Whether you’re dating, have been together for a while, or are married, there are certain situations that will test how strong your relationship is. These situations can turn out to be good or bad for your relationship. If you are thinking of moving to the next level, they might help you figure out if you’re ready and if your partner is ready. So, let’s see how strong your relationship is and if it will stand to be tested…
Before you meet the parents you’ll be introduced to your significant other’s close friends, and well, this may be a bigger test of how strong your relationship is than when you do meet the parents. Some people really value the opinion of their friends and watch as their partner interacts with them. If you don’t talk enough and come off as someone who is too reserved, or on the other hand come off too flirty, this could be bad for your relationship. It can be nerve wrecking when meeting the friends, but just be you and they will see why their friend loves you so much!
Whether you go on vacation alone or with a group of friends, this can either be a relaxing time or it can be stressful. If you’ve vacationed together before then you will already know if your significant other is more laid back or if they like to party during a holiday stay. However, if you don’t know what their vacation style is like then you may want to ask before making plans to get together with a big group and renting a house for a week or two. It can be a big headache if your guy likes to sleep in while everyone else is making plans to be at the beach by 9 am and you want to go too. So be sure to vacation alone together first before you get a big group together next Summer.
Does your new guy/girl have a little one running around at home? Before you meet the kid(s), you should really get a feel for your relationship and whether s/he is someone you could see yourself marrying one day. If you don’t have strong feelings for this person, you shouldn’t put yourself or the child through this situation. However, if you believe you are ready to see how strong your relationship is, then take it to the next step and introduce yourself to your significant other’s child. Helpful note: Ask your sweety what the child likes - Disney, Marvel comics, Animals, etc. - and pick something up before the big meet!
Now that you’ve met the friends and some family members, let’s really put this relationship to the test and meet everyone all at once at a family wedding! If you have already discussed marriage or recently got engaged, then this is a really good step to take together. You will soon be putting on the same event yourselves, so having your significant other meet them all before your big day will make it that much easier on your nerves! As you watch him laugh with your uncle Joe and dance with your grandma you know you’ve made the right choice. But, if this isn’t the case, well then you’ve saved yourself a lot of money!
Will he get frustrated if you get lost, how long will it take him to stop for directions, will he let you pick the next song on the radio, and will he stop at all of the fun roadside attractions along the way? Taking a road trip together can really show the true side of someone, so be sure you are ready to see how strong your relationship really is. If you don’t mind that he sings along to the radio, yells at idiot drivers, and eats the last gummy bear then let the traveling commence!
So you love spending time together and sleep over at his place all the time anyway, so you might as well move in together, right? Sleeping over is one thing, but sharing a bathroom is another! There is a lot to figure out before you move in together: what’s his sleeping pattern, how clean does he keep his kitchen, does he expect you to cook every night, etc. Before you move in together, spend a few nights in a row together, put a few things in one of his empty dresser drawers, and keep your toothbrush on his bathroom sink. Doing this test will really show you whether you’re ready to make this big move together.
The holidays can be a stressful time if you let it get to you; everyone pulling you in their direction for a visit, kids asking for something that costs too much, and having too many tree decorations and not enough tree! However, if you make a schedule, hold strong to your budget, and make the best of the holiday, whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, or Passover, you can get through it together with no hurt feelings.
One piece of advice my dad gave me when I got married was , “Don’t fight over money.” One minute you’re doing well, you both have great paying jobs, and you’re able to save for that vacation you always wanted. But then your significant other comes home with bad news that their location is shutting down and everyone is being laid off. It will be a stressful time as your partner looks for a job and goes to interview after interview, and it may seem like it will never get better. However, if you cut down your spending and make a budget, you can get through this together. Fighting over money, unpaid bills, and frivolous spending won’t make it any better; being there for each other will.
Have you decided that you’re ready to plan a family? No one is ever really ready for children; they’re expensive, fussy, needy, and very messy. However, if you are ready as a couple, then you are ready as parents to learn together. On the other hand, if your relationship has been a little rocky lately, bringing a child into the mix isn’t going to make things better, it can actually make things worse. So, although no one is 100% sure of what they are doing as a first time parent, you should know what you’re doing as a couple and be 100% in it together.
How strong is your relationship? Have you been put through a situation or two that put you and your significant other to the test?
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