Four Conversations Every Couple Should Have Before Getting Engaged
Prepare yourselves for the commitment by making sure you're on the same page.
Getting engaged is incredibly exciting, but it's also a big commitment! After all, you're committing to a lifetime of togetherness. Are you ready for it? Have you asked all of the big questions that you need to before saying "yes?" Experts agree that it's important to have a number of difficult discussions well before you two start considering an engagement. If you differ on some of these issues, you may want to have deeper conversations to ensure that your futures are aligned. Here, the most important conversations to have before you put a ring on it.
One of the most common topics couples argue about is finances. What are your expectations around money? What are your partner's expectations? You're going to want to talk about any debt that either of you may have, figure out if you want joint or separate banking accounts, and discuss how you each like to spend money. If you have different opinions around these financial topics, you should talk about what meeting in the middle might looks like and whether or not you're both comfortable with that. Lastly, you'll want to discuss budgeting and saving for future goals. If you're both clueless on these topics, consider meeting with a financial advisor or taking a financial management class together.
Are you eager to have kids as soon as you're married? Are you sure that your future spouse feels the same way? Make sure to have clear conversations about children-particularly whether or not each of you want them. This can be a deal breaker for many people. If kids just aren't your thing, be direct about it. It's alright if you're not sure how many kids you want at the moment-that can totally change-but you should be realistic and upfront about what you want your future to look like as far as kids go. In the event that you'd both like to have kids, it's important to discuss what type of parents you will be. How will you discipline your child? What is okay and not okay when it comes to children? Is a certain type of education or religious upbringing important to you? By talking through these topics now, you'll be better prepared for a happy future.
It's important to discuss your morals and values. If they differ from your partner's, it's important to assess why. You may not think much of it now, but there's a good chance these differing beliefs will come into play in the future. In fact, it could impact everything in your day-to-day life. Talk about your faith, even if you aren't religious. It may be a bigger deal to your spouse than you thought, and it doesn't hurt to ask.
How You'll Handle What's to Come
No one wants to think about a rocky road ahead, but understand how your partner handles fights or gets through tough situations is important. Are you both the type of people who tend to curl up in a ball and not talk about your problems? You're taking this person in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. Those aren't just some sweet words to say to one another on the wedding day-it's an oath that you're going to stick with this person for the rest of forever, even through the hardest of times. Make sure that this is someone who's going to stay with you no matter what. The last thing you want to hear from your spouse is, "Well, you never asked, and this is a deal breaker for me," after the wedding festivities are over.