Couples go through a lot together.
Between the first date and popping the question, there are tears and smiles, good times and bad, and so many important experiences that teach you valuable lessons about one another. Here are some of the most influential experiences that can reveal a great deal about you, your partner, and how well the two of you work together:
1. Travel Together
What could be more romantic than setting off into the sunset to experience an entirely new culture or part of the world with your sweetheart? Every adventure starts with starry-eyed dreams, but some vacations can quite effectively test the limits of your relationship. Between missing flights, losing luggage, getting lost in an unfamiliar city, and every other mishap that can occur along the way, you’ll see how each of you handles stressful situations. Do you fly into a rage? Does your partner get flustered? Or can you make light of it and enjoy your time together regardless of what happens?
2. Spend Time with Each Other’s Family
How your partner interacts with their family can tell you a lot about them. We all have our own unique childhoods and have had to face our own challenges, which makes “meeting the family” a time that can reopen old wounds and show you sides of your partner they keep tucked away. It’s also valuable to see how your partner interacts with your family, and how you interact with theirs. Families are lifelong connections, and after marriage, that link will only grow stronger.
3. Get On the Same Spending Habits Train
Money is one of the biggest factors that cause fights, arguments, and general disdain between partners. Are you a big saver, but your partner loves to max out the credit cards? Whichever category you two fall into, know each other's spending habits and come to an agreement on how the two of you handle money. If you and your partner are ready to get engaged but you want to be financially responsible, consider purchasing an inexpensive engagement ring! They're just as beautiful (and shiny!) as their counterparts that cost thousands of dollars, but are only a fraction of the cost.
4. Live Together
...if it fits with your values and lifestyle choices, of course. There’s a bit of controversy surrounding living together and whether it strengthens marriages or not. No matter which way you look at it, there’s no denying that there is so much to be learned from living with your partner. Who they are and how they act when no one else is looking can be pleasantly (and sometimes not so pleasantly) surprising. Their habits, daily rituals, and little quirks will all come out tenfold, as will yours. If there are glaring problems with the living situation before marriage, those will only increase after marriage, so it’s valuable to tackle them early on.
5. Have a Big Fight
This is essential. Even if you’re the most picture perfect couple on earth, you will fight about something, guaranteed. When you do, pay close attention to how the interaction goes. Big, meaningful arguments teach you both how you respond to one another under pressure, who tries to dominate the conversation, and if either one of you can admit when you’re wrong. If you and your partner can’t respect one another during big fights, that’s something you need to address way before marriage is even on the table.
You can probably think of more experiences that you feel are important, and that’s good! Think about the moments that will test your relationship, and instead of shying away from them, recognize them as the valuable learning opportunities they are.
Next step: ready to propose?
If you and your partner are ready to take the next step, it's time to get the perfect ring! Check out the collection of engagement rings and wedding bands at Modern Gents. No matter the style, cut, or budget, there's a ring you'll both fall in love with! Don't start this next chapter of your life going into debt – what matters is the love you two share.
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What are some important experiences you believe couples should go through before taking the next big step? Share your thoughts in the comments!