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10 Things to Know Before You Say “I Do” to Lifetime Commitment

10 Things to Know Before You Say “I Do” to Lifetime Commitment

If you are considering the lifetime commitment of marriage, or if you are already engaged and have your special date set, you will want to know these 10 pieces of advice. Before my wife and I said “I Do” fifteen years ago, we ignored most of the advice experienced couples gave us. These 10 things will save you and your spouse a great deal of heartache if you will put them to work. Below are the 10 things married people want you to know before saying “I Do”:

1. Live Your Life as a Single Person, First

Face the facts, you need to enjoy your life while you are single. This is a time in your life when you should take time to travel, explore, find your place in the workforce, and work out your individual kinks. Know yourself before you try to know someone else.

2. Get Financially Sound

One of the worst things you could do to your future spouse is bringing a heavy load of debt into the marriage. Worse than this would be bringing bad financial habits into your marriage. There are tons of resources available with great information to help you grasp the importance of being financially sound. Don’t bring unnecessary burdens into your marriage.

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3. Realize People Change

This one is tough to understand until you have been there and it especially applies if you are saying “I Do” at a young age. People change because of life’s circumstances, events, and other influences. Just know, your spouse, even yourself, will change over time. The key to success in your marriage is knowing ahead of time you will need to be able to adapt to a changing spouse, and a changing you, over the years.

4. Get Your Priorities in Line

If you are accustomed to hanging out with the guys six nights a week or hanging out with the girls in clubs on the weekend, it is time to change your priorities. If you think you can put yourself in these positions after saying “I Do”, you are setting yourself up for a failed relationship. Understand this; I am not saying you can no longer have fun, but you must respect your spouse when you take your vows. You should communicate your priorities well before setting a date for the big day.

5. Communicate with Your (Future) Spouse

This is the life blood of your relationship. Over the past fifteen years, my wife and I have had our share of conflict, with the majority of conflicts being caused by the lack of communication or miscommunication. Be intentional and deliberate when communicating with your spouse. This could be as simple as calling your spouse to let him/her know you are going to be late for work, always give an estimated time of arrival.

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6. Respect Your Spouse

This should be in all bold, italicized, and all caps. Maybe you should consider having it tattooed across both arms and your chest. Respect in a relationship determines how severe, and how often, conflict will be in your relationship. Learn to respect yourself. When you can respect yourself, you can adequately respect your future spouse. Respect is simply this: Considering the feelings and needs of another over your own.

7. Never, Ever, Quit

Don’t go into your marriage thinking ahead of time, “If he/she does this, I am out”. You must be open to forgiveness from the start. Regardless. No, I am not suggesting you tolerate any type of physical, mental, or verbal abuse, but, beyond these issues, learn to forgive. After marrying my wife at the age of eighteen, I packed my stuff and threatened to leave multiple times the first year. Show commitment to your future spouse. Don’t threaten to leave. Don’t mention leaving. Be committed. Never quit.

8. Make Sure You Can’t Live Without Him/Her

Listen, if you date casually now and if you can go days without talking to him/her, you should reconsider your plans to marry. Marriage is a covenant between two people who are best friends, first. Best friends talk. They have conflicts, but they are fair about dealing with conflict. Think about this: If your spouse disappeared from your life today, how would you respond?

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Reality is none of us are promised tomorrow. I know, stop with the depressing talk. This is reality, and once all the parties and celebrations are over, reality hits you between the eyes like a baseball thrown at 95 MPH. If you two aren’t even friends now, maybe you should consider your decision: marriage is a commitment for life.

9. Be Prepared to Give 100%

You have heard the cute little saying, “marriage is 50/50”, right? Well, that’s crap. It is not 50/50, in fact, it is more like, you give all you have and your spouse gives all they have, plus some. Marriage will chew you up and spit you out if you go into it thinking you can get by with giving half an effort. It does not work that way.

10. Never Stop Dating

Do you remember the very first time you and your spouse, or future spouse, went on a date? Do you recall how your heart was beating out of your chest at some point during this date? Often times after the vows are exchanged, us men especially, tend to sit back on cruise control. Don’t do this! Celebrate her! Celebrate him!

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Pursue your lover like he/she is still considering spending their life with you. When you love, respect, and pursue your spouse, you will reap unending rewards. Yes, guys, sometimes this means sex. To men, be men. Your wife wants someone to lead the way. Lead her by loving her, respecting her, and never, ever, stop pursuing her.

Featured photo credit: NGDPhotoworks via pixabay.com

More by this author

J. A. Davis

Founder & Owner of Enlivify Total Solutions, LLC

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Last Updated on October 17, 2019

How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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1. Recognize the Signs

If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

Some telltale signs include:

  • You’re always on your phones.
  • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
  • You aren’t together during important events.
  • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
  • You don’t make plans or date nights.
  • You’re not happy.

If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

2. Try New Things Together

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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5. Cook Meals Together

Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

6. Have a Regular Date Night

Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

  • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
  • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
  • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
  • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
  • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
  • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
  • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

Final Thoughts

The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

  • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
  • Lowers divorce rates
  • Improves communication
  • Reduces marital boredom
  • Bonds couples closer
  • Improves friendship
  • Boosts health
  • Reduces stress

These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

Reference

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