Thinking of jumping the broom yet you’ve got some lingering questions on your mind if he/she is the one?
Open and honest conversations are the most common threads in every strong and successful relationship. Though you don’t have to be on the same page with your future spouse on every single issue, discussing your differences now can help you avoid running into problems in the future.
Below are 7 questions culled from different marriage experts worth asking yourself and your partner if your relationship has what it takes to go the long haul.
What makes me feel valued in a relationship?
We tend to express love the same way we want to receive it — but how you demonstrate and feel love may not hold true for your partner. That’s why it’s vital to learn what your particular love language is.
Do I want to have kids and if so, at what point in my life?
Maybe you’re so excited to have kids, you’ve already figured out what schools you’d want to send them to. Whatever the case may be, don’t wait until after you’re super committed to tell your partner. While your feelings can change over time, people’s expectations about family are generally deeply held. Discussing expectations about family really is a discussion of values, and marriages are most successful when partners share similar values.
How do I approach sex?
To gauge whether or not you’ll enjoy a satisfying sex life once the honeymoon phase ends, ask each other this simple question: “When you have sex, whom do you strive to please?”
When partners are solely focused on their individual pleasure, a couple will only have sex as frequently as its least turned-on member wants. If they’re sexually compatible, they understand that they don’t always have to be completely in the mood — they take delight in their partner’s sexual pleasure.
What’s my approach to personal finances?
No issue is as potentially problematic as having different approaches towards spending. That’s why it’s essential to have ongoing, completely open conversations about money, is it okay to have a joint account once married? Who handles what bills/responsibilities? should be openly discussed.
I’d strongly recommends talking to each other about how you prefer to save and spend money, what expenses you prioritize most and how you can budget more effectively as a team.
What role do I expect my spouse to play in my life?
For better or worse, you’ll likely follow the behaviors you saw your parents demonstrate in marriage, and that includes gender-specific roles. To avoid any awkward conversations along the lines of — “Hey, I thought you were going to stay home once we had kids?” — discuss what family life was like for you growing up.
Couples need to examine and share their family scripts. We are pre-programmed from our family of origin. We observe what a husband and wife look like from our upbringing with mom and dad and sometimes from movies too. Being able to discuss what we learned — what we liked or didn’t — leads to more personal and family security.
What am I bringing to the table as a partner?
You’ve probably thoroughly considered why you want to be with your partner, but what positive traits and relationship-bolstering qualities are you offering him or her? What do you need to work on? Taking stock of what you individually bring to the table may better prepare you for a committed relationship.
Am I an extrovert, an introvert or something in between?
This question may seem like small potatoes compared to others on the list but determining where you (and your future spouse) fall on the introversion/extroversion spectrum will have a huge impact on how you spend your shared down time. Take for example:
“After a long day at the office, an introvert may need some time alone to regain their energy before engaging with a partner, whereas an extrovert will gravitate toward conversation, wanting to share details about what happened at work. This can cause conflict in a relationship if two partners have different energy levels and don’t understand how to work around them — or worse, take their partners rebuff or seemingly endless engagement personally.
To bridge the introvert/extrovert divide, have an open discussion about it — and in the meantime, please don’t take it personal if your future spouse needs his or her space.