Princess movies teach us how to find true love and get married. The princess usually doesn't exactly plan on meeting the one she is going to marry, but when she does, he proposes and the next thing you know, they are married.
We grow up watching these movies and wait for the moment when "the next thing we know, we're married." However, it turns out that waking up one day and realizing you're in a new phase of the relationship might not be that healthy.
According to a study, Before "I Do," "Decisions matter. At times of important transitions, the process of making a decision sets up couples to make stronger commitments with better follow-through as they live them out."
We all want our relationships to last forever — it takes love, commitment and communication to make that happen.
Relationships go through various important milestones like getting engaged, getting married, moving in together and having children. According to the study, each transition has decisions that follow: whether to move in together before getting engaged or after getting married, whether to elope or have a wedding and whether or not to have children.
In each relationship how you make decisions is important. Are you discussing it together or are you just "sliding into it"?
"Couples should beware of sliding through major relationship milestones rather than making decisions about them," the study states. "Those milestones are critical for your future as an individual and as a couple."
Sliding into it may leave one of the partners unsure what it really means to the other. It leaves room for doubt and confusion because the decision was never actually made. Both of you will not feel fully committed because you never actually made the commitment. Without vocalizing the commitment, it's easy to leave the relationship and pretend it never happened.
It can be hard, and it will take planning. "For individuals, that means thinking carefully about what you want when it comes to romantic partners, sex, living together, and having children, and keeping these desires in mind as you navigate relationships," the study states. "For couples, deciding means taking the time to communicate and to make mutual decisions when something important is at stake."
Sometimes we don't want to be the one to start the conversation; however, taking the chance to discuss your relationship is actually one of the best things you can do for it (even if you have to be the one to start the conversation). Plan when you want to make those relationship milestones, and then talk to your sweetheart.
The study states that "couples who slide through their relationship transitions have poorer marital quality than those who make intentional decisions about major milestones."
"Couples who decide rather than slide are saying 'our relationship is important, so let's think about what we're doing here.'" Take the time to decide what's important to each of you. Listen to each other and respect the decisions made.
Your relationships are important. Although it sounds fun to one day wake up and be surprised at where you are at in life, you will be happier and more committed if you are making the decisions together.