Finding a great partner is definitely a great step to a fulfilling romantic relationship, but as rom-coms always neglect to tell us, there’s more to it than that.
A good relationship takes work, and a lot of things need to be in place to ensure that all parties involved feel secure, fulfilled and that this life partnership can truly thrive. There are some pretty basic, pretty grown up things to think about before locking it down with your soulmate. Here’s a few things folks in relationships need to consider before beginning a life together.
1. Where Do You Want To Live?
This may sound obvious, but if you’re not in the place you plan to spend the rest of your life, you’re not ready for a long-term partner. A few years ago, I went on a date with a cleanly, kindly young professional who seemed like a catch; however, there was also a catch. This gentlemen claimed to be looking for a serious partner, but I later discovered he was simultaneously hoping to relocate back to his hometown of Vancouver in the next few years. Vancouver, a lovely city that is nonetheless thousands of miles away from Toronto, where we met. This begs the question, did he assume women would become so besotted with him they’d be willing move a five-hour plane ride away from their jobs and friends for love? He was a nice guy, but he was no Chris Pine!
Ultimately, Vancouver Dude was guilty of wasting my time. I was looking for someone to settle down with in Toronto, the city where I planned to settle, but he was literally – not figuratively – in the wrong place to start a long-term relationship.
2. What Are Your Financial Goals?
It’s true money can’t buy happiness, but money problems are one of the leading causes of divorce. It’s important to have compatible financial priorities as someone with whom you could share a retirement savings plan. Perhaps you’re the type of person who eschews home-ownership so you can spend more money on travel. If so, that’s awesome! However, you won’t be happy with someone who aspires to pinch every penny in the hopes of buying their dream house in Leslieville. And you know what? That sort of obsessive frugality is also cool. There’s nothing wrong with spending or saving (as long as no one gets into debt and you aren’t so cheap you’re wearing the same socks you had in undergrad). Having said that, a spender and a saver probably won’t be a cool, successful couple.
It’s important to understand your financial priorities before seeking a significant other. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartbreak this way!
3. Do You Want To Have a Family?
Kids are one of those things you can’t compromise on. You’re creating a human life, one you could completely screw up if you’re not committed to the process. There’s nothing abnormal about not wanting to reproduce, so you need to trust your intuition on this one; if you can’t see yourself with a kid, don’t have one to keep your partner happy. In the end, you’ll just make yourself unhappy. And of course, the same goes for people who desperately want to make or adopt babies. You can’t re-enact the O. Henry story “The Gift of the Magi” where kidlets are concerned. In this scenario, you aren’t dealing with selling a pocket watch or getting a haircut! Instead, the kind of sacrifice you’d be making has far-reaching impacts for your life. Unlike a watch, you can’t just buy another child-free life. And unlike hair, you cannot grow a baby at any age if you change your mind. No matter what your dream family looks like, don’t give up on it! Instead, limit your dating life to people who want as many – or as few – kids as you do.
4. Do you prefer monogamy, ethical non-monogamy, or polyamory?
The latest research suggests around 21% of Americans have engaged in some sort of non-monogamy. Exclusive relationships are no longer the only thing on the menu, so it’s vital you figure out where you stand on this subject. There’s no wrong answer. You should choose whatever works for you, be it a polyamorous relationship with six committed partners or a tightly monogamous union where you sleep with one person until you die. But to avoid being pressured into a relationship formation that’s not your flavor, you must ascertain what sort of partner(s) you want in the first place. Sure, the results of this self-reflexivity might mean you’ll need to avoid dating people whose relationship goals are different from yours, but you’ll save yourself heartache in the long-term!
What do you think is an important factor to consider before settling down with partner? Share your thoughts with us on social media now @weraddicted.