1) “An optical illusion caused by atmospheric conditions, especially the appearance of a sheet of water in a desert or on a hot road caused by the refraction of light from the sky by heated air”
2) “An unrealistic hope or wish that cannot be achieved”
English Oxford Dictionary.
We each have our own hopes and wishes for the future. Many of us can picture what this would look like in an ideal world.
When you think about your relationship, where do you see yourselves 5 years from now, 10 years, 20 years?
What’s the most important part of that vision to you?
This question is important because for many couples, they don’t talk about their hopes and dreams together. And as a result, they don’t achieve these hopes and dreams.
Their vision becomes a mirage.
They feel disappointed.
Stacey* and Mark* had this problem. They came to me both saying they felt unhappy with the way things were in their relationship. They were constantly arguing. They were running a business together and were clashing on just about every business decision.
When I asked them where they saw themselves in 5 years, their answers were completely different. Stacey wanted to travel and take the business abroad, and Mark wanted them to have stepped away from the day-to-day running of the business and to have started a family.
No wonder they were in constant conflict – they both had completely different priorities! But they had never at any point sat down together and talked about what they each wanted.
Why? Because they had both assumed that the other had the same priorities and dreams as them, so when they felt resistance from each other they just couldn’t understand it, causing them both frustration and anger, which would lead to heated rows.
On the other hand, I see a lot of couples who have very clear dreams for their future, and map everything out together from the beginning.
Emma* and Pete* had been together for 5 years. Emma told me:-
“We’ve both worked really hard to get to where we are now, and on paper we seem to have it all – we’re financially stable, we have 2 children we love, a house in the country, and our debts are mainly paid off.”
So when I asked them what the problem was, Pete said:-
“We hardly make any time for each other these days and when we do, we’re exhausted!”
They had spent so much time working towards their material dreams to create the life they thought they wanted, that they hadn’t factored in making time to enjoy it together.
They had assumed that if they worked really hard in the medium term to achieve their goals, that they would automatically have the quality of relationship that they wanted – closeness, intimacy, understanding, compassion, good communication.
What they hadn’t realised that all of these qualities need just as much attention as everything else in their lives.
Having hopes and dreams for your relationship is important because it gives you a sense of partnership and collaboration, and something to look forward to. But here’s what you need to consider when creating your relationship vision:-
- It is important to share your individual hopes and dreams with each other as early as possible to make sure you are the same page.
- It is important to continually review your relationship vision together to make sure it is what you both still want, and make changes where necessary.
- Decide what’s really important to you. If you long for your dream house in the country, ask yourselves why. Is it so you can spend more time together enjoying each other’s company, or have a larger family? If this is the case, and yet you are both working so hard to get there that you don’t have any time for each other or your family, you might want to reconsider this.
They key to all of this? Communication!
The most important and effective way of making your dreams a reality is to communicate well with each other, often. Tell your partner what is important to you. Do not assume your partner already knows. This will only lead to disappointment, which often leads to uncontained conflict and arguments.
Need my help with the communication in your relationship? Then download a FREE copy of my Communication Guide for Couples which gives you they key skills and principles you need to deliver your message effectively!
And remember, your relationship is a like beautiful garden. Always tend to and maintain it to watch it thrive!
P.S. Too often I have seen couples who, through sheer lack of communication, are unable to manage conflict when it arises and they will either avoid it and grow apart, or allow it to escalate into an argument where they both feel blamed and unheard. Don’t let this be you!
If you would like my expert support to learn the EXACT techniques and steps to resolve conflict effectively without hurt, anger and frustration, you can now sign up for my brand new Compassionate Conflict for Couples E-Course. At just £99 it is incredible value for at least 8 hours of coaching taking place over 4 weeks in the comfort of your own home, through videos, exercises and worksheets. And as an extra special gift for signing up, the first 10 people will receive a bonus 1:1 coaching call with me, absolutely FREE! These places will go fast and are strictly on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you would like any further information about this course, or have anything else that you would like help with, I would be delighted to hear from you. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Client confidentiality is always protected. Therefore case studies are fictional and for illustrative purposes only.