When we fall in love, we can lose track of reality really easily. Before we know it, we’re accepting a marriage proposal, picking out China patterns, and we’re not even sure how we got to that point. Love, although grand, can make things seem a little hazy and even the sanest, most rational person in the world, can be caught up in it and find themselves walking down the aisle without really considering what it means to be married.
While whether or not you choose to get married is a personal decision, there are still some questions you may want to answer before you sign up for happily ever after.
1. Am I in it to win it?
Well, are you? While there are those who get married for a few weeks or months, then bail, are you sure you’re not going to be one of them? Yes, marriages come to an end and sometimes no one is to blame, but you need to go into thinking, or rather believing, that you won’t be a statistic — that you have the extra something that will survive everything that gets thrown at you.
2. Do we have a game plan for the future?
This isn’t just about avoiding becoming a statistic, but having a direction on which you can both agree. Will you move to the country in a couple years? How much will you be investing in a retirement fund? If one of you loses your job, are you prepared for that? And exactly where will you be spending Christmas every year? It’s important to have those answers ready to go early on, so you don’t have to stress about it later.
3. What is it about my partner that makes me want to be with them forever?
As much as “forever” is a scary word, the whole “until death do us part” thing definitely seals the deal and does essentially sign you up forever. If you have to stop and wonder what it is about your partner that makes you want to be with them forever, then you may want to hold off on marriage. Sometimes loving someone just isn’t reason enough.
4. Do we see the world the same way?
For some people sharing political views or religious values aren’t that important and even if they do differ, they’re still able to see the world the same way — with two different sets of eyes. You don’t have to be identical in your philosophies or convictions, but you should at least respect where you differ.
5. Is my wedding or my marriage more important?
As much as the wedding is an exciting event and probably one that you’ve dreamed of your whole life, the most important day is the day after the wedding. In other words, you shouldn’t be so focused on your wedding that you forget how important your marriage is. A wedding is just one day; a marriage, if you’re lucky, is for life.
6. Are we on the same page when it comes to kids?
Having seen too many couples split over this one, it’s definitely something that absolutely needs to be discussed. You can’t marry someone who doesn’t want kids hoping they’ll change their mind or vice versa. You both need to know exactly where you stand on the topic, because kids, for most people, are not negotiable.
7. Do we know how to resolve our arguments in a healthy manner?
Every couple fights at some point, and because that’s the just the way it is, it’s important to know ahead of time just how you and your partner handle conflict. If one of you makes a beeline for the front door every time you have a disagreement, then that’s something you want to fix before you get hitched.
8. Are we friends as well as lovers?
Simply, the answer to this one should be YES. When you’re 80+ with an ailing sex drive, you want to know that your best friend will still be there to make you laugh and point out when you have a booger in your nose.
9. Does my partner make me a better person?
The right partner brings out the best in us. Not only that, but they actually make us want to be better, strive for greatness, and even be more ambitious than we may have been before we met them. In many ways, they save us from ourselves and add the necessary something to our life that really makes us flourish. Of course this isn’t to say that there won’t be times when it will be difficult and challenging, but if you can honestly answer that your partner makes you better simply because they’re your partner, then you’ve got a winner.