Where you want to live is huge… what happens if a spouse gets the chance at a dream job somewhere? What happens if you want to move away from or closer to family? What does each person ideally want near them as far as big cities, open countries, oceans, hiking, fishing…? Again, we lucked out with family, but how will issues with relatives, especially elderly, disabled, troubled, etc.
Is there a potential a parent or sibling would need care in the future from one of us? Vacations… this sounds silly, but people can have very different ideas of what they want to do with down time… You would probably have to pay me to spend a day at Disney, yet some people love it. Carrying over into the family section, are we going to be enjoying our time off, or traveling to visit family often that one of us may not enjoy seeing?
How are we going to handle household duties? On that subject, and financially, what will we eat and how often will it be out versus at home? Will you agree not to try and make me eat tofu instead of steak if you go vegan? Are we going to hold each other accountable and support healthy eating habits and some sort of exercise, or are we going to be lazy, gain a combined lbs, and end up getting diabetes and hip replacement together at 40? Sexual Preferences and Orientation You must establish your sexual preferences before getting married.
No lies here. Major differences are possible red flags in marriage. This involves principles, culture and choice of lifestyle.
See a Problem?
If you want kids and are open to having many, be cautious of a pro-choice partner. I mean, know before you dive at least so you can adjust your expectations. Religion I agree there is always a middle ground but when you have kids this can be complex. Freedom of religion is true, but since you will be living under one roof this is a challenge.
Think about crucifix, pentagram, fasting and other wives. Stability Not much of a question if you are in for a life of hunting and gathering or a person with great survival skills. Is too gullible to strangers? Experience is the best teacher and there is always a first for everything… but if you want a longer life and not die of poisoning or some freak accident at least know half of the basics before thinking of getting married. Be wary of people who keeps on saying excuses…at least try right?
I had clients who got married in Sept and are already divorced because he was a staunch Republican Trump supporter and she was a free-spirited liberal Bernie or bust. Also, I would say religion. What habits, experiences or events led to any noteworthy problems in the past? Were they one-offs, or were they repeated?
Aside from issues that are directly money-related, questionable relationships need to be examined. Are there crazy exes who pop up every years? This is one of the most commonly-avoided topics in long-term relationships prior to marriage. On our first trip, we skimmed or way through Italy, taking buses and trains and being to lug our luggage around.
I wanted to know how she reached to the stress, as I have always been a person who gets to the airport 3 hours early. It was important to me to see how she handled it and the decisions that she made because there are always going to be times when you both are under tremendous pressure. My husband is terrible at remembering to pay bills so I took that over. How much will you save each month? We have very opposing philosophies on it.
I strongly encourage you to have separate credit cards. Feel free to have a third just for household expenses like utilities. Set a limit on how much either person can spend without the other knowing until after the purchase. Set a budget for how much money you can spend on fun stuff like eating out, movies, etc. Set goals. For example, we paid off both our cars. We talked about how to achieve that and we did that before paying off his student loans. Now we are actively building an emergency fund that is much bigger than what we had before. How big do you want yours to be?
Vacation fund? Do you want one? When do you plan to start? Can you afford it? Child Care is expensive. Find out all the costs first. Maybe you have a dream to get a degree down the road. Maybe he wants to fix up a car. I had no idea that my husband wanted a workshop until we finally started making good money. But I know he would have written that down had we done that simple exercise. Goals and dreams take planning, combined efforts, time and money. These things have to be discussed many times and at length. Sex… How often do you each want it?
We can say we need a break to cool off and walk away for a while or sleep on it. Pets… Do you want any? What types? Your spouse or significant other is your partner in living your dream and vice versa. Work together to make it happen! Where do you want to live? Also discuss if you want to rent or buy. I know a lot of millennials want to rent and live in the city. Luckily my wife also agrees.
Finances both short and long term. Do you want to own a house? Do you want to rent and invest money?
Do you want to rent and just blow all your money? Do you want children in the near future? How many would you find ideal, and when? But I wanna advance in my career so I can provide my family with a steady income in their own house. So no kids for a few years. Wife was kind of bummed about this, but I made my case and she understands. For the record, I really want kids but I wanna give them my full attention without having to worry about finances.
What do you want in life? Do you wanna be a great parent? Or perhaps you want to travel with your spouse for a few years before settling down. Maybe you want kids but your main aspiration is making a large impact on the world. Maybe you really wanna excel in your career. Discussions are essential. Planning is essential.
Marriages go through ups and downs. You absolutely need a plan for when things get rough. Decide at what point you, as a couple, will agree to marriage counseling and how to communicate this to your spouse. Decide how you handle conflict. No sarcasm for the love of God, no sarcasm.
