Have you and your partner ever taken the time to just sit down and talk about what your life is going to be like? What you want to accomplish this year, what you want to accomplish in 10 years, or even 20 years? Have you talked about what you want to happen later?
For most of us, just juggling our weekly responsibilities takes a lot of effort. The evening might last just long enough for the two of you to eat dinner, watch a little TV, or play a game. It can be difficult to muster the mental strength to deal with very serious situations.
By the time the weekend approaches, you may be exhausted or too busy with other activities to have this conversation. With so much going on every day, it’s understandable that it can feel like we allocate too much time to plan for the future.
But the truth is that thinking about your future with your spouse is a healthy activity that will make you both happier. Because when you look to the future, you create something to look forward to.
Planning for the short-term and long-term future creates a bond between the two of you and creates a stronger sense of security. Therefore, if you have dreams and aspirations that you want to share with your loved one, talk about it with your partner and create a way to make it come true. That way, you’re not just living your life in your head.
Making long-term plans with your partner isn’t that difficult once you get started.
A good place to start is to imagine yourself living together into your golden years and talk about what your life together will be like. Sometimes just looking outside your front door can reveal your future. That’s what happened to my partner and me.
People of all ages like to walk around our neighborhood. An elderly couple we’ve come to admire uses a high-tech walker to do their daily health exercises. These people live the way they want to live. They clearly enjoy each day and are able to maintain their quality of life and independence. Who could want anything more? It became one of our goals to be like this couple.
As you grow older, the main question is whether you choose to continue living independently or as part of a supported or assisted living community. Planning means imagining what you most want to happen and how to get there. It’s also a good idea to think about what to do if that’s not possible.
If you plan on staying with your partner for a long time, it’s important to communicate what you want and need beyond the next market or trip to Disneyland. One of the benefits of this process is that it makes it easier to get back on track when something in your life changes the way you live.
Being able to talk about our future together and share our hopes and dreams for the rest of our lives is a true gift. enjoy it.
Dr. Burton Goldsmith is an award-winning psychotherapist and humanitarian. He is also a columnist, author of eight books, and blogger at PsychologyToday.com. Please contact Barton@BartonGoldsmith.com.