Finding The One may feel like fate, and in many ways, it is. Perhaps the meeting was serendipitous, and it feels like sparks are flying every time you hang out. But getting to know your partner well enough to take the next step is something you cannot leave to chance.

Knowing the newest things that make your better half smile, or what she hopes to achieve at work or home in the next few years, will put you firmly in her corner. Even more importantly, knowing how your partner deals with conflict will also go a long way in preventing disagreements from blowing up in a long-term relationship.

So, take the time to find out these five important things about your other half. You’ll thank us when you decide it’s time to take your relationship to the next phase!

Family and friends

That saying about how the people you surround yourself with influences your behaviour and personality holds much wisdom, so it is important for you to get to know the key people in your other half’s life, family and friends alike. These are the people who are important in his life, which means they will eventually be a part of your relationship. This may even shed some light on and provide context to certain behaviours and ways of thinking, which will help you understand your partner much better.

Likes and dislikes

People don’t stay the same, so you need to stay up to date with your partner’s likes and dislikes to keep your relationship going strong. She may start the relationship not liking durians, but grow to like them as you spend more time together, or her favourite flower may change with the seasons. Knowing her latest likes and dislikes is a big win for your relationship and sets the stage for a healthy, happy relationship in the years to come.

Hopes and dreams

This sounds like a no-brainer but talking about each other's hopes and dreams is something you should do with your partner if you envision a future with him. Whether it's pursuing a postgraduate degree, having a big family, or acquiring a new skill - you’ll end up playing an instrumental role in whether he attains them or not in the future, as his cherished better half.

Love language

Do you buy gifts for your significant other to show your love? Or do you offer to pack lunch for her to bring to work? These are love languages. Gifting, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, and physical touch are the five different love languages, and knowing how your partner shows his love and likes to be shown he is loved will help you communicate better and manage expectations all-round.

Conflict resolution style

Not everyone resolves arguments the same way. For some, it may be instinctive to face the conflict head on, while others may withdraw completely. Conflicts are part and parcel of every relationship, so knowing how your partner resolves them is crucial when planning to take the next step together. It could make all the difference in escalating disagreements, or resolving the argument peacefully.

If you know in your bones that your partner is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with and you now want to take the next step in your relationship–a marriage preparation programme can help set the stage right. Our Prevention and Relationship Education Programme (PREP) workshop teaches young couples cognitive-based communication and conflict resolution skills, to keep the relationship fun and healthy through the vicissitudes of life together.