If you’re in a really great relationship, it’s natural to wonder where it’s going.
But however loving you feel towards one another, that’s no guarantee that you’ll head down the aisle.
Why’s that? It’s because it’s not the love, laughter and excitement that tells you whether a relationship’s built to last. It’s how you deal with the hard times.
Because marriage isn’t just a relationship, it’s a partnership. And for a romance to progress into a marriage, you must also be able to deal with life’s challenges together.
So if one of you is always taking their bat home whenever things get tough, then you’re not going to make it.
You also need to share similar values. So if your relationship’s full of contradictions, and you just can’t find compromises that work, then you’re very unlikely to get married.
Then you have to agree on the big things in life. Things like having children, your faith, career goals, and the way you handle your finances.
If you can’t get those aligned, then you might have to re-evaluate your relationship.
Maybe you’ve noticed that somehow you never seem to get included in your partner’s future plans. You’re perpetually hearing “I” when you should be hearing “we”.
Then it’s likely that your relationship isn’t heading towards a wedding. You should both be thinking of yourselves as a couple.
So if your partner’s constantly making solo plans, then you’re in a “right now” kind of relationship. Not one meant to last “until death do us part”.
Such relationships are generally also all about having fun together.
But even in the most enjoyable relationships, there will be times when you’ll need to have hard conversations about important issues.
So if either of you shies away from uncomfortable topics, such as your finances, then you’re in a relationship that isn’t built to last.
The same is true if one of you has a toxic relationship with the other’s parents, siblings, extended family or friends.
And whenever the subject of marriage comes up, does your partner keep saying that they don’t ever want to get married? Now that’s something you should really take seriously.
Because people who talk that way generally don’t change their minds, no matter how much time you spend together. So don’t secretly fantasise that your partner will be the exception.
Respect their choice, and recognise that you need to go out and find someone else, whose relationship goals match yours.
So a romance that will stand the test of time is not only about finding someone who’s company you enjoy. Because those words “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health”, really do mean something.
They say that you don’t just need to have a partner who’s going to be your best friend during the good times. You need one who you can also count on to have your back when things get tough. Don’t settle for anything less.