If you're considering committing to a long-term relationship with your partner, then you should make a point of experiencing as many different situations as possible. (Think along the lines of a weekend getaway, or something a little less fun, like running errands together.) It may not seem like a big deal, but how you navigate life's little activities can help reveal whether or not you should get married.
If you've ever grocery shopped with your SO, or driven with them in a car for a few hours, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. While no one can be perfect and agreeable 100 percent of the time, there's no denying these types of situations often show your relationship's compatibility, maturity, and level of commitment.
So do yourself a favor and consider diving into as many different situations as you can. "There are so many things that need to be discovered regarding compatibility," speaker and spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport tells Bustle. "Your goal should be to discover how you both can blend your lives together." And, of course, how you might handle things that aren't blending perfectly. Read on for some little activities that can be incredibly revealing.
1. Go See A Few Movies
Nothing shows your ability to compromise quite like choosing a movie. Does your partner let you pick one without pouting or holding a grudge, and vice versa? As Rappaport tells me, this tiny act can reveal quite a lot about preferences, tastes, and your ability to reach an agreement should your feelings differ.
2. Run Some Errands Together
Your relationship can't be 100 percent fun all the time, so note how your partner handles themselves when things get real — even if it's just during an hour long errand run. "Can you go shopping together without any problems?" Rappaport asks. If things go sour fast, it may be they're only in this for fun, and not for the long haul.
3. Attend An Intense Sports Game
Nothing brings out someone's true colors quite like a high-stakes sporting event, so go ahead and attend one with your partner. "Seeing how someone reacts to losing is so important for marriage because there will be plenty of loss and disappointment throughout your marriage (not necessarily caused by each other)," Kali Rogers, life coach and founder of Blush Online Life Coaching, tells Bustle. "It's good to know how you both react to losing and if it spills over into the rest of your day/life."
4. Plan A Weekend Getaway
Like I said, there really is no better way to get to know your partner than by planning a trip. During the process, you'll want to see if your goals and traveling styles match up — and if you can remain civil through it all. "You might ... find you want to split up at some point and do your own thing," Rappaport says. Are you both OK with that? Or does it always cause a huge fight? It's important to find out now.
5. Take A Road Trip Together
In a similar vein, you might consider going on a road trip together — even if it's just to the next town over. "While traveling is definitely a test of compatibility, driving can be an even more extreme example," Rogers says. "There are so many unknown variables that can be triggers for stress ... Seeing someone at their worst (hangry, lost, with a full bladder) will at least let you know when you're in for!"
6. Cook An Entire Meal
And no, I don't mean pouring some cereal or heating up a frozen pizza. Make a real meal and see how it goes. "Cooking or prepping food is a good test to see how you both work together as a unit," Rappaport says. "Are you comfortable with two cooks in the kitchen? These are things to discover."
7. Schedule A Double Date
While you don't have to love each other's friends, it's always good to see how your SO handles themselves when around other people. "When your partner is with you [they] might be the most wonderful person in the world, but you may find that your partner [is] critical or unpleasant when with another couple," Rappaport says. "You need to see if your partner treats you respectfully all the time."
8. Plan To Visit The Fam
The whole "meet the family" moment can be quite revealing, too. "If you find that your partner is not willing to handle them in a way that is comfortable, you need to think whether or not you want to sign on for this," Rappaport says. You don't need to enjoy each other's families — especially if they are toxic — but you should be able to remain polite and civil.
9. Hang Out In Nature (Without Your Phones)
Life moves at a pretty fast pace these days, so make sure you give yourselves time to slow down and truly connect. "The outdoors allows you both to enjoy nature and feel more free and unrestrained," Rappaport says. This will be an excellent time to connect, and maybe even talk about the future.
10. Go Out On The Town
Again, it's not necessary for you two to share everything in common, but it certainly is nice if you two can reach an agreement on how to spend a Saturday. To test your agreeableness, Rappaport recommends going out on the town and see how it feels.
11. Hit Up A Party Together
If you both love going out, or love staying in, great. But if not, it can be quite revealing to put yourselves in a situation where one of you isn't exactly comfortable. Do you handle it with grace? Or get super annoyed? As Rappaport tells me, it's not a great sign if you can't reach a compromise.
Because really, that's what a long-term relationship is all about. If you and your partner navigate through these types of events unscathed, there's a good chance you're compatible in a long-term type of way — and maybe even ready for marriage.
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