So you met a hottie on Tinder or at the bar. You’ve been seeing her for a few weeks now and are ready to change your Facebook status from “single” to “in a relationship.” But before you go jumping the gun, here are a few health factors to take into consideration.
1. Weight Gain
It’s a common belief that couples “let themselves go” after pairing off, and there may be something to it. According to a 2012 review, folks tend to gain weight after they’ve settled into a happy marriage or relationship. The fix? Ask your girl to hit the gym with you or cook healthy meals together rather than always eating out. You’ll get fitter and save a ton of cash.
2. Stress Levels
While regular physical intimacy reduces stress, disputes outside the bedroom can lead to more of it. Disagreements over money, jealousy and other issues can add a lot of anxiety to your life. Best solution? Transparency. Try to be honest about your problems, and ask her to as well. Open lines of communication can totally make a difference.
3. Sleep Woes
Sleeping next to your significant other can help you fully relax and embrace sleep. A huge exception to that rule, of course, is if your bedmate keeps you up by snoring, or by tossing and turning. A 2015 poll found that people were more likely to experience daytime fatigue and fitful sleep cycles if their partner was struggling with insomnia.
Stress, lack of sleep, and depression often go hand in hand. So it makes sense that your relationship can trigger depressive episodes in complex ways. Fraught relationships have been proven to dramatically increase the risk of clinical depression, especially if your partner has a tendency to be unfaithful.
5. Alcohol Abuse
Your romantic partner may be causing you to drink more than you normally would. One study, which followed more than 600 couples during the first four years of their marriage, concluded that people’s drinking habits tend to mirror those of their spouses. If your girl is a heavy drinker, you may fall into that pattern too.
Overall lesson? Be picky about whom you date, and if a relationship looks like it’s going south, get out or get the help you and her both need.