If I could send a memo to all the Disney princesses of the world, it would read something like this: “The bird thing isn’t sanitary. Also, things get a hell of a lot harder after the first kiss.” In fact, there are tons of marriage milestones and experiences that can happen before a couple gets married, and no cartoon thus far (that I know of, at least) has adequately displayed what it’s like to have to grab toilet paper for your significant other when he or she forgot to check under the sink beforehand.
All kidding aside, it’s not the '50s anymore, and no one expects you to stay together if things don’t work out. That being said, it turns out that marriage statistics are a little more optimistic than we all thought. Divorce rates are declining again, insinuating that the onslaught of marital breakups that happened in the '70s and '80s was a phase rather than a trend. Even better, if it continues, two-thirds of marriages are likely to survive.
Granted, I’m not a marriage specialist, but I’m guessing that’s because it’s now acceptable (normal, even) to live with, get to know, and grow alongside someone before the question gets popped. If you’re in a serious relationship that you suspect might blossom into a marriage sometime soon, try checking off these experiences beforehand. Perhaps they'll help you understand where the two of you stand on issues that can challenge a relationship.
Learn How Your Partner Reacts In An Argument
This 500-piece card game presents you and your partner with ridiculous hypothetical situations (like a kindergarten class that breathes fire and wears jetpacks versus a pirate swinging on a shark while riding a Segway), and it requires you to have a solid debate. While it might seem trivial, it reveals a whole bunch about your partner’s reasoning abilities, thought processes, and tactics, and it allows you to battle things out in a relaxed and hilarious way. Because occasional fighting is a sign that you’re both willing to discuss conflict rather than ignore it, this game could provide insight into your partner’s communication tactics when the next real one rolls around. Also, laughing together is always a huge plus.
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