When a couple decides to move in together some believe it is an opportunity to get to know the other person and stave off divorce by testing their compatibility. That’s a lie and many people have bought into it.
Living together, you’ll learn whether or not he leaves the toilet seat up at night. You’ll learn if she squeezes the toothpaste from the bottom or the midsection. You’ll learn about his spending habits. You’ll learn whether or not she is a slob or a superb housekeeper. Learning about a person’s day-to-day habits and behaviors is important. However, you still may not know enough about the person to determine if you are ready to marry them. There are more important aspects to learn about a potential lifelong partner than their day-to-day routine.
Living together, you may get to experience her crying at night because she thinks someone doesn’t like her at work. You may get to watch him call in sick at least once a week. You may get to observe her horrible relationship with her mother and her binge-eating after the two talk once a week. You may get to witness him coming home drunk late at night after hanging out with his friends. However, there are still more important behaviors to learn.
How will you learn that he spends every night in the bathroom masturbating and watching pornography if he doesn’t want you to know?
How will you learn that she sneaks clothes into the house if she doesn’t want you to know?
How will you learn that she stops at the local bar to have 2-3 drinks before coming home if she doesn’t want you to know?
How will you learn about his three payday loans if he doesn’t want you to know?
How will you learn about his cocaine addiction if he doesn’t want you to know?
How will you learn about her flirting with her male co-worker if she doesn’t want you to know?
How do you get to know your future or current spouse? Listen, observe, and ask questions! Listen, observe, and ask questions! After you’ve listened, observed, and asked questions, listen, observe, and ask more questions. You aren’t trying to incriminate. You’re listening to their words and the meaning given to their words. You’re observing whether their words match their actions. You’re asking questions to clarify confusing words and actions to learn about the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with.
I hear you saying but if a person wants to hide their true self, they can hide for a long time. You’re right! If a person doesn’t want you to know them, they can hide. However, fake people can only hide for a while. I’ve heard it said that a fake person shows themselves more authentically after 3 years. Since you can only control yourself, I encourage you to be your true self. Listen to them. Observe them. Ask questions of them. Ask follow up questions. Compare their behaviors and their words and ask more questions.
Example questions to ask:
Tell me about a time when you didn’t have enough money to cover your monthly bills.
Tell me about the time you decided to get a second plastic surgery.
Tell me about the time when you cheated on someone you were dating?
Why do you think you haven’t been in a long term relationship in the past two years?
Tell me about your family’s daily routine when you were a child. What did you enjoy?
Tell me about a time when you and your best friend argued.
Regardless of the reason why couples live together until you meet the real, real, person, you’re living with, you’ll never know whether or not you are compatible. You could spend years integrating your life with a person, you would otherwise choose not to be in a relationship with.
If you need help starting the learning conversation with your significant other, it is a good time to seek help before you take any other steps in your relationship. Let us help you introduce yourselves to each other and hopefully you’ll say…. “It’s so nice to meet you.”