It is often tough to measure the longevity or solidity of a relationship and in a world where unpredictable things happen daily, it has become even harder.
As an exercise, picture what your life looks like in 5 years. Imagine it as a projection screen with the scenes playing out as they were a film. Does the image of your near future match up to the partner you’d like to wed?
We’ve compiled 5 questions to ask before yourself, or your partner, before taking the leap of faith.
1. Have you discovered enough of yourself?
Often we look to our partner to close a gap in our own lives, desires and aspirations. Relationships are subject to all sorts of decisions and dilemmas – both internal and external. For a long term relationship there is a part of the ‘Self’ that is sacrificed for another. This will change with circumstance and / or with the type of person you share the relationship with.
There is great expectation when it comes to coupling – more so now than ever. In a world of extreme demands and stress, love brings vulnerabilities to the forefront. As easy as it can be to lose oneself in a pheromone induced ‘love haze’ it can be just as effortless to lose the foresight to know whether the expectation you are putting on another individual is unfair.
Marriage shouldn’t stop you from living an independent existence, but it is important to take stock of your life up until this moment. Have you spent enough time alone with your own thoughts and emotions to know what loneliness is? Do you know you can live with / without it? Have you explored new cities and/or countries and learnt from your experience? Do you have a solid group of friends that you spend time with apart from your other half?
It’s true what they say about loving yourself before you love another.
2. Does this person fit effortlessly into your life?
There are so many facets to a shared life with someone – family, friends, career aspirations and financial circumstances.
When you get married there is a security to the arrangement, usually in the form of a legal document, that in some way or another states ‘til death do us part. However, it is your intuition to know whether your partner fits into your life like a jigsaw piece you finally found under the couch.
This is not to say that if someone doesn’t make as much money as you’d like that this is a good excuse to breakup– and if so, you probably aren’t in the relationship for the right reasons.
When you get married you also marry into another’s family, hang out with their friends and ultimately co-exist. Being comfortable with this notion is something to consider before tying the knot.
3. Are they ‘home’?
Whilst keeping you feeling alive, excited and inspiring spontaneity – your partner should naturally make you feel safe and secure. The concept of ‘home’ is a very simple one. When you are independent of one another are there feelings of anxiety and stress associated with those times? Or do you not give it a second thought?
It sounds cliché but the person who you feel most at home with should be your ultimate companion. Someone with whom you don’t need to force a conversation with, or look your very best all the time. Home is comfortable, warm and sheltered.
If you want kids, think about the kind of parent you’d like to be, and then your partner. Picture yourself leaving your future child in the hands of the man/woman you are thinking of marrying. When children are brought into the picture priorities change and so will your relationship.
4. Do you love the good as well as the bad?
Love is forgiving the misgivings of another. We’re all annoying in our particular ways. For instance, you might be really great at doing the dishes but terrible at booking a vacation. You may be able to hold a conversation with anyone at a dinner party and it may annoy you that your partner shows disinterest.
The question is, are the faults or misgivings of your partner so large and unbearable that they are hideous to live with? Or can they be dealt with in portion control?
Do you wake up in the morning, roll over to see your partner snoring in all their sleeping glory and think “I’ve done good”? Are you excited to start the day with this person?
Only you can answer that question.
5. Can you be on their team even when they aren’t on their own? (and vice versa)
When you live in co-existence there’s a type of comradery that can’t be beaten. Supporting another with their endeavors, passions and greatest joys is the selfless part of being in a strong and healthy relationship. Are you the type of couple that boosts the other half when one of you isn’t backing themselves?
We all have ‘off’ days where we can’t back ourselves and on these days, it’s important to have a cheerleader on side.