Essential Couple Conversations to Have Before Saying I Do!
It is a fact universally known that communication is the key to any successful relationship. And when it comes to choosing the most important relationship in our lives, it is arguably the most important factor. And yet, it remains something we struggle with the most, and often tend to assume things on our part without really having open conversations.
Whether you are thinking of sealing the deal with your long time partner or are considering someone you have met in an arranged marriage scenario as your future spouse, there are a lot of things to discuss before taking the next step.
Here’s what you should definitely have conversations about with your partner before you decide to tie the knot.
It is a given that if you are thinking about spending the rest of your life with someone, there will be quite a lot of financial decision-making that you will need to do with them in the future. Wedding expenses, honeymoon, decisions regarding how to run your home and where to invest your money and what big purchases to make when, and a zillion other things like that will require financial collaborations.
While getting married does not mean losing your financial independence, it certainly needs you to be accountable towards a larger share of responsibilities taken together with another person who may have completely different financial habits and behaviors than you. While you might be a saver, they may be a splurger or vice versa. You may have completely different ideas of where you like to spend money and what you think is a wastage of money.
While you don’t have to be on the same page on everything, having a discussion over these things will make it evident how much would either of you need to adapt and how much are you willing to let go of in terms of the difference of opinion. Conversations about finances are always important to have before the wedding.
You may think it’s kind of obvious that if you are thinking about marriage, of course, this is a conversation you would have had with your partner: if they want, or at any point in the future, would want kids. But you will be surprised to know how many people still think it’s a given, especially in the case of women, that they would want children sooner or later. But a lot of people, both men, and women are increasingly making up their minds to not have children in these times.
Children are cute, and fulfilling, definitely, but they are also expensive, completely change your life, and are a lifelong commitment. You cannot back out of this decision once it has happened, unlike even marriage. Parenting is extremely difficult, and more so in this day and age when the world around us is changing so fast. Are you up for it? Is your partner up for it? If yes, how soon after marriage will you want to consider having a child? If not, is there a possibility that you may change your mind at a later point in life? There is a lot to discuss in this case, so have this talk asap!
Again an issue that most people shy away from having about. Lack of intimacy, whether physical, mental or emotional, as well as having different thresholds for intimacy is a major issue for most married people that eventually leads to bigger issues and conflicts. Intimacy does not merely mean passion and affection between the both of you, but since you would be spending most of your time with each other, everything that is important to you will also in some way be bound to your partner once you are married. Lack of conversations regarding those expectations will inevitably have an impact on your relationship.
Evaluate and talk about these points: What’s your idea of intimacy? How would you like to spend quality time with your partner- is staying in and enjoying Netflix and cooking with each other something you like more, or going out and socializing with friends is something you would rather prefer. Are you both passionate about at least a few similar things? What are your expectations when it comes to sex? If you are going to be living in a joint family, what are your expectations in terms of getting alone time with your partner? Who are your closest relationships with, and what kind of relationship would you like your partners to have with them?
“Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” is not just a job interview question. It is a question of great value and impact when it comes to your marriage as well. Where do you see yourself in the next five years will be based on a lifestyle you aspire for, a lot of pre-emptive choices in terms of the city you would want to live in, the profile you want to reach and the work that would need to be put into making that happen, all of those will need to be aligned with the career aspirations of your partner.
What if one of you works in a travel extensive industry, and the other one has a more office-based work system? What if one of you seeks to relocate abroad after a few years? Or move back to India in case you live abroad already? Do you or your partner have entrepreneurial aspirations in the future? If that happens, will one person be ready to take financial responsibility until the other person is trying to find their feet? If you want children, who will take a break in their career for childcare responsibilities? There are many such considerations that you both need to be on the same page for if marriage is on the cards.
#5. Family Values:
Our families and the communities we grow up in have a huge impact on us. Even unknowingly, they end up shaping our worldview and the way we navigate the world and our relationships. They form our core values, and when we think of spending our life with someone else, it is important for us to have a healthy understanding and respect for each other’s core values, even if they are different from each other, and also have realistic expectations regarding the adjustments we will be willing to make on account of each other where these core values are concerned.
Growing up in different family setups and communities might mean completely different points of reference when it comes to how to entertain guests, how to parent, things to prioritize in life, career expectations, and expectations from one’s marriage. Talk it out and see if you both see eye to eye on these issues.
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