*Note: This is an article published on March 12, 2018 at Bolde.com. To view the article on this site, click here.
For better or worse, we often get gut feelings about the person we’re dating. We may not always listen to our gut, but it’s always trying to convey something to us and more often than not, it’s right. There’s no quicker way to get the message than by trying these things with your S.O.—these activities will either bond you stronger than ever or make it clear that you’re not meant to be together at all.
1. PLAYING A SPORT No team can properly function without trust and communication. How your significant other treats you while playing a sport together can be an indicator of how they’ll treat the relationship. If during your casual outing to play basketball, they’re constantly hogging the ball, getting overly competitive, and running over you to score points, they may not be the person you want on your team. Sports can bring out an ugly side in people, but it can also be a fun way to connect with your partner as long as they value teamwork.
2. READING A BOOK TOGETHER Reading the same book can be a phenomenal bonding experience. Getting lost in a world of colorful characters is often a much-needed escape from reality and allows you to share your thoughts about something other than your annoying coworker or who cut you off in traffic. Reading the same book as your partner allows you to share your opinions with each other and connect. No person reads a book the same way and what we gain from literature often varies as well, allowing you to gain insight from what your partner experienced.
3. GETTING LOST ON VACATION Although a vacation is supposed to be a relaxing time to recuperate from everyday life, traveling is and always will be a stressful experience (at least at some point during the trip). This is especially true when you get lost during a vacation with your partner. They may want to travel off the beaten path while you want to follow your glitchy maps app that asks you to turn around every few steps. How you handle this and the argument that’s sure to ensue may clue you in on if this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life (or at least the foreseeable future) getting lost with.
4. EXERCISING TOGETHER There are many reasons to exercise with your partner, from having someone help keep you on top of your goals to having someone who can spot you while you tone your arms. However, the most important reason just may be linked to the endorphins that are released while you’re working out. According to Bustle, studies have shown that exercising alongside your partner will help you feel more positive towards them and increase romantic feelings. We all know that pushing yourself to your limit causes you to pour buckets of sweat rather than glisten, so if they can’t handle you with no makeup and armpit stains, then they don’t deserve you.
5. BABYSITTING FOR FRIENDS OR FAMILY A surefire way to discover if this is the person you can imagine spending your life and potentially have children with is to babysit with them for your friends and family. You’ll be able to see how they react to moody children and if they have any decent parental instincts.
6. COOKING A MEAL TOGETHER Cooking for your partner is an intimate gesture, but cooking together is a fun way to bond. Pop a bottle of something strong and get creative in the kitchen with your significant other. Neither of you has to be master chefs, but it will help you learn how to divide up responsibilities and your partner’s tastes.
7. ASKING THESE 36 QUESTIONS According to the New York Times, there’s a study by psychologist Arthur Aron that uses vulnerability to stimulate closeness with a series of 36 questions. Be warned, these questions are personal and broken into three sets where each is more intimate than the last.
8. DECORATING YOUR SPACE People tend to be picky about the kind of space they live in and are usually particular about the way it’s decorated. This isn’t simply a female thing considering men recusing themselves in man-caves decorated with posters and novelty swords isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. Decorating your home or even one room can be an exciting way to step-up your relationship status, but it can also be a tense time between a couple deciding what should stay and what goes.
9. JUGGLING FAMILY OBLIGATIONS There’s nothing couples dread more than the holidays where you no longer have only one family to plan your schedule around. Attending holidays, weddings and other events may be an exciting time to show off your S.O., but it also may be days of hearing, “Do I have to go?”
10. CLEANING TOGETHER Here’s the moment to discover whether they’re someone you can rely on to pick up after themselves and help around the house or if you’d be the designated housemaid if you were to live together. Couples who clean together are much happier together. If you’re supposed to be sharing chores but all they’ve managed to do is flip through Netflix, this isn’t going to be a relationship that equally takes on responsibilities. If that’s the case, move on.