John Curtis, Ph.D.
Relationship mission statement
Know your partner. Things like vision and mission statements are important. Maybe you need to sit down and discuss the short term or maybe it’s 2030, what would you like going on in our relationship? Talk to each other about that.
A true example: I knew a couple, and early on in the dating relationship, they didn’t necessarily have a vision statement, but they were talking about the future. He said, “You know, I see footloose and fancy free.” He was a sailor. He wasn’t in the military. He lived in the Keys. He wanted a sailboat to sail around the Caribbean. That was his vision of the future. She said, “I want a white picket fence, tire swing, lots of kids, dog, and cat, which clearly means settle down.” Well, they got married. Seven years into the relationship, he had been saving all along, and he went and put a down payment on a sailboat, came home, and told her with great pride. She went ballistic, because, remember, her image was a white picket fence and that sort of thing. His vision, if you will, was very, very different.
So what do you call it? A purpose statement? Whether it’s just a general discussion, talk to each other about the future, literally, ten, 20, 30 years out, and listen very carefully. Make sure the kinds of things that are being talked about are not fundamental value differences. He wants to sail to the Caribbean; she wants a house with kids. Those are fundamental differences that ultimately end up in court, and they’re usually called irreconcilable differences. Identify those before you ever get married in the first place as a key step.
The other aspect is to think about it like the unity candle ceremony at a wedding. There are two candles burning, and the bride and the groom go up and light a candle. They blow off the individual ones, and they go over and light a single. Same can be true with writing a vision statement. Go off separate fro one another, commit maybe 25 to 50 words in bold, poetic terms what you see the future of the relationship being, and then share those with each other.
Ultimately, the goal is to come up with a combined vision statement of what your concepts are for the future. Talk about financial serenity. Talk about having a happy, healthy family. Talk about travel. Talk about freedom of material possessions. Put all that in your vision statement. Keep it handy. Print it out, frame it, or put it on the desktop of your computer, but keep it there, always around, ever reminding you of what the relationship is all about. And just wait and see the power of writing those kind of statements.
Copyright – 2013-14 – Tunomi Unlimited Incorporated (Twoology)