So you’ve been dating a while, and all that’s left is to blissfully move forward onto the “till death do you part” part. If you’re pondering this life changing decision, then rest assured, the honeymoon period is still far from over. For in this day and age, people rarely decide to walk down the isle with the help of those still fluttering butterflies in their stomach.
What’s The Future Look Like?
Mentally project your relationship into the future. All of it; the good, the bad, the ugly. Can you see the two of you growing old together? Do they have any unfortunate personality flaws (such as addiction, abusiveness, lying)? If so, sadly, these only get worse with age, not better. And if they do get better, it often happens outside of the relationship – not in it. So when you look into the future, whatever flaws they have, you mentally need to compound them and see if you can live with it.
How Do They Regard Family?
Is he or she close with her parents? Are they crazy about children, or, can they do without them? Do they by any chance come from a broken home? Unfortunately, many with divorced parents have weaker family values than those from families that stayed intact. So if family is important to you, then you need to assess how serious it is to them.
Do They Compromise?
Think of your relationship like a business. In reality, yours is less of a romantic partner, but more a business one as many important issues will present themselves and need to be solved – together. If one partner is too set in his or her ways, then every issue will just create more issues. So ask yourself honestly how flexible are they. Also, and even more importantly, how flexible are you?
Do You Speak The Same Language?
We’re not talking about French, Spanish, or Chinese here. We’re talking about the way you both see life. Are you on the same page about social issues, on moral values, on they way one should live life? If you’re diametrically opposed now, your odds of being physically separated later are very high. The old adage is true “Like attracts like”.
What Emotions Do They Trigger?
What’s your default emotion around this person? When you see them, are you filled with happiness, excitement, comfort, or joy? If so, you’re good and can move on to the next question. But if it’s mostly anxiety, frustration, mistrust, resentment, and anger – then you can stop reading now and cancel the wedding. While these questions are an exercise in logic, we live emotional lives. And you want a partner that’s going to make you happy, not miserable.
Do You Need Them?
We all need someone. Life’s tough and a partner should be a soft place to land after a very hard day. In fact, needing and be needed by someone is what truly makes life worth living. But, if after some honest inquiry, you find you don’t really need this person – them perhaps marriage isn’t for the two of you. This is not to say you two should split. Perhaps continuing to date is as good as it gets for the both of you.
How Do They Compare To Your Ex?
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” While we don’t advocate it, we ask it here because often times people go from one dysfunctional relationship to another because they keep choosing the same person. If your current partner is a lot like your ex, there may be cause for concern. Especially if your last relationship was a bad one, and especially – if you’re still not over it.
Can You Stand Their Weaknesses?
Nobody’s perfect. Any sane person knows this. But how much do their faults bother you? The snoring, the sloppiness, that joke they always make where no one laughs … whatever it is, how much does it bother you? Like we said before, these traits compound over time – with interest. So if you’re going to love them, you’ve got to prepare to love all of them.
Do You See Hope For Improvement?
Just like nobody’s perfect, no relationship is perfect. And if you think yours is – by all means – continue to live in ignorant bliss. But if you’re grounded in relationship reality, then take stock of your current issues, and see if there’s the possibility for improvement. For example; maybe when you first met your boyfriend he played video games every night, but after addressing your concerns, now he only plays them 3 times a week. This is improvement. Do you see this happening with the issues in your own relationship.
What Have They Taught You?
There’s no greater teacher in life than your partner. No one will push you to learn and grow more than them. Aside from all the practical reasons for partnering up, a relationship should make you grow as a person. So if you’re learning from them, you’re growing with them. But if after all this time you’re drawing a blank as to what they’ve taught you, and especially taught you about yourself – then you may be committing to a very empty and unfulfilling union.
Are They Generous?
Despite what many think, relationships are rarely equal. Sure, you may both make the same money, but more often than not, someone’s usually down while the other is up. In your down times, you’ll need your partner to not only take care of their own stuff – but yours too. This takes generosity. Generosity is the glue that holds a good relationship together.
Do You Expect Miracles?
All the other questions were about them. This one’s about you. How realistic are you about your relationship? Do you expect the passionate sex you’re having now to last forever? Do you expect the two of you to never argue? Do you expect that you’ll always like their interests, hobbies, and friends – and vice versa? If you’re answering yes to these few examples – then we can already tell you’re expecting a miracle. And it’s these high expectations that actually sour a relationship faster than anything. No relationship is perfect, nobody’s perfect – and this includes you.