So you finally feel like you found the one. That’s great! If you and your partner are considering marriage, though, it’s important to build the best possible foundation in your relationship. A healthy relationship pre-marriage is key to a happy marriage that lasts a lifetime. But how can you go about building an unshakeable foundation in your relationship? Here are a few tips that could help you out. (Image Credit: Drew Coffman/Unsplash)
Take Your Time
It’s easy to want to jump right into marriage when you think you’ve found your soulmate. But taking your time is an important part of building a strong relationship. In fact, couples who dated for at least three years before their engagement are about 39% less likely to get divorced than couples who dated for less than a year prior to their engagement. It’s impossible to know certain things about one another without time. How does each of you react in a crisis? Are there habits you won’t know about until you live together? These kinds of things take time to learn. And you’ll likely find that taking your time to learn them makes your relationship even stronger.
When you practice gratitude in your relationship every day, you’re building a stronger connection with the love you feel for your significant other. And make note that gratitude is more than saying “thank you” when your partner does something for you. Gratitude means taking the time to think about all of the ways you appreciate your partner and how they enrich your life as a whole. When you can meditate on that and share it with your partner on a daily basis, you’ll be helping to build a deep sense of love and appreciation for your relationship.
Honesty is a vital part of any relationship in daily communication. Make a point to talk frequently about things that matter to you. Whether you’re expressing frustration, talking about work, sharing childhood stories, or having a deep conversation about life, regular, honest communication is paramount to building a strong relationship. This principle is especially important when you’re discussing your future together. Say you both want to get engaged and your partner wants to have a big crowd present for the occasion. If you’re not one of the 3% of women who want their engagement to take place in front of a big audience, the foundation of honest communication you’ve built will help you feel safe and secure when you express that.
Keep Outside Relationships and Hobbies Alive
A strong relationship is one where you both accept that one person alone can’t meet all of your needs. It’s okay — and entirely normal — for you to like things your partner isn’t interested in. Beyond that, it’s important that you both continue to keep outside interests and relationships alive. Spending time with your friends helps you maintain a sense of balance in your relationship. And when both you and your partner are supportive of one another’s friends and interests, you’ll likely find that your relationship will flourish. Not only that, but time away from your partner can intensify your feelings of appreciation and love.
Live in the Same Area
If you’re not ready to move in together yet, that’s okay. That being said, if you’re planning for marriage then you won’t be living separately forever. A great stepping stone to living together is to move closer to one another. Maybe in the same neighborhood or even in the same apartment building, if possible. Considering almost 40% of moves in 2018 were local, it’s safe to say neither of you will be moving too far. Getting an idea of what it will be like to live in close proximity to your partner before you move in together can help both of you learn about each other’s living habits and build a vision of what your living situation will look like when you do decide to live together.
Building a strong foundation in your relationship before marriage takes time and effort from both you and your partner. When the divorce rate for marriage in the U.S. is almost 41%, the idea of marriage can be a little intimidating. But with these foundational elements in place, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.