Ten Important Conversations to Have Before You Get Married
When you get engaged, you may think that you know everything about your partner (spoiler, you probably don’t). You may have had a lot of important conversations already while you were dating, but there are some key conversations that I believe should be had before you get married. These conversations will make sure that you’re both on the same page, and address any areas that you have differing thoughts on ahead of time. They’re supportive, they’re thought-provoking, and they’re meant to make sure you have a long, healthy, and happy relationship.
I recommend approaching these conversations in a comfortable, non-threatening manner. Maybe you crack open a couple beers or a bottle of wine, or make a bonfire and sit side by side, or go for a walk with your dogs and just chat. Let your partner know that you want to have an open conversation to hear what’s important to them and share what’s important to you because you love them and you want to have an even more successful relationship with them. Be an observer and really listen. What we are hearing might not be what our partner is actually saying, so responding back with something like, “What I’m hearing is ___” can be a really powerful tool.
There are so many conversations that can be had, but I’ve found that these are some of the most important conversations to have before you get married. I want to leave them open ended and without a ton of guidance because every relationship is different and it isn’t my place to direct how your conversation should look, or put any assumptions in anyone’s head:
Do you want to have children?
What are your money styles? What are your financial goals? Do you have credit card debt, or other debt? What kinds of things do you want to save for (emergency fund, travel, new home, etc)?
What are your career goals?
Where do you want to live? Thoughts on where you want to retire?
What goals do you have as an individual for the next 1-5 years? Do you have goals for us as a couple?
How do you want to “keep the love alive” after we’re married–date nights, traveling, journaling, no phones after 9pm, etc?
What are your home/cleaning habits like (if you don’t already live together)? Are there practices you want to start?
Are there any events from your past that you think are important to share with me? If so, how can I help you heal/process these events?
How can I be the most supportive partner for you? What is your Love Language (if you haven’t taken the quiz, here’s the link).
Are there things you believe about yourself that aren’t necessarily true (i.e. I’m not smart enough to go back to school, I don’t know enough to apply for that job promotion, etc)?
For some people, these conversations may be difficult to have, and for some people they may be easy to bring up. No matter which camp you’re in, I want to applaud you for taking healthy, proactive steps to strengthening your relationship and cultivating the love you have for your partner. After you’ve talked through some of these topics, pick a way to celebrate your relationship and these conversations. Maybe you go out to dinner, or give each other a back rub, or snuggle on the couch and binge watch a few episodes on Netflix. You took the time to do “work” in your relationship, and now you get to balance it with loving, intentional action. Cheers to the two of you and growing your relationship!