When a couple fails to dream together, they close ALL OF THE DOORS TO POSSIBILITY. They are left with only the options that they stumble over, but don’t have the support systems in place to seize the opportunity. Or, they seize the opportunity and realise many years later that it was never aligned with the dreams they had for their lives. And they fail to give the attention to their dreams that they deserve.
What happens in relationships, most of the time, is that over time people grow apart. That’s because they cruise along, dealing with things as they arise, and they never lift their eyes from the path to get curious about what else is possible.
I’ve done A LOT of work on this over the last five years with my clients, and in my own relationship. In the early days, I was far too intense about it… we would have planning marathons that sucked all of the joy from the process. Afterwards we would feel frustrated and overwhelmed. Our actions list was WAY too long, and although we solved our problems on paper, we didn’t do as well in integrating those solutions into our life.
I have been on parallel journeys in my health, my relationships, and my business. My lived experience tells me that small touch points, visited often, is the way to create big change. While I’m a fan of transformational intensives, I have concerns about the shock waves of rapid change in a family environment. Being in that focused environment is ideal for you to get unstuck. It allows the scales to fall from your eyes and to discover a new way of living. HOWEVER, how often do those big changes stick? I mean REALLY STICK. How many people continue on that journey of growth?
I’ll tell you this; those who do, are the ones who implement incrementally. Who focus on small slices, and calibrate, and iterate. They are the ones who have weekly logistics meetings with their partners, who take time out for reflection, creation, and dreaming, they’re the ones who understand the value of the hundreds of small moments daily for the strength and depth of a relationship.
It’s unfamiliar territory for many of the people that I work with. We dream & plan in our careers (maybe), in our wellness (sometimes), in our finances (head in the sand?), and in our relationships, rarely. Or never. So the thinking that is part of this process feels weird. There may be questions you have never asked yourself, or your partner. The questions are unfamiliar, and provide you with the ultimate freedom to BE AND DO, the things that really matter to you.
HOW TO DREAM TOGETHER
- Separate your logistical conversations from the time you spend together. That is, don’t talk shop while you are being social! Start by booking a weekly State of the Nation meeting (then stick to it!)
- Each quarter, spend a day together planning, chatting, dreaming. You can use the structure of the Quarterly Review: Seasons of Love for a guide to doing this well.
- Consciously bring dreams into your conversations together. Ask about the crazy things you think could never happen (but might), and the things that your partner yearns & wishes for.
So, the choice is this; Plan a life together, consciously and with purpose, or cross your fingers and HOPE that you don’t grow apart. It’s a pretty big gamble IMHO.
Are you willing to roll the dice?