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How talking about the future can show your partner you care

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Do you and your partner ever make some time to just sit and talk about where you see your life going? Do you discuss what you are thinking of getting accomplished this year and where you’d like to be 10 or even 20 years from now?

Just getting through the weekly responsibilities takes a lot out of most of us. Evenings may last only long enough for the two of you to have dinner and watch a little TV or play a game together. It can be hard to muster the mental strength to deal with anything very serious. With so much going on from day to day, it’s totally understandable if setting aside time to plan for the future feels like one thing too many.

Yet the truth is, planning with your mate is a healthy activity that will make you both happier, because you’ll be creating things to look forward to. Making plans, both near and long term, also builds a bond and a stronger sense of security between you.

So, if you have dreams and desires you want to share with the one you love, talk to your partner about them and create a way to make them happen, so you aren’t just living life in your head.

Planning for the long term with your partner is not hard once you begin. You might start by picturing yourselves living together well into your golden years and talk about what life will be like for the two of you. Sometimes you can see your own future by just looking out your front door. That’s what happened for my partner and me.

People of all ages like to walk in our neighborhood. One older couple we have come to admire uses high-tech walkers to take their daily constitutional. These folks are living the way they want to live. They are obviously enjoying themselves every day and have been able to maintain their quality of life and their independence. Who could want anything more? Being like this couple has become one of our goals.

When you get older, a primary issue will be whether you choose to continue living independently or as part of a supportive or assisted-living community. Making plans means imagining what you would most like to happen and how you will get there. It’s also good to consider what you will do if that’s not possible.

If you intend to be with your partner for the long haul, communicating about what you want and need beyond the next trip to the market or to Disneyland is important. One benefit of this process is that when something in life changes the way you live, you can get back on track much more easily.

Being able to talk about your future together, sharing your hopes and dreams for the rest of your lives, is a true gift. Enjoy it.

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. is an award-winning psychotherapist and humanitarian. He is also a columnist, the author of eight books, and a blogger for PsychologyToday.com with nearly 35 million readers. He is available for in-person & video consults world-wide, reach him at Barton@BartonGoldsmith.com

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