Relationships are the salt of the earth. When we’re young, we set out on a quest for ‘true love’. We get our hearts broken, and experience relationships which aren’t right for us along the way. But, we keep going, because love is worth the struggle, and the right person is out there somewhere.
And, we usually manage to find them. It may not happen until your thirties, but at some point, you’ll meet the person who proves why all your past relationships couldn’t work. They’re the ones you’ve been waiting for; your perfect fit. Your soul mate.
But, while we all have great patience in pursuing love, we’re often unsure about what to do once we find it. They may have been what you were looking for, but what now? How do you actually weather a happy relationship? You try searching online, but there’s only advice about what to do when love doesn’t work . Then, you go into panic mode that you’ll lose them if you can’t perfect your relationship game.
If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to step back. Often, thoughts like these are what lead to breakdowns in communication. To some extent, nothing’s better for understanding your relationship than just staying present. Despite its complications along the way, love is the most simple state of being. And, to make your good relationship remain on the straight and narrow, you simply need to keep being yourself.
Of course, even when two people are in love, they’re sure to come across bumps in the road. For the most part, these bumps occur at the big moments. Though they’re the most exciting parts of any relationship, they’re also the most stressful. The chances are that you’ve probably both been waiting for these things all your lives. As such, there’s a lot of pressure on getting them right, which can lead to arguments and disagreements. Which is why we’re going to look at the questions you should ask yourself for each major moment.
MAKING IT OFFICIAL
The first bump any relationship faces is the moment you make it official. We know what you’re thinking; surely this shouldn’t need much consideration? You’re falling in love, the time is right. Why wouldn’t you make it official? But, this moment causes a lot more distress than people would expect, especially when it doesn’t happen as fast as you’d like. So, ask yourself:
Are you both on the same page?
It’s a horrible thing to consider, especially when you’re carried away with how things are going. But, it’s important to get on the same page. Otherwise, you might struggle to get started. After all, neither of you know where you stand. Does the other person even know you want a relationship? Do they want a relationship?
Most of the time, you can judge someone’s intentions by the way they treat you. If you see him once a month, it might be that he thinks this is a casual thing. But, if you see each other a few times a week, it’s a sure sign that commitment is coming up.
To make sure, it’s worth dropping hints. These don’t have to be massive ‘I want your babies’ type whoppers. But, small stuff, like talking about the future, or ‘couple’ type activities you would like to do together will send a clear message. You may find that the other person responds in turn. Then, you can either wait for them to broach the ‘going steady’ conversation, or do it yourself.
What do you want from the relationship?
Even once you’ve changed your relationship status, discuss what you both want from it. For example, it’s worth finding out whether they like public displays of affection, or prefer to keep things private. Do they like being spoiled in a relationship, or would they like to do the spoiling? Equally, make sure to express your desires. If you clash on any points, you can start making your first compromises together.
MOVING IN TOGETHER
So, you’ve been weathering the relationship thing for a while, and it’s going pretty well. You spend most of your time at each other’s places, and eventually, the conversation of moving in together comes up. It’s all you’ve ever dreamed of, and you can’t wait to get bunked up with your favorite one. But, hold the horses. Here’s what you should ask yourself before moving forward.
Move into their place, or get somewhere new?
This is the biggest question most couples face when moving in together. And, though it may not seem like it now, it can have an enormous impact on how things progress. In a financial and practical sense, it can often seem logical to move into an already established space. And, there’s no reason it can’t work. But, there are issues that you need to be aware of. For one, it can be a lot harder to get the dynamics right this way. Moving in together is a big deal already, but moving into someone else’s space is even more so. They may feel overwhelmed when your belongings arrive, and you may find it hard to settle or feel really at home. Plus, you might develop resentment for having to give up your space. Again, communication will help you past the issue. If you feel as though it’s still not your home, make sure your partner knows. The chances are that they’ll do everything possible to make you feel comfortable. And, keep looking to the future. This could be the perfect opportunity for you to save up for a place of your own.
Or, you might want to jump straight into a new place together. This ensures you’re both on even footing from the off. You’ll be able to grow with the space together and may find it much easier to adjust. That said, this is expensive, and the stress of buying a house could strain your relationship in a whole new way. Make sure you’re ready before you progress.
What are your home buying priorities?
We all look for different things in a new home. Some of us love character in a space, while others prefer a modern feel. Some wouldn’t be without outside space, while others aren’t fussed. Make sure to know each other’s priorities, so that you can compromise where necessary. It’s the only way to ensure you’re buying a house you both love. If someone has to compromise more, they’ll find it harder to be happy in the space.
You can gain a good idea of your partner’s tastes by their reactions to the real estate you look at. Take note of properties that are an instant no for them, or features they love. And, of course, you can always talk about this. It’s worth making a list of both of your priorities, and ranking them for importance. That way, you can ensure you’re only viewing properties which suit you both.
First came love, then came marriage, and it’s coming up to that time when engagement is on your cards. You’ve probably both been dreaming about this since the playground weddings of your youth, so it’s kind of a big deal. Here are the things you should consider during the planning stages.
What kind of day do you want?
There is, of course, a traditional standard for weddings. But, that doesn’t suit everyone, and it’s important you realize that during your planning. Before you start anything, you need to sit down and consider what kind of day you both want. It may be that you have your heart set on a church wedding, while your partner wants a quiet affair.
Work out ways you could compromise on these points. You could have a wedding in a registry office but use religious vows. You could keep the ceremony small, and have a big reception afterwards. There’s no issue that you can’t get around as a couple if you just COMMUNICATE!
MAKING A FAMILY
And, once you’re settled into married life, it’s natural to consider making a family. The chances are that you’ve spoken about this in passing before. But, it’s worth revisiting the conversation once it becomes a real possibility. It’s crucial you consider these points.
How many children do you want?
The amount of children you want could easily change once you have a family. But, it’s worth ensuring you’re on the same page with size before you start. It may be that you always dreamt of two kids, but your partner’s expecting at least four. Make sure to discuss this in detail and explain your reasoning, to ensure no one’s disappointed.
What parenting style would you adopt?
Once you become parents, you’ll also need to be a team when it comes to your style of parenting. So, before you get to that stage, make sure to have a conversation about styles you both want to adopt. Whether you want to be strict, liberal, or anything between, you both need to follow the same rulebook!
Images source: Flickr, Pexels & Pixabay respectively