The One. We hear it everywhere. From movies, books, TV, the list is endless. And we all *think* we know what this means: good-looking, caring, full of compliments…it shouldn’t be that hard…right?
The problem is, typically when we say “the one” we don’t realize what we are really saying, is someone we want to spend THE REST OF OUR LIVES with. Our life partner. And let’s be honest, life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It can be hard, unfair, and tiring. So who do you want next to you for those moments? Answer these five questions to see if you should upgrade your partner to life partner.
1) Do you want them there in the bad times?
Ok, you’ve heard this one before. But what does it *really* mean? Maybe you and your partner have already been through a tough time; how did it go? Was there yelling and personal attacks? Did you feel insulted and worthless at the end? Or did you resolve the conflict and make it out feeling proud of your communication skills? Did you grow from the experience? If you want a life partner you need someone who makes the good times good and the bad times easier.
2) Do you like the way they manage finances?
I know. Finances. How romantic! But seriously, a life partner also means a house-buying partner, a joint-account buddy, etc. Believe it or not, 20% of marriages end because of money. At first, money may not seem like a big deal, but once you and your partner get serious, it’s time to start thinking of your marriage like a business. Are your financial decisions adding value or joy to your life or debt and distress?
3) What are your immovable values? Does your partner agree (or at least respectfully disagree)?
Hey, Republicans and Democrats can be married. It’s happened before (just look at opposing politicians James Carville and Mary Matalin). You and your partner do not have to agree on EVERYTHING. But, on the things that matter most to you (your family, moral values, etc.) your partner and you should generally align, or else you will find yourself living in the infamous This is Us quote: “We’ve been having the same fight since we met;” sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?
4) Can you laugh together and often?
Yes sipping on wine and giggling with your partner while the sun sets is the carefree, partner fantasy that we all have; but your humor should run deeper than that. Can you and your partner use humor to turn a negative situation positive? Making light of the tough stuff in life will bring the morale of your relationship through the roof!
5) Write down your partner’s character traits. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Are you in love with the good ones? Can the bad ones be tolerated?
In the words of author Mark Manson, what kind of shit sandwich can you stomach? We already know life isn’t easy; whatever partner you pick for life is going to have flaws. But are their flaws deal-breakers or realities you can handle on a daily basis? Only you can answer that!