Ah, the single life. You flit between carefree, independent, lonely and vulnerable. Maybe you're on the hunt for your soul mate. As you cycle through relationships, it's like shopping for the perfect pair of shoes: a great fit, comfy feel, sturdy sole and quality construction - but with a look you like, too.
Once you've found those "ideal shoes," or rather that perfect person for you, you commit to marriage. Then life goes on, status quo, right?
Life becomes different, for sure. And if you want your marriage to be a success, there are certain aspects of your swinging single days you need to leave behind.
A lingering glance or more-than-casual touch sends a strong message. "But that's just who I am," you reason. "That's my personality." Well, change. Flirting makes your spouse feel uncomfortable and sends a confusing message to the object of your flirtations.
Tread carefully with social media. It may be best to cut ties with your exes; or, at least, cut back on your communication. Never send messages that you know your spouse wouldn't feel comfortable with.
According to Deseret News, in 2012, it was reported that one-third of all divorce filings mentioned the word "Facebook." Relationships of three years or less with heavy Facebook use often resulted in cheating, breaking up or divorce. Be conservative with your "likes," and never Facebook chat with an old flame.
2. Venting about your better half
Your friends and mom have your ear, and all you want to do is complain about your sweetheart's annoying habits, but avoid the temptation to vent. It's a violation of trust.
It's quite normal to discover your spouse isn't the perfect prince or princess you thought you'd snared. Maybe he's a slob or she has gross habits. Unless your conflicts involve abuse or illegal activity (in which case you should tell someone), don't share them. Work out your differences with your spouse in a nice but direct manner.
Take Benjamin Franklin's advice. "Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterwards." Avoid picking out flaws.
Shopping or playing video games on your day off sounds fun, and you deserve a break from working. Just be sure to pitch in with the chores, too.
Your whole life now is about your spouse's happiness. Always be unselfish with your time and energy. Always try to make your spouse's life easier.
Depending on your financial goals and situation, it's typically best to open a joint bank account. Be a team, and use "our" more than "my." Your unselfish attitude will set the tone for your family life, including your children's attitudes and behavior.
4. Your old social life
All your single friends are hanging out this weekend and you're itching to go. At work, your favorite pal of the opposite sex invites you to lunch. There are many scenarios that you would have jumped at before marriage, but as a Mr. or Mrs., your life has changed.
Put your marriage on the pedestal it deserves. Don't be casual about your married status. Keep a fun social calendar, but do so as a couple.
5. Your parents' way of doing things
From your mother-in-law's recipe for potatoes to your mother's method of folding socks, it's time to compromise. Implement some of your in-laws' ways, but keep your own favorite customs too. Don't argue over whose way is best. Start your own traditions.
After you marry, don't look back. The old ways may beckon, but do everything in your power to make your marriage a quality, long-lasting, comfortable and successful relationship - just like that great pair of shoes.