The Relationship Dream List

By

The Relationship Dream List
Use this popular and surefire technique to grow closer in your relationship in 2013

Dreaming Together

Dreaming together is an important element of a healthy relationship. When partners have shared dreams, it helps strengthen the mechanism of turning toward each other and creating meaning in the relationship. In a sense, shared dreams help orient a relationship — fostering togetherness and a mutual sense of direction.

Dreams can be anything that people want to see happen in the course of their lives: buying a house, having children, traveling, moving to a particular place, a long-term project at home (fixing up a house; having a garden; starting a meaningful collection), writing a book, opening a business, raising a puppy, etc. Dream possibilities are infinite and can be revised over time.

It’s also good and healthy to have individual dreams as well as shared dreams. I treated a couple where one wanted to travel around the country and visit every state. The partner had little interest in this, but felt it could be fun to see a baseball game in different major league stadiums in the country. This is a “secondary dream” — a dream that branches off the partner’s original dream. This person was able to find a positive element within the partner’s  dream in order to be supportive and increase the togetherness in the relationship. This is also a form of turning towards.

How to create a Relationship Dream List:

1) Start with your own separate lists. What are the dreams that you each have in your lives? Distinguish long-term dreams from short-term goals. Something that can be done immediately without carry-over most likely won’t have the same turning-toward impact that long-term dreams would have. Getting a dog has emotional carry-over because you continue to raise it together — this is good; a weekend getaway is a positive activity for a relationship in several ways, but once the weekend is complete only residual emotions carry-over, which eventually will dissipate without new goals — this is less effective as a long-term togetherness goal.

2) Swap lists and read your partner’s dreams aloud to each other. Discuss each dream on the list with your partner. What attracts your partner to each dream? Mentally note the areas that interest you as well.

3) Find the common ground. Your lists may not always align, and often they don’t at first glance. This is okay. After hearing your partner’s thoughts about each dream, discuss where you may have interest or can fit into those dreams, even if you have to be creative. Sometimes a partner may want certain dreams to be individual without the partner involved. This is okay, as long as there are shared dreams as well.

4) Take written note of all common ground. As you discuss the lists, take written note the original dreams, secondary dreams, and other common ground.

5) Create the shared list (the Relationship Dream List). Combine the original, secondary dreams, and common ground into one list. Present it as you’d like, as only you and your partner need to be able to understand the list.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

Jealousy Ruining Your Life? Fix It By Figuring Out The Real Cause

By

Jealousy can be a problem in any type of relationship and can appear in anyone’s life at any time. You can have jealousy with other people's things, their success, their beauty, their athletic prowess, their relationship, their kids, their education, their money, and their life. It can be a tiny feeling in your gut or it can be an overwhelming ... Read more

Be Happy — It's Not Just For Your Sake

By

In case you hadn't noticed, there's been a wealth of information recently in the form of books, TV shows, CDs, DVDs, magazine articles, and even movies on a subject that is near and dear to everyone's heart. The subject is happiness. I'm not sure why it is that there seems to be more interest in happiness these days than there has been in the ... Read more

4 Reasons Your Man Doesn't Appreciate You

By

Are you suffering from lack of appreciation from your man? If so, you may find the following perspective on men to be very enlightening. It might even spur you into action to get the appreciation you deserve.  Does the following ring true for you, even though you may have never considered it before? It all begins with what I am calling the holy trinity ... Read more

See More

PARTNER POSTS
Latest Expert Videos
Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Most Popular