“Your vision is your dream of the whole relationship as you want it to be. Goals are part of the vision that must be implemented to bring your vision into reality. To dream is essential, but to dream without a plan is fruitless.”
If you have some experience with Imago relationship therapy, you would know that to have a relationship vision and a plan to help you make that vision a reality is a very big part of our work.
We encourage couples to have a relationship goal or vision in order for them to know what is it that they want/wish for in a relationship. And then it is our goal as Imago Therapists to support couples to start putting together a plan in order to achieve that.
“Your relationship Vision brings purpose and direction to your relationship. If you haven’t found them yet, it makes it clear for you to see what you desire, where you are going, and what gifts and contributions you bring.”
It is important to have a goal/vision/dream for your relationship. Because if you have a vision it gives life purpose. Then it makes today a very important day. Without a vision, today just becomes like any other day and there is nothing that makes it special. Just like anything in life, having goals set out helps you to stay on track and help you to make better decisions. It can help you see each day as a new opportunity to help you get closer to your goal.
So, it is important to know what it is that you and your partner need/ want or desire within your relationship because then we can explore together what the relationship is really about and give us a sense of direction. Without a vision for your relationship, we can remain aimless and frustrated because we are not getting what we want or we start to think we chose the wrong partner.
Marlene Tillhon wrote about how you can start writing a relationship vision of your own:
Check for Compatibility
A Relationship Vision helps you to check for compatibility: identify and compare your wishes, needs, views, and values so you can find out in which areas you and your partner differ. Once you know, you are able to figure out ways to complement each other and play to each other’s strengths.
Become a Team
We unite when we consciously work on a shared Relationship Vision. We bond over creating and working towards common short and long-term goals. We become part of a team that supports, motivates, and encourages each other. We both take responsibility for our relationship and take charge of moving it in a joint values-guided direction.
Unite in Love
When we unite in love we start to pull together. We start to become we-centered rather than me-centered. We start to create something bigger than ourselves. We start to fulfill our need for belonging.
Researcher Robert Levenson and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, found that couples, who use the pronoun ‘we’ when talking about their relationship or when trying to resolve conflict are usually happier, calmer, more emotionally open and connected and experience less negative stress arousal than those who use the pronouns ‘you’, ‘me’ and ‘I’.
Whereas ‘we’ leads to connection, ‘you’ indicates separateness. ‘We’ strengthens trust and enhances affection. It shows us that we are not separate, no longer alone. ‘We’ are together. ‘We’ are a team. ‘We’ sets in motion a connectedness program in our minds and bodies so instead of retreating into our threat systems we can relax, grow and open up to love.
Create a Dream
A Relationship Vision serves as a perfect guide to a shared life together. We are creating a plan and starting to work together as a team towards shared goals based on shared values. It serves as a vision of the perfect relationship we want to create for ourselves and our partner.
This is the perfect opportunity to be totally honest with ourselves and conjure up the most amazing relationship we can possibly imagine. We can face our expectations with honesty and get to know our deepest hopes and desires. At this point, we are not interested in the hows. We just want to imagine what we believe our most perfect relationship would look like.
Once we know, we can evaluate how possible, realistic and healthy our expectations are. From that point on we have an idea we can share with our partners to see how compatible our dreams are. We aim to be open-minded about our partner’s dreams so we can balance their needs with ours. And then we’re off creating our joint dream …
Love with Intention
In order to create something we truly value and love, we must first be clear about what it is that we want. It is too vague to ask for a happy and loving relationship. We must be clear about what ‘happy and loving’ looks like as ‘happy and loving’ can be expressed in many different ways. At this point, the ‘how’ comes in. Once you have a joint dream, we have to develop a clear mission that supports it. We need to identify priorities and employ helpful strategies and tasks to make it happen – one day at a time.
How shall I write it?
Phrase every statement
in the present tense
in a positive way – say what you want, not what you don’t want
by starting with ‘we’
being specific, concrete, and detailed
Here’s an example:
“We go out one night a week by ourselves to spend quality time together and engage in activities we both enjoy such as bowling or eating at a restaurant.”
Consider the following areas affecting your relationship and explore what you want from them:
- romance and dating
- attachment and connection
- intimacy and sexuality
- communication and conflict resolution
- personal growth and individuality
- family, children, and parenting
- money and economic considerations
- work and education
Other questions to can ask yourself to get to know yourself and your needs better:
- What do you want your life to be about?
- In which ways do you feel supported?
- What fulfills you?
- What do you want to accomplish?
- In which ways do you struggle?
- What makes you feel loved?
- What do you value?
- How do you like to support others?
- How do you express and show your love?
- How do you support your partner?
- How open are you to deal with uncomfortable feelings?
This may sound like a lot of effort for a silly exercise. But to have a relationship vision is a very important aspect of a relationship and important if you want to move forward and to achieve that vision you have been dreaming about.
It is possible to turn this vision into a reality. If you are interested in setting up a relationship vision with the help of a professional contact us today to book your session in order for us to explore your and your partner’s visions in depth.