Dating mate selection and living together
Also, if your relationship is moving toward marriage, take some time to clarify expectations about marriage, family, and life. If you are not sure what to talk through, my colleagues and I have chapters on expectations in most of our books, including a detailed list of topics to talk through (e.g., here and here). If you see evidence of controlling or abusive behavior, or serious substance use problems, don’t move blindly ahead hoping things will work out. If you have trusted friends or family, listen to them about concerns they see in the person you are dating. Personality and compatibility: A prospective analysis of marital stability and marital satisfaction.
And don’t move in together to test such a relationship. Avoid situations where you might fall for someone prior to determining these things. But even with static risk factors, there is good news. Those seemingly unchangeable risk factors are believed to have their impact on your present life through other dimensions that are dynamic. No one can go back and change the history of their parents’ marriage.