Check out any girly or guy magazine and you're bound to find articles that provide tips on how to make your relationship hot, exciting and "cheat-proof." The thing is, while some of these tips may help, the real test occurs when one of you is incapacitated in such a way—think recently laid off or badly injured in a car wreck—that you have no choice but to depend on your significant other. How you deal with that dependence may just be the ultimate relationship test.
Build a Strong Foundation
Sure, it's easy to get close with your sweetie in the beginning stages of your relationship. You go out on fun dates, spend hours on the phone or send cute text messages to each other. Then, when the newness starts to fade so does the ambition to stay connected with each other. What may come across as a peaceful co-existence of daily habits and regular routines could become a breeding ground for dangerous emotions like anger and resentment. Stay involved in each other's lives (and I don't mean simply venting after a bad day at work) and continue to communicate with each other even if everything seems honky dory. Without constant communication and involvement, you may find that the closeness or bond that you once shared is no longer there.
Give and Take
Another facet of a strong relationship is the notion of give and take. If you expect to get everything you want out of a relationship without caring for the wants and needs of your partner, then you're in trouble. Healthy relationships involve one dose of communication and one dose of compromise. Figure out what is important to your partner—whether it's hanging out with her parents for the day or supporting his desire to live a healthier lifestyle. This strategy not only ensure you don't end up eating pizza every night for dinner, it also strengthens your bond and shows your partner that you value their happiness. It also comes in handy should things take a turn for the worse in your relationship or lives.
For Better or Worse
Sometimes life doesn't go according to plan. Whether you are hit with a layoff or your sweetie is struck with a debilitating injury, it won't be too long before that little rain cloud above your head turns into a downright downpour. Imagine if up until this point you and your partner were living the kind of life where you do your thing and he/she does their thing. Now that person is solely dependent on you—whether its financially, emotionally or physically. Without a solid foundation, you or your sweetheart are bound to crack at some point in time. The added pressure, stress and responsibility is enough to drive anyone insane and, while being madly in love helps, it is the solid foundation that provides the most support during trying times. Even if you're not currently married, think about how you would feel if your mate depended solely on you for a week, month, year. If the thought scares you, then consider spending more time building your foundation.
If the thought of helping your sweetheart through whatever life throws your way doesn't give you the heebie jeebies, then congratulations, you've passed the ultimate relationship test.