even to the best of us. We get ahead of ourselves and go ahead to plan the 10th year wedding anniversary before the relationship is 3 months old!

I may have put the lady as the goal setter in my illustration, but the reverse could also be the case.

Setting relationship goals is quite common place. Everywhere you look, almost everyone is hash-tagging relationship goals. Even when there are no hashtags, every couple’s picture screams ‘We are setting relationship goals!’

From Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna, to 2face and Annie….everywhere you look, you see people either speaking of or actualising relationship goals. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that, what is more important is finding out if you and your other half are on the same page and have the same goals in mind.

A goal is a desired result that a person (or people) envision, plan and commit to, in order to achieve a desired end point.

A relationship goal is no different. In this case, you have 2 people working to achieve a desired end point. Operative word being ‘DESIRED’

Before going ahead on this goal setting mission, ask yourself these questions.

“Is your desire in tandem with your partner’s desire? Or is the desire solely yours?”

“Are the goals envisioned by both of you, or are they envisioned by just you?”  If the latter is the case, what you have is merely a pipedream rather than a goal.

Never assume that your goals are in tandem. Never assume you are psychic enough to read the other person’s mind. Never go ahead to make plans towards achieving a relationship goal when you are unsure of where the other person stands. Never set relationship goals based on your expectations alone.

Communicate. Find out what the other person envisions. If he or she is non-committal, they probably are not ready to set such goals with you.

As beautiful as it may be to take pictures as a couple and trend with #Relationshipgoals, it is important you ascertain that both of you are jointly committed towards realising a common goal.

Unless you know this, going at it solo may just be you setting the stage for your own heartbreak.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Olawunmi Esan is a trained Psychotherapist, who specializes as a Sex Therapist & Coach. She helps couples take Sexual Intimacy from Routine to Mind-blowing and has worked with over 1,000 individuals and couples to help them enjoy more fulfilling Intimacy and Sex lives. She is a founding member of The African Association of Professional Counsellors (ANEPCO) and the Founder of The Thriving Family, a Counselling Organisation working to promote positive and well balanced family life. You can learn more about her work HERE Olawunmi is married with children.

14 Comments

  1. Miss Pee

    May 18, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Bless you for this timely piece to this social media generation. “let he that has ears…”

  2. lara Koleoluwa

    May 18, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Well said…

  3. Verite.

    May 19, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Reading the writer’s bio after the article, one question needs to be answered: is the writer married? She advises married couples; is she qualified to do so? Is she married? (Marriage, and spiritual issues are, fundamentally, not about book knowledge, in isolation.)
    If not, is it appropriate, and is it expedient for her, especially as a woman, to be speaking and advising on sex? Especially as she boldly states she is a Christian?
    A single woman speaking and even teaching on sex and sexual issues: is that really expedient in promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it in alignment with the Word of God?
    If the writer is married, she ought to boldly declare it given her boldly declared line of work and faith.

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      May 19, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Has every psychologist been depressed or a schizophrenic before? Has every doctor ailed of every disease they prescribe cure for?.. Biko allow the lady rest, if she speaks to you listen, if she doesnt keep it moving..Hian!

    • ferrari

      May 19, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Any wise person knows experience does not have to be personal….

  4. Lulu

    May 19, 2016 at 3:15 am

    You lost me at ” From Rob Kardashian . . .

  5. Her Grace

    May 19, 2016 at 7:15 am

    I don’t think the writer has to be married for her to be “qualified” to know a thing or two about marriage. The experience doesn’t have to be personal. After all, someone once said “a wise man learns from the experience of others”.

    • GraceOfGOD

      May 19, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      Good afternoon Madam,

      I just want to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU for your RIGHT response. When I read that comment asking all those UNNECESSARY questions to the AUTHOR I wanted to give my own opinion to that person. How can someone LEAVE the MAIN TOPIC and go about ANALYSING the AUTHOR’s BIO to “DEMOLISH” her article which by the way is GREAT to me? Hummm Women are their OWN “ENEMIES”. If someone can ONLY learn from his/her OWN experiences then that person is NOT WISE ENOUGH. We should learn from our OWN experiences and the ONES of OTHERS to REDUCE our PAINS in life. Having said that, it is therefore sometimes POSSIBLE to give ADVICES based on OTHERS’ EXPERIENCES. Thanks AGAIN for your response and THANKS also to the AUTHOR, you did well Madam. Have a great day you ALL and stay BLESSED 🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. WarriChic

    May 19, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Nawa oh! Where did you see that she is not married? Biko, not all women define themselves by marriage. What is stated in her bio is related to her line of work – which is totally fine and appropriate for this purpose. Okbye

  7. Somebody

    May 19, 2016 at 9:16 am

    She doesn’t have to be married to give marital advise. Popes, Reverend fathers and sisters give sound marital advise all the time and they sure aren’t married. And oh, even Apostle Paul that wrote the book of Ephesians (See Ephesians 5: 22-31) gave marital advise that is still being referred to till date and there was no record of him being married. So please change that mind set. There are very wise single people and foolish married people and vice versa, just saying.

  8. Zee

    May 19, 2016 at 9:40 am

    see ehn…the sooner we began to shed our garments of religiosity and holier than thou attitude, the sooner we would progress. Do Christians have marital issues? yes! and does marriage qualify you to give sound wisdom as far marriage is concerned? hell no!! is sex an issue in christian marriages?hell yea!!! Did anything in this write-up make any sense to you? then pls appreciate and stop looking for marriage certificate.
    …and for the record,she’s married.

  9. Somebody

    May 19, 2016 at 9:42 am

    She doesn’t have to be married to give marital advise. Popes, Reverend fathers and sisters give sound marital advise all the time and they sure aren’t married. And oh, even Apostle Paul that wrote the book of Ephesians (See Ephesians 5: 22-31) gave marital advise that is still being referred to till date and there was no record of him being married. So please change that mindset. There are very wise single people and foolish married people and vice versa, just saying.

  10. Bae

    May 19, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Abeg ooo. Olawunmi is very married with a daughter. Before una go change direction from the topic at hand to her personal life…

  11. Nephie

    June 9, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Firstly, I want to thank the author very much for her good work.
    Personally, am glad our generation has someone like you who has touched marriages/families positively.
    If your write ups, bulletins, magazines etc go out to heal people’s minds,relationships,marriages,families what the hoot about your status?
    Let’s jettison the above commentator and remain in the train.
    I love you Olawunmi and my hubby and I are grateful to you.

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