Has it ever felt like your dreams are in conflict with your partner’s? And if so, what do you do about that?
When I hear couples saying this, I think there are two questions to ask yourself.
The first question is, how invested are you in this dream? Meaning, do you already have a plan to pursue it and would you like your partner’s support or contribution? I think it’s easy sometimes to have dreams that are far away that we’re fearful of and we somehow project onto our partner that they’re the ones keeping us from them. However, we want to be really serious about thinking, how committed to this dream are we?
The second question is, how well have we communicated this dream to our partner? Sometimes the problem is we haven’t done the job of really advocating that this is something important for us.
The next step
If you have a dream and you’re ready to pursue it and you feel like you’ve communicated this to your partner, but you’re still feeling stuck with how to move forward, a technique that I like to teach my couples is a term called mapping.
Mapping is just what it sounds like. You’re identifying a destination and you’re mapping your way there. What this does is it moves you out of that feeling stuck place, which can build some negative narratives in our mind about our partner and their willingness or unwillingness to help us pursue our goals, and into something more constructive. Mapping allows us to identify the destination and map each of our ways to get there. You have to communicate what your role and contribution is and what your partner’s role and contribution to get there is.
The idea is that you want to actively be mapping a dream of yours, a dream of your partner’s, or a dream that you have together that overlap. If there is reciprocity, meaning that your dreams are being pursued, and your partner’s dreams are being pursued, what will happen over time is you will build a sense of togetherness and partnership that is really constructive. This also allows you to get in a positive mindset of “we are not only supporting each other in our goals and dreams, but we’re helping each other map our way there.”
Think about some dreams that you want to pursue and talk to your partner about the map to get there. What are you waiting for?
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