Are you okay having a close friend that you can confide it and are you okay with your spouse having the same? Or should all problems be resolved directly with your spouse. I speak from a failed marriage.
I wish we had dealt with these things. Read The Five Love Languages , he told us. Then she did none of them, not even the two I identified. I read the descriptions of these and see how her behaviors fit so many of the traits. Lack of empathy. Inability to control emotions. The need to be the center of attention. Imagining relationships are more intimate than they really are. Thank God. Unable to come to a trustworthy conclusion, the brain person becomes a Paralyzed Pre-Marriage Relationship Person.
Until you die, until your partner dies, or until your partner breaks up with you. Maybe if you wait for a while, your fear of being single at 36 will overpower your dedication to rationality? For example:. An overly-broad, one-size-fits-all litmus test is a bad litmus test.
This is the ‘perfect’ time to get engaged, according to experts | London Evening Standard
All these litmus tests tell you is that you A feel possessive, B feel attached, and C love the person. In most long relationships—good and bad—the people in them feel all three of these things. The only real information you learn with tests like these is that you are, in fact, in a relationship. That has never happened before in our species. Likewise, there are at least a few hundred million people in the world that match your sexual preference.
Only one of them is the best possible person for you. Step 1 Find out where your gut is leaning, using thought experiments. The gut is a real thing. And for our purposes here, your gut is the little kid in you who just wants one outcome more than the other. Gut people have good practice at communicating with their gut about important decisions. Exercises like these are best designed by you, for you, since only you know you.
But here are some ideas:. One kind of thought experiment creates a simulation in your head, which acts like a fishing fly, and our goal is to try to get the gut to be fooled by the simulation for a moment and jump at the bait, revealing what it really wants. Does that feel right? Step 2 Figure out what your deal-breakers are. And yet, certain charts map out happy couples and others do not.
Even though these charts show that there are many, many things we want from a relationship, our ability to be happy only depends on a small percentage of them.
Our relationship chart is like a happiness puzzle, and the items in the green and yellow zones are the pieces. Your deal-breakers are the things that, if not part of your relationship, will guarantee your unhappiness. Your must-haves—and your must-not-haves. Most real deal-breakers will be broad—e. The key with all of these is that there are very few. Your wants are important, but remember, the only people even eligible for the deal-breaker test are those who have already passed the gut test—plenty of your wants have already been taken care of in step 1 of our system.
Knowing your deal-breakers can help you know the right relationship when you see it, but it can also go a long way for anyone already in a relationship, because it lends insight into one of the trickiest aspects of a relationship: compromise. But another great way to be unhappy is to be too willing to compromise on your deal-breakers.
Because so many relationship problems boil down to one or both members treating non-deal-breakers like deal-breakers—or vice versa. But who knows. Whether it's tag-teaming a grocery list or assembling a particularly devilish piece of Ikea furniture, if there are moments when your dynamic duo could take on the world, this is a good sign.
Peak coupledom is all about teamwork and creative problem-solving. If you're always ready to save the day together, you can start thinking about save the dates.
The Marriage Decision: Everything Forever or Nothing Ever Again
Everyone effs up at some point, so if you're taking on forever with someone, you must have the ability to look that partner in the face and say, "My bad. Here's a tactful article on how to avoid a sorry excuse for a "sorry. If something in your kitchen catches on fire, the absolute worst thing to do would be running out of the house, right? If your romantic counterpart is avoiding difficult discussions or throwing out menacing ultimatums, that should sound some alarms. Marriage is about working as a team to put out the flames when they arise.
There's a reason firefighters are sexy. Speaking of fiery conversation topics Too many "crazy exes" might indicate the problem may actually lie with the accuser. Everyone loves to say that true love is effortless. That's bull.
4. You've Got More Than Your Significant Other on Your Side
Maybe the affection is easy at times and the wanting to work on your problems is natural, but the actual relationship work itself is just that—WORK. Make that distinction upfront, and be sure you and your partner don't have any delusions about " rainbows and butterflies. Now for some good news about the above-mentioned effort: It doesn't have to be exhausting all the time. An indication that you and your maybe!
Rather, it just says, "Hi, this thing reminded me of you and I care enough about making you smile to let you know. Oh, gross. We're talking about money. Alas, it's one of the top reasons couples report bickering with their partners. While you obviously don't have to be Bill Gates—rich to get married, you do have to be fiscally responsible as a pair, and that means being able to openly communicate about all your joint and personal MoneyMoves.
You never fancied yourself a fly fisher.