I recently received some unsolicited, though much appreciated, advice from a few elders about relationships. Though I am quite a few years away from marriage, they had a few tips on things to do before considering marriage. I would be selfish if I didn’t share.
1. Talk about the life you desire
If nothing else, discuss marriage and children. If your significant other doesn’t want either and you do, you can stop right here.
2. Take note to their behavior
…especially the little things. Don’t overlook the big things (i.e. arguments) either. Just pay attention to everything. As the saying goes, when people show you who they are, believe them.
3. Travel together
Travel can be stressful. Long car rides, enclosed spaces, and plans gone wrong can bring out the worst in people. Going on a trip is a great way to see how well your partner handles you in high stress situations.
4. Live together
This one is debatable. Some studies show that couples that live together before marriage tend to have a higher divorce rate. I don’t know who they’re studying, but personally I think it’s a must. I’m not saying live together after two dates. Date a while first. Living with someone allows you to see things they cannot hide 24/7. It will also make it possible for you to experience number five…
5. Experience a “rough patch”
These situations are hard to plan, but they’re bound to happen at some point. Whether it’s because one of you is unemployed while the other has to hold down the fort, or because one of you is going through an emotional low, it’ll give you an idea of your ability to work as a team.