Today’s relationship milestones aren’t quite as cut and dry as they used to be. Sometimes, it can be hard to know how your relationship should progress. If your relationship has been stressful and time-tested and you are still going strong, it might be time to take it to the next level. Here are some steps you can take to move forward in your relationship.
Move in Together
For many serious couples, moving in together is the obvious next step. People feel the social expectation and choose to move in without really thinking it through. While moving in can help to solidify the relationship, you need to counsel together and make an informed, careful decision. First, make sure that your expectations are aligned. Studies show that, while women often see moving in as a precursor to marriage, men don’t necessarily see it the same way. Second, while moving in is not the same as marriage, it does have a lot of the same requirements to be successful. Make sure that you know each other well, that you can make it through the hard times, that you have similar visions, and that you are fully aligned—especially regarding finances, substance abuse, caring for a home, sex, and pets. Finally, because serious difficulties can arise when making the jump from dating to living together, you should talk about these issues before you move in.
Find Ways to Show Commitment
There are other ways to show commitment besides moving in or getting married. Share your feelings, give your loved-one a meaningful gift, go out of your way to serve them, and/or give them a promise ring. Promise rings are tangible symbols of your love and commitment. They are a special way of showing your loved one how much you value the relationship. And keep in mind, a promise ring can be offered by either person. Women giving men a promise ring is becoming increasingly common.
Marriage is a big step, but if you both feel sure that this is your person, it is an extremely powerful way to grow together, strengthen one another, and build a life that is centered in each other. Marriage has a host of benefits, including social, financial, emotional, and sexual. It also provides a secure environment for children to thrive. If you are in a stable, healthy, happy, unselfish, committed, and loving relationship, it might be time to make it forever.
Happy, committed relationships are truly golden. If you are blessed to be in one, show them how much you love them by taking the next step together, whatever it may be. That sense of progress will propel you both into a bright future at one another’s sides!
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