Dr. Gottman suggests that couples give purpose to their relationship through the use of rituals, roles, goals, and symbols. Bill and Melinda Gates created The Gates Foundation to improve education and world health. Just last year, Mark and Chan Zuckerberg launched The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to promote human potential and equal opportunities.

While many of us don’t have that kind of influence or money, we can offer our time to volunteer like Beth and Shawn do at a local homeless shelter.

Couples can strengthen their bond by creating what Dr. Gottman calls shared meaning. Beth reminded me of this when she said, “I would have done this on my own, but having Shawn join me and care about the less fortunate makes it an even more rewarding experience.”

Creating shared meaning through goals is one of the most rewarding aspects of a relationship. What are your goals? What are your partner’s goals? Do you know? Talking about your deepest hopes and dreams will give you the opportunity to explore something together that can have a profound impact on yourself, your relationship, and much more.



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Love Quiz: Do You and Your Partner Have Shared Goals?

Kyle works in The Love Lab where he nerds out on the science of relationships. When not highlighting research on a Sunday morning in his bathrobe, Kyle enjoys writing for his blog Kylebenson.net where he takes the research on successful relationships and transforms them into practical tools for romantic partners.