Love is a drug that intoxicates us. During the first few years of a relationship, when our brain experiences this drug’s effects, it’s almost impossible to evaluate our relationship rationally. Most couples experience the false-consensus effect — the tendency to think other people see things the same way we do.
The quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life, relationships are your story, write well, and edit often. ~ Esther Perel
When love and the false-consensus effect combine early in relationships, couples often fail to discuss important aspects of their future before deciding to get married. They assume they both want the same things without ever conﬁrming that, leading to unhappy endings. Before you decide to tie the knot, you can override the false-consensus effect by completing a series of self-reﬂection and partner activities. It is also crucial to make time to discuss topics like money, sex, religion, and children.
Developing a relationship that can evolve is the key to making it last. Don’t underestimate how much you’ll grow and change in the future, and you should seek out relationships where you can learn and grow together with your partner. Enter a relationship contract with your partner. A relationship contract is a non–legally binding, mutually agreed-upon document that helps couples create a shared vision for their relationship. Writing a relationship contract allows you to set the direction for your partnership and revise that vision over time. Also, take time out to have a check-in ritual with your spouse. A check-in ritual is a short conversation in which you and your partner discuss what’s on your mind. A weekly check-in ritual helps you deal with problems as they arise. The relationship contract helps you set the direction for your partnership, and the check-in ritual ensures that you keep it on track. Strong partnerships don’t appear by accident; they need attention, choice, and intentional love.