There are a few things that will stretch a relationship's happiness zone-- how money is spent, style of living, basic morals and values, drinking drugging and sexual behavior. Important stuff, right?
But there lurks within, something so essential, the black and white of it all, the glue that will separate at the slightest variation of degree. And that's exactly what is at the crux of the union:
How do you both feel about degrees?
Warm, balmy degrees.
Invigorating blustery arctic degrees.
Degrees that require hermitude 300 days out of the year.
Splayed outside pretty close to bare nekkid for maximum square inch Vitamin D exposure degrees.
Before saying "Yeah, I could do this with this person for the next 60 years," there's a quiz that needs to be brought out for a topic of discussion.
Point blank out and ask each other: How Do You Feel About Weather?
If someone is bow-and-arrow-struck-determined-to-have-you-as-their-mate, they might worm around your question by answering, "I love it! I love weather!" To find out the environment they really pine for, though, toss this printed sheet at them. Look them in the eye, firmly point a sharpened No. 2 pencil at them, and stand cross-armed behind then, while you watch them scribble in the dots. Take special note of shifty-eyed, brow-wiping responses.
The Only Pre-Shacking-Up Quiz That Counts:
1. In the animal kingdom, how do you imagine yourself?
a. Look at me! I'm an elephant! Squirting water all over myself with my own hose because I can't take the heat. Is that a cool mud pool over there?
b. Sitting on this block of ice, with this snow flying in my face is my dream life and I am so happy I was born a polar bear. I can't feel my butt anymore and I love it.
c. Just give me a scorching rock and some blazing sun you could fry eggs under. I may get blisters and die but it feels so good because I'm a lizard.
2. When I think of spending time outdoors, I see myself:
a. Indoors in one of those perfectly calibrated sub-zero environments that let you be outside, but still be inside, so you don't have to be outside in that pesky heat.
b. Please tell me there's lots of snow to shovel! And frigid temperatures that leave my cheeks both burning and tingling like they're being stabbed with little ice picks! Please tell me!
c. Was that sizzle I just heard breakfast bacon frying or is my skin on fire? Aaaah, pass that Banana Boat Tan Accelerator 50 this way, please.
3. When considering placement of my SAD lamp, I:
a. Placement? I welded handles on that flippin' thing and carry it with me like it's my newborn baby.
b. I don't have one, but I think I know someone who has a cousin who needed one once that might still have it for me to borrow, if it ever happens that I have to get one.
c. What's a SAD lamp?
4. Cold weather makes me:
a. Grateful for the invigorating change of seasons.
b. Feel so alive!
c. Just bury my body there...
Total up your answers, and sit down for a discussion. Better to head problems off before you find yourselves at an impasse. If despite now knowing the truth, you still feel you can't live without each other, let me tell you: there's a lot of consolation that can be found while sitting under a pile of velour blankets that your partner carefully chose for you at Christmas in the middle of a sofa that your SO has tenderly placed right where you can catch the most midday sun, as he fetches you your third cup of hot cocoa sprinkled with mini marshmallows--just the way you like it.
There's also this--while you're in the bathroom crouching down next to the heater in there, smile as you think about what you're going to do tonight. It's what you do every night. Why let resentment build for having to live at this latitude and longitude--just *accidentally* let your ice slabs of feet slide right in between your lovely partner's cozy warm thighs. Oh, let's say, around 3;00 a.m.?
Love comes up with some divine payback.
* * *