The road to your long-term SO or spouse will likely be paved be paved with the long process of getting comfy with your partner. In fact, there are several things you should do with your partner before getting married that can help ensure total and complete trust and compatibly — before you walk down the aisle or commit for a long time.
Of course, working on your relationship, and keeping things happy and healthy, will be a lifelong thing. And yet it's still so important to start the process off ASAP. Working on your coupledom should begin the moment you realize you want to spend your lives together, if not well before.
If this all seems glaringly obvious, remember that it isn't necessarily so apparent whilst in the throws of love. For example, how many people do you know who rushed into things without really knowing their partner? It's a classic scenario that happens all the time, and (sadly) it doesn't always end well. That's precisely why working on your compatibility, pre-wedding when everything is fresh and malleable and new, is such a good idea. This is when you can set up "couple rules," AKA the rules for how you plan to spend money, or deal with each other in times of struggle and strife. It's also a great time to live together, to create your own traditions, and to figure out how you'll deal with compromise. (All good things.)
So with that in mind, here are some things you should do with your partner every day, if you think you'd like to marry them.
1. Try Sleeping In The Same Bed
Having your partner over for date nights and the occasional adult sleepover is fun. But you know it's the real deal when you're sleeping next to each other every night. Apart from the occasional rare instance, most couples sleep next to each other their entire lives. And for good reason, too. Couples who sleep next to each other tend to have better communication, according to Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., on Psychology Today. So it's a good idea to test this out now, and get into the habit if you want to get married or stay committed for a while. Of course, this isn't for everyone, and if you and your partner are a better team while sleeping separately, then to each their own — figure out what works best for you as a couple, and commit to that.
2. Cook Dinner Together
Nothing screams "we're in this for the long haul" quite like preparing meals together. Why is that, you ask? Well, cooking together tests your communication, as well as your ability to collaborate and compromise, according to Michelle Delgado on HuffingtonPost.com. If you can navigate that on the regular, then you're well on your way to happy matrimony.
3. Discuss Your Finances
OK, so maybe you don't have to have long, boring financial talks every day. But you should be well on the same page financially before taking the next step.
4. Compromise A Little
If you two are going to be spending your lives together in wedded bliss, then a little compromise will go a long way. So start practicing now in little ways. Let him choose the movie one night, while you choose the next. Or be OK with her choice in restaurant, without getting all whiney or upset. It's all very good practice for sharing your lives together.
5. Come Up With A Plan
Another super couple-y activity? Coming up with vision boards, obviously. The two of you are probably bursting with all sorts of plans for the future, so it can help to collect them visually all in one place. This will not only make goals more reachable, but it'll help to make sure your ideas jive. If they don't, it'll give you time to discuss what's a deal breaker and what isn't — before you get married or make any other huge commitments.
6. Be Your Grossest Selves
Just because you're a couple doesn't mean you have to be blatantly and unabashedly disgusting 24/7. But you do want to feel comfortable around your SO. Test these boundaries now, and discuss what works and what doesn't. Do you want to pee with the door open? Do they desire more than anything to eat snacks in bed? Don't wait until it's too late to figure out what's acceptable.
7. Talk To Other People
Yes, I know you're head over heels for your partner. But trust me — you don't want to let other relationships slide. Whatever you do, try your best to maintain a good balance between your private life and social life. Your friends will thank you, and your relationship will be better for it.
8. Clean Your Apartment
Like it or not, your house will always need to be cleaned. So best get the rules under control now, before you go ahead and commit. As Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D., said on PsychCentral.com, "Couples who do the least arguing about housework are those who have talked about it and made choices together." Making a chore chart can help prevent arguments, and ensure a clean home for all eternity.
9. Come Up With Some Traditions
One of the nicest things about spending a life with someone and having a family is the creation of new traditions. You can and should bring along some old family traditions. But now's your chance to start some new ones, too. Perhaps you guys will make a big breakfast every Saturday morning, or watch scary movies on Wednesdays. Whatever it is, have fun and make it stick.
10. Decorate Together
There may never come a day where your decorating feels done. And that can be either good, or bad, depending on how you look at it. After all, moving in together and merging all your belongings can be a bit of an emotional minefield, according to an article on Refinery29.com. If anything, it'll be good practice for compromising, and deciding on how you'd like to live as a couple.
11. Hang Out As Much As Possible
If you plan on getting married, then I sure hope you want to hang out with each other. But sometimes busy schedules get in the way, and spending quality time becomes difficult. I get it. It is still important, however, to set aside time for each other every day. Who knows what will happen down the road (busier careers, kids, etc.) so get in that quality time while you can.
Doing all of these things every day will make being together for a while 100 times easier. You'll already know how to live together and compromise, while also maintaining your own lives. And that's going to make for a very healthy relationship.
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