No matter how long you've been with your significant other or how sure your heart feels, the very real commitment of getting legally hitched is a lot (even couples who tell you nothing changes after the wedding will admit that the can't-break-'em easily ties are nothing to joke about). And while no sure-fire test to judge a relationship exists, there is one situation that could help a lot of couples confirm that, yup, this is the person I want to be linked to forever.
Beyond the wonderfulness that comes with a pet, caring for and nurturing one can reveal a lot about a person—and specifically show off traits that you should be hunting for in a mate.
If you're talking engagement rings, you've likely already tackled a few responsibility-required moments: Who's going to drop off the rent check? Did one of you remember to pick up toilet paper? But a dog adds an entire new range of things you'll have to deal with, and the majority aren't as easy as swinging by the grocery store on your way home from work. Someone's going to need to go for a walk in crappy weather or handle a yelping puppy in the middle of the night. Watching how someone reacts to these sort of can't-ignore situations is telling about who they are, and you'll really learn how well you work together. Partner always too busy when it's time to go on a long walk in the cold? Warning bellsIt becomes super easy to see how big of a heart your partner has.
There's something about a helpless creature who's dependent on you to survive that really highlights a person's capacity for kindness. If you've always been on the receiving end of opened doors and carried bags, great, but do yourself a big favor before taking things to the next level and make sure that caring ability extends to another living thing. There's nothing like watching the person you want to commit your life to moving mountains to make sure a sweet furry little ball is content and safe. Conversely, if you find that a pet isn't being treated properly? Watch out.
A relationship sees its share of tricky, not-neat issues, but we're talking actual messy stuff here. Owning an animal involves cleaning up messes, accidents, and the like, and it's wise to know how your other half reacts. Trust: There are few things more trying than cleaning up after a pup who's not feeling well, whether that means urgently searching for carpet cleaner or washing a load of sheets somewhere around 3 A.M. Get through challenges like these together, and you'll feel equipped for whatever else life will eventually toss your way.
If you're planning on having children, you'll find no better prep than having a dog first. Your twosome instantly becomes a trio, and you'll start to see how it feels to function as a little family unit. And while even the world's best pet-owners will grumble some that a pet makes it nearly impossible to run off on a last-minute getaway or have a lazy weekend morning in bed, it's a gift to see how your relationship will fare when it stops being just about the two of you.
Here at Glamour HQ, we have our fair share of interesting guests. A celeb or two has been known to make an appearance in the office for an interview. Models can be seen strutting their stuff down the halls on a daily basis. But no one could predict that the office visitors who would cause the biggest stir on the 30th floor of One World Trade Center would be also be the tiniest: a trio of adorable puppies.
The pooches, who were born on Thanksgiving, are aptly named Tater (the blond one), Cranberry (the black one), and Pumpkin (the brown one), and they wasted no time in making Glamour their home away from home. And since our staffers were a little, uh, distracted, we must admit that the magazine- and website-making magic was put on hold for a moment or two. Honestly, though, totally worth it.