Relationships tend to move through a series of phases: there's the early stage when everything is new and thrilling and possibly just a little terrifying. There's a comfortable period of dating and becoming ever more entwined as you meet the parents, exchange keys, and say the three little words that make it all official. Of course, this is also the best time for figuring out whether any major dealbreakers exist that might derail the whole thing. If you emerge unscathed, it's because your partner is such a good match for you that you'd rather have them on their worst day than your best day as a singleton. That's a passport to the possibility of the really big milestones: marriage, kids, buying a house, mingling your finances, and more. Then, if you're lucky, you might just grow old together.
Of course, at each stage, it's pretty clear to any relationship expert around you where you are, if they have just a few minutes of your time and the chance to throw a few questions your way. Let us know a little about the way you two talk, how you make decisions, what you know about each other, and what your plans are, and we'll figure out just how far down the relationship road you are. Who knows, you might learn something about whether you're ready for the next step!
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