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Nine Life Events You Need To Experience With Your Partner Before Settling Down

You may think you have found the one, but before you start planning your wedding, there are a few life experiences you need to experience to confirm what you think you know about your partner.

Each an indicator of how well your relationship handles stress, these are the nine things you should go through with your partner before you settle down.

The biggest testament to the strength of your relationship? How well you cope with money struggles.

With money being one of the leading causes of relationship stress and strain, the impact of losing your job can be detrimental to your relationship.

According to a 2011 study from Ohio State University, unemployed men are more likely to get divorced than men that are gainfully employed.

But if you and your partner can overcome this hiccup, and get through to the other, hopefully, greener side, your relationship is more likely to survive anything.

Just as money can put a damper on any relationship, so too can an extended guest – come to visit and slow to leave.

Whether it be a future in-law or an old university roommate, house guests, especially ones that won’t leave, require a certain level amount of patience and understanding.

According to psychologist Shawn M Burn PhD, a house guest can be “stressful to the extent that they disrupt our routines and usurp the high amount of control we normally enjoy in this personal territory.”

It can be easy to blame your significant other for the disruption to your daily routines but in reality, it isn’t completely their fault.

They likely didn’t expect their guest to stay past their welcome, and aside from kicking them out, it can be a difficult subject to broach.

But if you can get past these weeks, months, or even years, your relationship will be stronger – and you’ll have your house guest to thank.

Speaking of new additions to your home, temporary or permanent, a pet is also an indicator of how sturdy your relationship is – and if it is built to last.

Whether it be a fish, a dog, or a guinea pig, having a pet requires a sharing of responsibilities, costs, and time.

And according to a study by the University of Buffalo, couples who own cats or dogs have closer relationships, are more satisfied in marriage and respond better to stress than couples who do not have any pets.

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Although they are not exactly the same as children, pets can be indicative of how well you and your partner will be at parenting.

If a pet happens to lead to a massive disagreement, however, it could be a good thing.

Fighting is not a positive in a relationship, but it is necessary to avoid resentment and long-term conflict.

If you are able to overcome and move past a huge fight, it says a lot about the lasting power of your partnership.

To really see whether your relationship is durable, it is important to problem solve together, even when you are on opposing sides.

And the ability and desire to apologise when you are in the wrong is also a good sign.

This dedication to making things work is also necessary when you reach a lull in your relationship – which you will likely do.

Just as any relationship goes through a honeymoon phase, most also have their periods of boredom or staleness whether it is the seven-year itch or a slight rut after just a few months.

It is during these lulls that it can be easy to go in search of the excitement that drew you to your significant other.

But if you can inject love and commitment into your relationship during these periods, the likelihood of you and your partner staying together in the long-run increases.

Another indicator of the lasting power of your relationship is how well you celebrate your partner’s accomplishments.

According to a 2013 study from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, once women begin to earn more money than their husbands, divorce rates increase.

The correlation has a lot to do with resentment and typical gender stereotypes such as the male as the breadwinner.

In flawed relationships, achievements, especially at work, can be overshadowed by resentment or jealousy.

If your partner celebrates your raise or job promotion and shares your sense of accomplishment, chances are they are a keeper.

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A promotion or job change that requires relocation is an even bigger indicator of lasting happiness.

Long-distance relationships are notoriously hard as distance can put immense strain on communication.

However, distance does make the heart grow fonder – so they say.

The ways you strategise together during this high-stress time can ultimately have an effect on the outcome.

According to a 2014 study from Queen’s University on long-distance relationships, when couples act as a team to get through the period together, they foster a sense of stability, and ultimately a lasting future.

A sense of stability is also critical in the face of a health scare.

Having a significant other means having someone to rely on when things get rough and one of the most stressful events any relationship can undergo is an illness, whether it be you or your partner.

To be able to deal with the scariness and uncertainty while providing a sense of comfort, support, and love to your significant other is incredibly important in a relationship.

Finally, you need to travel with your partner – get lost in a foreign country, experience things that make you uncomfortable, and broaden your horizons together.

Bonding experiences such as travel can either bring you closer or reveal underlying cracks in your relationship.

For example, how you and your partner overcome small hurdles such as lost luggage says a lot about what your ability to handle larger struggles in the future.

If you know that you could rely on your partner to stick it out through any or all of these experiences, it is a good sign your relationship can handle anything life throws its way.

With the right person, even the most stressful events can bring you closer together.

 

-Chelsea Ritschel

Oluchi Harrison

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