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In a city like New York it is often easy to make choices out of convenience and financial savings – we can get our groceries delivered and we no longer even have to hail down a cab. And sometimes we even choose to live with our significant others just to save on rent. We look at the factors – we live in the same city, we spend 3-4 nights a week together, we can save some money – why not live together? This type of decision making is called “sliding” as termed by Dr. Scott Stanley.

Dr. Stanley’s research focused on how a couple makes decisions impacts their commitment and happiness. His findings suggest that couples who make intentional decisions about major life transitions rather than going with the flow or “sliding” into decisions have happier marriages.

Some of the common major transitions include moving in together, getting married, and having children. These are all exciting and happy events and it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to move forward and forgetting to sit down and have a conversation with your partner about what it means and what your expectations are. Making time for these conversations can help promote healthy communication around potentially challenging topics and as Dr. Stanley found, have a positive impact on the longevity and happiness of the relationship.

So, rather than choosing to save on rent, decide to progress your relationship because you’ve talked with your partner and have set intentions for your future.