Five Things You Must Discuss with Your Partner Before Getting Engaged
So you’ve found “the one,” or you think you have. Whether you’ve been in a serious relationship for a few years or have experienced the magical whirlwind romance, take some time, if you haven’t already, to discuss your long-term expectations for the relationship. Failure to clearly communicate could lead to a less than happily-ever-after, so before you pop the question or respond with an exuberant “YES!,” sit down with your significant other and make sure you’re on the same page about a few crucial topics.
This will affect how you handle other points of contention between you and your partner, and so it is crucial. Figure out how each person communicates and come up with a plan on how you’ll settle future conflicts. Will you let the matter rest for a few days before speaking? Address the issue immediately? Nothing is better left unsaid, however, so make sure your plan gets you and your partner talking and working towards solutions.
Our upbringings can heavily influence how we view marriage and the various duties and roles of the partnership. Let your partner know exactly what you were expecting regarding household duties, potential parental responsibilities, career goals, and anything else that is important to you.
Whether religious or ethical, know what your partner believes. Even those who share values may have differing opinions. Be accepting, willing to compromise, or understand that, depending on how important the beliefs are, this may be non-negotiable.
Are you a spender or saver? Will you have joint or separate bank accounts?
What is important to spend money on? It’s especially important to talk about boundaries regarding big purchases and and financial goals that need long-term planning, like retirement or college funds.
The first question is yes or no? Are you envisioning a small family or large one? You may also want to discuss parenting styles and who you are expecting to shoulder the responsibilities.
These are just a few of many topics that could be crucial to you, and it’s important to acknowledge everything up front. If you approach each value with an open mind and willingness to compromise, you’ll both be better off for it. It’s ok if you can’t agree on the first conversation. It may take a few discussions. Just know that you’ll have a smoother happily-ever-after by being honest about what’s important to you and communicating clearly.