If your relationship with your S.O. is getting serious, you’re probably thinking about things like sharing finances and putting a ring on it. Sharing a life with someone is a big deal, and there are tons of factors to consider — but the biggest one is raising a child together. Trying to conceive or adopt with someone is a huge decision, and it’s worth thinking about ahead of time.
Certified psychoanalyst Claudia Luiz believes that the way a person reacts to conflict in the present can say a lot about the way they’ll handle parenthood in the future. “Perhaps the best thing to look for in a potential partner is whether that person can listen and stay present with feelings, even if they’re challenging,” she shares. “That level of groundedness and patience, when a person shows themself to be generally nurturing, says it all as far as their potential to be a strong parent.”
Luiz points out that people are nurturing in totally different ways and how they nurture you now is a great prediction of how they will nurture children. Whether through physically providing or emotionally being present, these traits won’t change with parenthood.
Yue Xu, dating expert and co-host of the Date/able podcast, has interviewed many single parents about the qualities they look for in a partner. One trick she recommends is chatting with your boo about their friends who already have kids while paying close attention to what they say and how they say it. As Xu explains, there are two ways that these conversations will go down: Either your S.O. will talk about their friends’ kids in terms of the full life that having children entails, or they’ll describe those kids as a hindrance to having fun as an adult. This distinction will say a lot about the way your partner really feels about having children, with less chance that they’ll just be telling you what they think you want to hear.
No matter your bae’s nurturing style or view on children, no theory can absolutely predict what kind of parent they’ll be — or whether they even feel ready to raise a baby with you. When all else fails, sometimes the simplest tricks are best: Ask them!
What traits would you look for most in a co-parent? Let us know @BritandCo!
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