In my opinion, there are three things you should do with any prospective mate before becoming exclusive:
- Muddle through an illness
- Go on vacation
- Have a really big fight
Sounds like a bad sitcom plot, but there you have it.
Number one, muddle through an illness. This will give you great insight into how he will handle your bout with a virus, and how much of a baby he is when he gets the sniffles. I learned this with Husband #1, who couldn’t stomach my dire battle with the flu one winter. The guy wouldn’t even hold my hair out of the way while I was throwing up. He would just point and say something like, “uh, you got something (gag) there”. Come on, I was DYING. Help a girl out and just hold my ponytail up for me as I worship the Porcelain God. But if he had the slightest cough, it was time to rub Vicks on his chest and sing “Soft Kitty” ala Sheldon Cooper.
Number two, go on vacation. I get it, we all have goo-goo eyes about how we think things will happen. Until reality strikes. People get sunburned, tours aren’t as exciting as they sound, and you’re spending time with someone who may never have shared a bathroom counter before. If the stresses of planning a vacay don’t reveal cracks in your relationship, then the 3rd straight rainy day in a beach house certainly will.
Item number three, have a really big fight. Doesn’t even matter what the subject is, just haul out the big guns and see what happens. Now, after going through a divorce and a failed relationship, we all think we’re more “evolved” and can handle conflict better, but the truth of the matter is we will revert to our elementary school fighting ways when push comes to shove. This is an opportunity to see how the two of you will fight with each other. Will it be fair? Probably not. Gauge how you two handle each other when you’re not blowing kisses across the table at the Italian restaurant. And, maybe if you’re lucky, you can also try out the make-up sex.
It’s easy to love someone with no outside pressures. Give these scenarios a go and see how the real man reacts.
Now I’m off to eat a cough drop. I think I feel ebola coming on…