A Mission Statement for Your Relationship
If you want your relationship to succeed you need to be clear on why you’re together.
With millions of couples quarantined together because of Covid, relationship problems are bound to happen. That’s why now is a great time to really start thinking honestly about why you and your partner are together.
No matter what stage of your relationship, it’s important for you and your partner to consider the purpose and value of your life together and to define it in a way that provides guidance for your relationship. I call this your “relationship identity”.
A relationship identity is a mission and values statement created by you and your partner. It provides a foundation for a healthy and satisfying relationship for both of you and your family.
In the best of times, awareness of your relationship identity, can help you to prioritize and organize your individual decisions and actions as you go through life. In hard times, it can remind you of the purpose of your relationship and provide you with direction for how to get back on course together.
What Is Your Relationship Identity?
A relationship identity is kind of like a company mission statement. It clearly defines your core values and your goals for your life together. They are goals that are mutually agreed on and incorporate each partner’s personal values, dreams, and goals for you and your family.
It can be:
- a simple written or typed statement
- a visual representation including pictures, words, and symbols.
Personally, I think a visual representation is the best way to capture the uniqueness and complexity of the relationship identity. For an example of one I made online through a free photo collage app please see the link below.
How Do We Create Our Relationship Identity?
Defining your Relationship Identity will require communication and compromise and time spent together talking. Here are some helpful tips:
1. Carve out time to be inspired
This a great activity for a rainy day or a quiet weekend night when the two of you can be together and think clearly about each of your goals and values and how they define your life together as a couple. Make it fun by ordering some take out and putting on your favorite tunes. Get cozy on the couch. You want to be in a relaxed state of mind when you feel connected with your partner.
2. Make a list
Begin by making a list of the things that are important to you individually and as a couple. Think about the things you enjoy doing together that are meaningful. Include values, goals, and things you do for fun. Think beyond simple hobbies and interests to the things that really glue the two of you together and serve as a foundation for your life as a couple.
For example, maybe you enjoy cooking together and believe that shared meals are important for your family and something you want to commit to as a routine for your life together. Perhaps your shared interest in art and music nurture your intellectual and emotional connection with one another. If a religious practice or volunteering in your community is important to your daily life, include this.
Don’t be surprised to discover if defining what you and your partner value together as a couple is not so easy. That’s because we live in a society that supports personal rather than relational development – so we spend a whole lot of time on self- improvement and figuring out who we are, and less on how to be in relationship with others and how to define to the relational space.
3. Get creative
This is the fun part! Think about how to creatively represent each item on your list using words and phrases, quotes, pictures, and symbols. Use your own photos or you can download high quality free photos from an online stock photo site.
4. Make it memorable
Remember, the point of having a relationship identity is to provide a foundation for a healthy and satisfying relationship for both of you and your family. It’s important that your creative representation of your Relationship Identity be accessible to you and your partner so you can keep it fresh in your mind. Try hanging it in a place you will walk by every day and see it, like on a table near the front door, in the bedroom near a mirror, or on the refrigerator. Maybe you take a picture of it and make it the wallpaper on your phone.
5. Revisit from time to time
Your relationship identity will change overtime as you and your partner grow and have experiences that shift your perspective or force you to reprioritize. Because of this, it’s a good idea to revisit your Relationship Identity at least yearly to check in with each other and see if anything has changed. If so, you will want to create a new one that reflects your evolving values and goals for your life together.
And if you get stuck, we’re here to help!
Please contact us today to set up an appointment or to request more information about relationships and couples therapy.