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Just imagine spending months with your partner and everything was going well. You felt like you were in the "honeymoon" period. Life was easy, you both loved each other and wanted to spend every day together. Fast forward a couple of months and you hit some speed bumps then a year later the speed bumps develop into mountains. You're always arguing with your partner, constantly falling out and it seems like you're drifting apart. Ever been in this position? Of course you have. Well I can assure you that's a simple explanation as to why this pattern occurs over and over again.
1. Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail
During the honeymoon period we sometimes fail to stop living in the moment and plan ahead. Of course, living in the moment is fun, but the failure to sit down and plan your future with your significant other can have very grave consequences. When you fail to plan, problems will arise and you'll have no idea how to solve them or even where to start. Sitting down and planning your future with your other half helps you to identify any potential problems that you may encounter. By talking about your future and setting out a plan you'll be able to see the differences you have and find a suitable compromise. Now you might be thinking "Why can't we just deal with these difference in opinions when we come across them?" That's a valid question because after all you can't plan out your whole future with your partner. However when troubles come, having a foundation of principles which you've established based on the compromises you've agreed to adhere to will mean that most issues will sort themselves out. To just tackle every issue when you come across it is a strategy for disaster, when the arguments pile up and there's been no discussion beforehand it leads to an enormous amount of tension and pressure.
2. Having the tough conversation will save your future.
Whether it be about kids, friends, family or habits, having those tough conversations relatively early on can save a lot of heartache in the future. Just picture you and your partner sitting down and having "that" conversation, scary picture to paint right? But the rewards for dealing with those hard questions early are worth it in the long run. To save a future argument that might spiral out of control, why don't you talk about that annoying habit she has? Or that weird friend he has that always makes you feel uneasy? How about that family member that always has something negative to say—yep there's always one isn't there? Why not speak about how you're going to deal with the issues so when they arrive you already know what to do? Planning your course of actions for tough situations also lets your partner know that you are in it for the long haul, that you're determined to make thing work. If your partner all of a sudden starts talking about how they can't wait to get a house with you and have those twin girls you've always wanted your first reaction would probably be happiness because they are indirectly saying that they want to be in your life forever.
3. The Dangers of Over-Planning
Yes it's good to plan your future and iron out the important decisions in life, but we have to be careful not to get into the habit of planning literally everything to the point that you're planning what you're going to eat for breakfast in the next year with your partner. Over-planning gets rid of the sense of adventure in a relationship so don't over do it. Just plan the fundamentals not the irrelevant small day to day decisions. Planning your future with the one you love should be focused on the BIG decisions like how many kids you want, what sort of friends you want to associate with as a couple, what your goals in life are and how that'll effect your relationship. These are just a few ideas to help.