There comes a point in our lives where we (well, all right, some of us) eventually have to say goodbye to our fun old bachelor/ette ways and say hello to the brave new world of marriage. We have to use the time we have in the best possible way before we step into this commitment, so that we may be well prepared, and more importantly, honest in our intentions. We are not talking about the things all the boys and girls should do to settle those teenagers within before they say “I do”. No, the things we will discuss are things long-term couples should do together to strengthen their relationship and step into marriage without any doubt, as two souls entwined, not as strangers.

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And by the “huge fight” we don’t mean passionate disputes over whose favourite team is better. We mean that dramatic make it or break it fight. If you can handle this stressful event horizon, if you walk through the storm together, you can bet you’ll deal with anything else that comes your way. No matter how ideal your relationship looks, life will throw some nasty curve balls at you and knowing how to dodge and save your partner can save your marriage eventually.

Live together

This way you will be more accustomed to the new situation and make the whole transition seamless. Once your partner starts spending time at your apartment, it’ll take no more than a few sleepovers to until you start sharing a life; consciously or not. Although it might raise some brows in prudish environments, pre-marital joint living is the most beneficial experience for lovers young and old to discover and fall in love with their partner’s little flaws.

Travel together

Once you start living together it would be nice to leave the comfort zone of your apartment and usual social circles and travel abroad, be it for some exciting match, or a more elaborate vacation. This way, aside from the sheer satisfaction you get from life on the road, you will see how your partner faces unpredicted situations and how compatible a couple you actually are, even out of your zone.

Have an honest talk about the birds and bees

There is no way around it, what happens in bed is probably the second most important thing in any relationship and that’s the reason why absolute honesty regarding intercourse is much needed. Talk with your partner about what pleases him, mutually agree on some kind of contraception. Decide if, and when being a parent should become a part of your lives. Avoiding these important topics will only create unnecessary tension between you.

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Buy a pet

It is nothing like having a kid, but it is a step in the right direction. Taking care of a living being and sharing that commitment with all of its hardships with the person you love will create a strong bond between you, and prepare you for the sleepless nights of parenthood in the best possible way, without actually including tiny human beings. Sharing a common responsibility and knowing how to work as a team is always a good sign of a strong and stable relationship.

As you can see, there is nothing new here. Just the usual couple stuff. Simply, enjoy your partner and use those precious moments together, and a Happily Ever After will deservedly come to you, too.

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