Achieving Lofty Goals While in a Long-Term Relationship

photoMany of the most accomplished people I know or idolize are not in long-term relationships. Perhaps this is just coincidence, but I actually think that there’s a reason that people who are not in relationships accomplish so much.

Why Single People Might Accomplish More

First of all, single people have more time on their hands. They dedicate less time to a partnership, meaning that they have more free time. They are also able to make decisions more quickly because they don’t necessarily need to take into account another person’s opinion or plan their life decisions around another person.

I find that when I am invested in a relationship, I tend to follow a pattern of less personal accomplishment. For example, if I have a goal of writing or programming or just doing something that could further my skillset or body of work, I don’t always get to it.

I would definitely say it is my choice, and that I defer my personal goals for later so I can enjoy spending time with my significant other in the present. I would conclude that it’s psychologically harder to commit to achieving personal goals you’ve set for yourself if you’re invested in a relationship. This is because you’re dedicated to making the other person happy, showing your appreciation for them by focusing at least some of your energy on interacting with them on a daily basis.

Each person or project you commit to absolutely adds to your list of responsibilities, and takes up extra mental RAM. That’s not to say that being in a long and satisfying relationship isn’t worth it, but just that you should be aware that it is indeed another commitment you’re responsible for. Maintaining a healthy relationship is no easy task–it involves regular input, much like tuning up a car to keep it running smoothly and free of any problems down the road. You invest in what you have now, and it pays off later.

When Relationships Help You Achieve Goals

I do believe that relationships can definitely add to your ability to accomplish your goals in a variety of instances. For example–a partner can provide positive support when times are tough, or you’re having a bad day. They can steer you in the right direction if you veer off course.

There are some people who are in relationships and also get a great deal of their own stuff done. I would guess that these people have an understanding of what their relationship means to them and what their priorities are. Either that, or they’ve been together for a long time and just understand that giving each other their own private space and time to think is essential to leading satisfied lives together.

Foster Your Relationship to Grow With Your Goals

If you’re currently in a relationship and don’t feel that you’re achieving your highest potential, the solution could be to discuss this with your partner. By building a mutual understanding of the specific priorities that you have, and blocking off personal time for you to do what you most want to. I’m still working on finding the right balance for this between my partner and I, but I think that identifying and surfacing the issue are great first steps.

Getting on the same page as your partner.

Prioritize your goals with your partner and let them know what you’d like to accomplish and what your most important goals are.

Block off bits of time just for yourself.

It’s easy to get into a rut where you’re constantly spending time with your significant other and you barely have a chance to get a breather yourself. But it’s absolutely necessary if you want to accomplish your own independent projects to block off some time for you to work on them.

Don’t feel guilty.

Your significant other will respect you and probably feel relieved to know that you also want some time for yourself and to work independently on items that are important to you. This will free them up to also pursue things that make them happy and aren’t directly tied to you. Having time to pursue your own passions is absolutely essential for a healthy relationship.


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