Dreaming vs. Planning: Which Should You Focus On?

By August 23, 2023August 29th, 2023Marriage, Time
Dreaming vs. Planning: Which Should You Focus On?

When it comes to the future, there are many ways to approach it. Planning for the future can help us create a safety net and expectations for how life will unfold. On the other hand, dreaming gives us insight into the possibilities of the future.

Planning and dreaming appear to have the same end goals, but they’re vastly different. People who tend to be dreamers can quickly build resentment against planners, and vice versa. That’s particularly true when they can’t work harmoniously on their desire to experience a satisfying future.

So when it comes to dreaming vs. planning, which is the most important? Which should you and your spouse focus on more?

First Things First: Planning and Dreaming Are Time Styles

Did you know that being a planner versus a dreamer is actually a time style? Planners and dreamers are future-oriented, but they approach that future differently. For instance, if you’re a planner, you want to establish clear action steps to achieve your goals. On the other hand, if you’re a dreamer, you’re more visionary and open to possibilities.

These two time styles can clash when spouses don’t understand how they can complement one another. The key is understanding that you’re both concerned about the same thing: the future. Once you know that, it’s easier to work more cooperatively and collaboratively.

Dreaming and Planning Are Both Essential to Your Future

Dreams and plans are both essential to a fulfilling life! While planning tends to be the more practical approach, dreaming creates and holds a vision for you to realize. When you remove the conflict between these two time styles, it’s possible to make plans to support your dreams!

As always, the key is good communication. You’ll also need to have empathy for one another along the way. Walking in one another’s shoes to better understand your spouse’s perspective will pay dividends, especially if your time styles clash.

Prioritizing Planning vs. Dreaming

Naturally, we all want our personal time styles to take top priority because that’s where we feel most comfortable. However, it’s more practical to step back and ask which time style would best fit an individual situation. Sometimes, we must plan the steps toward a primary goal to ensure it happens. Other times, it’s essential to step outside the practical to dream of everything that might be.

Only you and your spouse can decide whether to prioritize dreaming or planning at any given moment. You’ll need to work together and communicate well to accomplish this. And, if you want more profound insights into collaborating better, we have some resources that can help you.

The Better Love Assessment will give you insights into your time styles (hint: dreamer and planner aren’t the only ones!). When you combine your assessment results with our book, Your Time-Starved Marriage, you will better understand how people with different time styles work together in their marriages. It’s possible to gain more knowledge about one another (and yourselves!) as time goes on, and in turn, that could help improve your relationship.

Are you a dreamer or a planner? What about your spouse–and how do you navigate that? Leave us a comment and let us know about your experiences.

One Comment

  • Marco Tejeda says:

    I’m a dreamer and my wife is a planner… which is not entirely accurate since we are each certainly capable of both dreaming and planing. One technique that we have developed to help us cause harmony has been what we call “proposal – refinement”. Anytime either of us starts talking about time we make explicit room for the other’s influence (on my dream or her plan) by saying: “I’m going to propose something, then I’d like to ask for your improvements.” Creating one way where there were two is what marriage is all about. A marriage which has room for two different ways (dreaming/planning) is deeply satisfying. This requires that we learn how to avoid setting up sides and competition between planning and dreaming.

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