YOU may think you know everything there is to know about your partner – but trust us, that all changes the second you move in together.
Because nothing puts your relationship to the test quite like different sleep schedules, a sink full of washing up or not being able to decide what to watch on TV.
So before you take the plunge and commit to settling down with that someone special, psychologist Dr Carmen Harra has shared the 15 questions that may save you a lot of heartbreak in the long-run.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, the author of Committed: Finding Love and Loyalty Through the Seven Archetypes said the first thing you have to do is try and picture your future together.
Do you see yourself being with this person for five years? 10? Even 20?
The expert says being truly honest with yourself when answering this question will expose any particular traits you may be in denial about.
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She said: "If your partner possesses serious character flaws – like addiction of any form, abusive tendencies, or pathological lying – you may not be able to see a future by their side."
What's more, Dr Harra urged people to look at their partner's attitude towards family – i.e. do they see them as a priority and have they ever worked through a rift with a loved one?
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She explained: "The way in which a person tends to their family speaks volumes about the way they will treat you if and when you become a part of their household."
It goes without saying that there's no such thing as a perfect relationship – so is your partner open to compromise?
Because if they're not, Dr Harra says you're heading for a life of always backing down or reaching a "dead end" in your relationship.
If you've been in a relationship for a good few years, then you probably do have similar interests – but do you have compatible beliefs and goals?
The 15 Questions to Ask:
- What does your future look like?
- Is family a priority for your partner?
- Can you compromise?
- Do you share the same beliefs?
- Are you emotionally intimate as well as physically intimate?
- What emotions does your partner trigger for you?
- Do you trust them?
- Do you need them in your life?
- How do they compare to previous partners?
- Can you tolerate their weaknesses?
- Does your partner make an effort to improve?
- Do you have an 'us against the world mentality'?
- Do you still learn from them?
- Are they generous?
- Are you expecting miracles?
The expert says it's important to have this difficult conversation now – otherwise you'll find out later down the line that one of you may want to go travelling while the other is desperate for a baby.
There's no denying that physical intimacy is integral to a relationship – but the expert says the emotional kind often gets overlooked.
"Does this person just 'get' you without you having to explain yourself? If you weren’t feeling well, would they know what to bring you before you even asked?" Dr Harra added: "Being emotionally intimate with another person means understanding him or her without effort."
Now this is a tricky one – as part of her 15-part guide, Dr Harra says to look at your partner and really consider what emotions they trigger.
If they make you worried or anxious, then it's probably not a stable relationship.
She added: "Remember that the greatest gift anyone can give you is peace of mind."
Remember that the greatest gift anyone can give you is peace of mind
Elsewhere, the expert highlighted that you must also feel able to accept your partner's weaknesses but also know that you'll continue to learn from them and grow in your relationship.
Finally, Dr Harra said it's integral to ask if you're expecting miracles in your relationship – and it's a good thing if you do.
"When a person is the one for you, you instinctively feel that beautiful things are bound to happen," the expert said.
For more relationship stories, this bride ordered all her wedding guests photo albums to remember the day – but she's fuming over what the company put inside.
And this woman thought she'd successfully sneaked a guy into my room on New Years Eve – then her mum sent the most MORTIFYING text.
Plus this woman has given up work at 23 – her fiance, 57, says she's too pretty anyway & gives her presents all year-round.
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