Karen Belz
February 10, 2017 1:54 pm
Anne Edgar / Unsplash

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and you know what that means — you’re going to see a ton of proposals on Facebook. If you’re one of the lucky ones who may be gifted a gorgeous ring, make sure you ask these questions before you get married. Why? Because, trust us —there’s a lot of big, unaddressed stuff in your relationship, and obviously you want it to last for a long, long time.

Now, these questions should be asked within the span of any serious relationship. Probably when you get that sense that it’s way bigger than a fling.

A majority of successful couples have these issues squared away before officially tying the knot. As long as you get your responses and have the big talk before signing the paperwork, you’ll be good to go.

And by the way — these questions shouldn’t be uncomfortable or awkward. This is the guy or girl you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. Nothing should be off limits.

1What are your career goals?

Listen, nobody’s going to have it all figured out. But, your fiancé should at least have the blueprints set in place. If he or she wants to take on a job that requires a lot of travel, that affects you and your future family. If they’re in a field where jobs are a bit more insecure (think, a place that has “accounts” and not a teacher who’ll eventually be up for tenure) that’ll also be something that might affect your future.

Things change, but it’s important to at least be on the same page.

2Do you want to have children?

Some people out there just know they’re meant to be parents. Others figure it out along the way. For some, children are an absolute curse. Really, as far as family planning goes, there’s no right answer. The only thing you need to do is make sure that you and your future spouse agree.

If you think he’s going to change his mind, he won’t. If he thinks he’ll be able to change your mind, he’s equally foolish. Kids are a huge deal, and it’s not a light topic you can just brush off or shrug away. Even if it isn’t causing issues now, it definitely will in the future.

3How are we splitting finances?

You need to have a good idea of how he or she spends money. Know why? Since bills are important, and you need to pay them somehow. Money is something that all couples typically argue about, and if you don’t ask questions about how these things will go, it could lead to irreparable damage.

Combining finances makes things so much easier, but it’s not for everyone. Do some research, get informed, and see what the best solution is for you.

4What kind of wedding should we have?

This might seem ridiculous, since — of course you’d discuss this before marriage — but the answers that you get, and the way you work together on wedding prep, will tell you so much. In fact, the wedding itself might be the first big conflict that you and your fiancé have to navigate through.

Who’ll be invited? Whose going to officiate? Are you doing open bar? Can you afford to do open bar? Should you do an open bar, even though your uncle has had somewhat mortifying problems with that arrangement before? These are all key things you’ll have to work on together. If the stress is too much, and you choose to elope solely to avoid any big conflicts with your partner, you’re going to be in trouble.

5What should we do if we lose that spark?

Okay, the most unromantic thing is to talk about romance. We all hope it’ll happen naturally, so it’s weird to bring it up on occasion. But the truth is, your marriage will suffer from a few dry spells. You’ll experience a dead bedroom at times, or just be so mad at your guy for his impromptu weekend video game marathon that he’ll lose all sex appeal.

You want to fight these problems before they become big issues. Try hard to schedule dates ahead of time. Make sure you both vow to go out together, and continue “dating.” Maybe discuss a code word you’d like to use instead of something dreary, like “why is our romance dead.” In short, make it a non-issue before it even comes up.

6How are we splitting holidays?

Sound silly? It won’t in November. When you marry someone, you’re combining traditions. That means that if you typically visit your grandmother in the morning, and your sister at night during Christmas, you might need to nix that in favor of hisor her plans and ideas.

 The best schedules are a compromise. If you prefer one holiday over another, make that known. If you celebrate Hanukkah and they celebrate Christmas, even better. Just know that with marriage comes change. And, as hard as it is, you both will have to embrace it.

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