By Mary Campbell
It’s finally happened; you’ve met the person you think is “the one.” Things have been going smoothly, and you believe a ring will soon be on the horizon. It seems like everything is going according to plan. Now that you’re engaged, in love, and preparing for the big day, how do you know you’re ready for married life? Some couples seek the advice of their faith-based leader or therapist before they wed to help them understand how to communicate with each other and prepare for marriage. If it’s such a good match, to begin with, don’t couples just naturally know how to have a good relationship? Not necessarily. While there are definitely elements of many healthy couples that can create a strong solid foundation, every single couple — no matter how healthy, happy, and into each other they are — will experience conflict at one point or another. Relationships are complicated, and every relationship is different. So, before taking the next step, you must have these three honest conversations to ensure you’re both on the same page.
Are We on the Same Page About Finances?
One of the most common stresses in relationships is financial stress. Because of this, it’s vital to have open conversations about how the finances will be handled in your relationship. For instance, will you open a joint bank account? What will your respective contributions be? Which types of purchases should you make together or separately? You will be in a better position to deal with any issues that may arise if you have a clear picture of your finances. In addition, it is important to be on the same page about spending habits and budgeting.
Do We Want Kids?
Let’s be honest — kids are cute but they can also be a handful. Even though someone has a genuine love for children, it does not mean they want one of their own. The decision as to whether to have children is not one to be taken lightly. It may be cause for concern if one partner is adamant about having children, while the other is ambivalent. A conversation like this can be delicate. It’s essential that both people are as honest and open as possible. If it turns out that you’re not on the same page, you can at least rest assured that you discussed this before committing to marriage.
Do Our Beliefs Align?
Your religious, political, and general beliefs play a significant role in your relationship. Early on in a relationship, it is easy to overlook misalignments. Keep a long-term perspective. It is important to talk about blending beliefs if you and your partner come from different religious backgrounds and plan to have children. Moreover, political beliefs can also be a bit challenging, especially if both partners are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Different perspectives do not have to be deal-breakers, but it’s a good idea to have a plan for resolving tensions that may occur.
Compromise Is Key
Relationships are filled with give-and-take. However, some issues are more important than others and require both partners to be on the same page. If you’re ready to move forward in your relationship, sit down with your partner and discuss everything on your mind. Making a plan to deal with issues will ensure future success in your relationship. Remember, couples who appreciate each other are more likely to stay together.