Getting married is indeed a big deal, and you need to make sure you’re on the same page to make it a successful one.
What are the key topics partners should talk about before heading down the aisle? Let’s find out
Your individual and combined goals and aspirations for the coming future.
Discuss the life goals that matter most to you. Clearly lay out your strategies for the short and long-term. What career, community, and family objectives mean most? Consider what you both think will be necessary in the way of planning and sacrifice to achieve them.
Your relationship expectations.
Often partners don’t realize how dissimilar their perceptions and expectations are for overall marital satisfaction. Talk about how you hope to support and be supported. How much togetherness and time alone makes you comfortable? Are you willing to honor agreements regarding time allotted for work, recreation, and intimacy? How important will personal hobbies, friendships, and family time be in your daily life?
Your ideas regarding family planning or family blending.
If, how, and when you start a family is a crucial discussion prior to marriage. Be sure you are on the same page regarding your willingness to have and raise children. How many would you like to have? How will you handle potential challenges in making that a reality? How will you handle parenting children from previous relationships? Will you take preventative measures until you’re both ready? Discuss openly the child-rearing philosophies, values, and disciplinary measures that are important to you.
Your opinions and expectations regarding money matters.
Work out a system for financial review and accountability. Talk about your money histories honestly and share current circumstances openly. Take a look at the salary differential between you and your feelings about it. Also, look at your expectations regarding breadwinning and lifestyle as your family grows. Seriously consider how bills, personal and combined debt, credit, taxes, and savings will be managed.
How Would You Raise Your Children?
This is a big question! Do they believe in being strict with children, or do they have quite relaxed views? What about schooling, screen time, sugar? All these questions need to be explored as having a baby has a huge impact on your relationship, and you don’t want to wait until that first temper tantrum to have a discussion about how to deal with it…
It’s a good idea to talk about what you felt was good and bad in your own childhoods, as this will have an effect on how you want to parent.
What Kind of Wedding Do You Really Want?
This is really important. After getting engaged, it’s pretty fair to assume you both want to be married to each other, but that doesn’t always mean a wedding. If one of you wants a register office ceremony with a small dinner, but the other wants a lavish affair in a castle, you need to establish this early on and find ways to compromise.
What Does Your Dream House Look Like?
If one of you dreams of owning a Victorian terrace and the other wants a penthouse apartment, this needs to be cleared up early on! It’s unlikely to be something that derails your relationship, but it’s really crucial to know what your partner’s expectations and dreams are as early on as possible.
How Much Alone Time Do You Need?
This is a small thing, but it has a big impact. Understand how much time you both need to decompress, and how much time it takes before one of you feels lonely, and find a way to work around each other’s need for solitude – everyone needs it sometimes, even just a little bit! It’s also worth exploring what time alone means to each other – for some people, it might be a long bike ride, for others, it could just be reading a book or watching a TV show in a different area of your home.
What’s Your Love Language?
It sounds a bit silly, but actually it’s really important to know and understand. If love for you is demonstrated by gifts, and for them it’s by words, it’s crucial to understand this so you both know how to make each other feel appreciated. The four main ones are gifts, touch, actions and words.
Discuss which one is most important to you, and you’ll understand way better how to love each other. An easy way to do this is to ask ‘When do you feel the most loved by me?’
What Goes on Social Media?
This might seem trivial, but trust us, social media needs to be discussed. Are you both happy sharing details of your life on social? Are there some elements you’d prefer to keep private? What are they? If you have children, will they be on social media?