How to Support Your Partner’s Goals Without Sacrificing Your Own
Worrying about reaching your own goals is stressful enough, but when you add a significant other to the mix and have to consider what they’re trying to accomplish in their career as well, you’re officially in a relationship.
Although Trevor and I have found enough of a common ground to have a great relationship, we’ve had to communicate constantly about our goals and how they’re evolving over time. That’s the thing about relationships and what makes them so hard — at least to me — people are constantly growing and changing. You have to be able to keep supporting, loving and respecting each other as both of you chase new dreams and set new goals.
So how do you do it? Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic spell, but I can share with you what I’ve done in my relationship. Here are a few ideas to continue hustling for you, while also being supportive of your significant other.
1. Communicate Constantly
If I could stress one thing on this list, it would be communication. Like I mentioned, people are constantly changing (whether it’s intentional or not), which means goals can too. One day someone loves their job, the next a new passion may be discovered and out of nowhere everything is suddenly different.
Since I’ve been pursuing blogging and freelancing I started communicating to Trevor right away what this might mean for my career and my future as an individual (never forget to think of yourself as an individual, instead of one half of a relationship). I found myself thinking about big cities and the excitement of partnering with brands all over the world. That said, Trevor is a homebody and loves Nebraska more than anything, so it was important for us to get on the same page as soon as possible. Having this communication in our relationship has helped me realize that Trevor and I can each achieve our goals and still be together.
2. Be Open-Minded
Setting goals in stone is the worst thing you can do for yourself and your partner. If you say you want to pursue x, but then you have an opportunity to do y, you should be open to that and not afraid to veer off the path you thought you’d be on. The same goes for your significant other — if they say they want to achieve a certain goal and a year later they’re pursuing something different, don’t hold what they said over their head. Sure, it can be frustrating to be with someone who has a new dream/goal every other day, but the important thing is to be open minded to new opportunities for each of you.
3. Willingness to Compromise
Willingness to compromise has been a huge foundational component to the success of Trevor and I’s relationship. To be honest, we’re very different people and we have had to work through (and will definitely continue to work through) what it means for both us to feel like we aren’t sacrificing things that are important to each of us individually. Compromise looks different for each couple, but I think it’s important to know that when you’re in a relationship and have to think about someone else’s happiness, it’s good to be willing to meet your partner half way on certain issues.
4. Try to Understand
Something that is incredibly important to you may never have even crossed your partner’s mind — it’s something they would never have done in life if it wasn’t for you. Trevor and I have crossed this bridge several times and so far, we’ve been able to reach mutual understandings. It can be so difficult to try to comprehend why doing something or moving somewhere is SO paramount to your significant other, but for the sake of your relationship, you have to try to see their perspective and understand.