People are always looking for a way to know for sure if the person they're with is "The One," but what if there were signs all along, you just never knew what to look for?
Recently, Reddit user u/pizzalover_13 asked, "What are the small things to consider before marrying someone that most people usually ignore?" Here are some small tips from people that could make a huge difference:
1. "Getting along with the partner's parents. I feel like that is a major one that gets overlooked."
"My in-laws treated me like an outsider throughout my 18-year marriage. It made me feel like I was not part of the family I married into, and there was very little support for us. They would give excuses for us not to visit them, and I have no idea why to this day."
2. "Has your partner ever apologized to you, or do they have to 'win' every argument? No one is right all the time, and if either of you can’t admit wrongness or bend at all, that’s a terrible sign for your future."
3. "Your partner's relationship with money and finances."
4. "Their everyday reaction to your presence. Do they look up at you when you enter a room? Do they smile, or do they ignore you? Because I’m telling you, 10 years of being ignored DRAINS your soul."
5. "How do you each like to spend your downtime, as in, the time when you're not working, sleeping, or out? Do you share hobbies like the same types of shows or movies? Or do one of you love to read in the dead quiet while the other loves to do needlecrafts while they blast music? It's important to make sure that you can comfortably just coexist together. It doesn't sound like a big thing, but it'll become one really quickly if the way one of you enjoys downtime prevents the other partner from enjoying theirs."
6. "Don’t marry someone until you’ve seen them stressed, or until your relationship has been stressed."
"I knew that my husband was The One when our car got stuck in a snowstorm and we both worked together really well to problem solve and get out of it. In my previous relationship, it somehow would have been my fault, and we wouldn’t have gotten the car out until after a 30-minute scolding about how stupid or irresponsible I was."
7. "My policy is to reach out to at least a couple of exes, always. I created this policy after falling for the 'all of my exes were crazy' thing. In my case, he had major, major issues, and the consequences for me were significant. Toward the end of the relationship, talking to his exes was eye-opening and gave me the final push I needed to leave."
8. "Travel together for at least a week. I know 'travel' may sound big as it requires some considerable amount of planning and finance to set up, but hear me out. A quick way to gauge all of the small things that could be considered before deciding to commit with someone is to share personal space in a place that is outside both of your comfort zones. A holiday is different than cohabiting because you'd both be away from familiar personal things and routines, which kind of forces both of you to 'unmask.'"
10. "As someone who does couples counseling: Kids and parenting. Kids are literally small things that get overlooked in the discussion. You would be amazed, then confused by the frequency in which people get married and simply don’t discuss whether or not to have kids or who assume the other will 'change their mind' once they're married."
11. "Small things aren’t typically dealbreakers if you’re willing to make it work, but consider something like chore preferences; hopefully, you can cover each other’s gaps."
"One of the most useful 'homework' assignments that my husband and I had in pre-marital counseling was to assign who would do what chores after we got married. It solved a lot of issues before we even got to our wedding day!"
12. "The cleanliness of the person's house. If you feel the urge to wipe counters and pick things up while you're over there, do you want to spend the rest of your life picking up after this person?"
13. "If they say 'hi' to your mom. I had an ex who pretty much ignored my mom when he came to visit. Now, whenever my current partner sees her, he gives her a big hug and asks how she is. It makes me feel so much better because I love my mom and am very close to her. A husband doesn't have to be all gushy, but he can at least say hello and acknowledge your mum's existence."
14. "Dealing with your partner's energy level. I am very high energy, and my partner is very low energy, and it can get really frustrating. I double down during stressful times by working harder and putting more into the project, and he becomes the walking dead and only wants to eat sugar and sleep, and that can be really relationship damaging (both ways)."
15. "Whether marriage is necessary in the first place. Is this about being together or an economic, political union? Sometimes, marriage benefits become important, but not everybody needs it in their life. Focus on having a functioning relationship for several years, then consider whether you need to get that in writing."
16. "Are they able to maintain friendships? This is a big one for me. It's not the quantity, but the quality. For example, my sister can make friends, but after she feels comfortable enough to show her true self, all relationships, platonic and romantic, end up with a breakup. She always claims there's something the other party did wrong."
17. "How they treat strangers — like waiters, customers, taxi drivers, etc. It says a lot about their character."
18. "How your partner speaks to his mother. I feel that how a man talks to his mother reveals a lot about how he feels about women in general. I’m talking about a relationship where the mother is not an evil that triggers tough emotions in her child and he reacts to her, but rather a neutrally 'positive' relationship with the parent."
19. "Honestly, this is probably a big thing but: Do you LIKE them? Do they LIKE you? In another universe, if a relationship were not on the table, would the two of you actually be friends? It shocks me how many people don’t seem to be in a 'yes' scenario to this one."
20. "One thing that caught me off guard after getting married — Why do you value your work? What are your feelings about PTO? My husband is the guy that never calls off work. I’ve seen him go to work straight from the hospital, once right after collapsing at home, and instead of taking a dying cat to the vet. Because work is his priority, I am the one that uses my PTO for emergencies in life. Sometimes, this might mean taking PTO to make him take his PTO to get to a doctor. Now there isn’t anything inherently right or wrong about his choice to prioritize work, but it makes it hard to see eye to eye about how we spend our PTO."
"Usually, I only get one or two weeks a year with him outside of weekends. I travel alone a few times a year to use the rest of my time and/or run errands throughout the year. You wouldn’t think these tendencies matter so much, but this is how you choose to spend your free time together and what your priorities are. But there's a positive note! After 17 years together, he’s taking more trips and time off with me. He’s realizing that our time together is limited, and he wants more of it."