When you’re up against a big life transition, like graduating from college or moving to a new city, some parts of your life will inevitably change. While your friends and family will always be there for you, navigating your relationship with a significant other during these times of change can be tough. Caitlin Bergstein, a Boston-based matchmaker with Three Day Rule, gave us some insight on when and when not to “factor someone in” when making big life decisions.

A couple has a conversation

According to Bergstein, there are four situations where it’s necessary or permissible to factor your significant other into your life.

1. You live together. “When you live with your significant other, you definitely want to consider and factor them into any major life decisions or events,” Bergstein says. “Most of the time, these decisions will have a direct impact on them anyway — so make that decision together so they don’t ultimately resent you for it.”

2. You expect them to be in the next chapter. There’s a simple question you can ask yourself to see if this is true: When you picture your future, is your partner in it? If the answer is yes, you’ll probably want to start making decisions that allow that to happen. 

3. You know you’d give up an opportunity for them. Forgoing career opportunities for the sake of love can be scary, but if it’s something you know you’d hypothetically do, you’re in a place where including your S.O. in future decisions is a good idea, Bergstein tells us. “When you’re faced with a big decision or opportunity, think about what’s more important to you: moving forward for yourself or moving forward with your S.O.,” she says. “Discovering the underlying answer will help you figure out whether or not you need to factor them in.”

4. You’d want them to factor you in. If the situation were reversed, what would you want your partner to do? Bergstein says that asking yourself this question is a great litmus test for how you should proceed.

These cases where you should factor your partner into big decisions are important to consider. However, it’s equally important to understand when NOT to include your current bae in future-oriented planning. 

1. You’re unsure of where the relationship is going. All relationships are unique and follow unique timelines, but Bergstein cautions against factoring someone into your life if your relationship is brand new, or if you two aren’t serious quite yet.

2. Your gut tells you not to. “I’m a big believer in trusting and following your gut — so if, for whatever reason, your gut is screaming at you to not include your S.O., you probably shouldn’t,” Bergstein says. “If this is the case, do some deep soul searching to figure out why.”

3. Your relationship isn’t the future you’re looking for. A wonderful relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that person is the one you should build your life around, Bergstein says. Consider the qualities that are important to you in a future partner, and if your current boo just doesn’t add up, you can feel more confident moving forward on your own.

How do you and your partner make life decisions together? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)