5. “Goal or dream?”

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You both said that you wanted the same this or that from life; both of you professed it was a match made in heaven, for a life-time here on earth. But that didn’t quite work out that way. And this is why: you have dreams and she has goals. This pair of terms seem similar enough to allow one or both of you—in the glow of new-found pair-bondiness, at least—to think they are interchangeable. They are not. When spoken, they seen identical but when acted upon—or not—they differ. Goals are ends for which any means is justifiable and dreams are ends that in a perfect world would be good, but the means of getting there are weighed for cost and benefit on moral and psychological scales as well as social-economic ones.

Knowing this, you should have asked, “goal or dream?” Asking not only, “what do you want?” but “what are you willing to do, or give up to get it?” But this dialog never happened for you two. Had it, maybe what was done and given up wouldn’t have. And you two would have parted sooner, but on better terms. And gotten on to your different goals and dreams sooner and with less suffering…

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