You are drunk in love and the next step is a very expensive accessory on that coveted ring finger. Before getting the blue box and a matching invitation to all of your friends and family, here is a list of things every couple should think about before saying “I do.”
Cut the bull.
First things first. Is it really l-o-v-e or is it just your emotional clock ticking? Just because your Facebook feed is blowing up with your friends’ engagements doesn’t mean you are ready. That “deadline” you made when you were 15 years old didn’t take real life into account – there is no “perfect time.”
How much milk can be left in the carton in order for it to be returned to the fridge? How high do you stack the recycling before somebody snaps? Knowing these little boundaries will ensure you aren’t pushing each other.
Not just if you’ll have them, but how will you parent them?
Blue jobs vs. pink jobs.
It’s an accountability of who’s doing what “dirty work,” and it doesn’t have to fit typical gender roles. Maybe your guy is the amazing cook and the best you can do is mac and cheese. Or perhaps your girl is a star when it comes to replacing light bulbs and assembling furniture. Just make sure to have the conversation of how you’ll each contribute before it becomes a breeding ground for resentment.
You are marrying their family too.
For better or worse, remember? No family is perfect – so don’t let his or her crazy one be a deal breaker. But make sure you have similar expectations regarding how often you’ll be spending time with the in-laws.
How to be alone.
Too often, we get wrapped up in our partner’s goals and we forget our own. Create a roadmap that focuses on what is important to you. Be sure you will complement each other and support each other in your separate goals.
You are going to disagree. It happens. And it’s totally healthy. But make sure you use conflict productively. Respect each other’s opinion and remember there are always three sides to the story. Your side, their side and what really happened.
What you see is what you get.
Don’t think your partner will change after you walk down the aisle. Their worst qualities today will likely evolve. Being a great partner means elevating their best traits and accepting their worst ones.
The past is the past.
It is how you got to who you are today – the dirty details can stay behind you. Accept it and move on.
The little details.
How they take their coffee. Crunchy or smooth peanut butter. Beer or wine. It’s the little things after all.
How to talk to each other.
No texting, no emails, no phones. We’re talking real face-to-face conversation. Failing to communicate is the number one killer of marriages. Learn to speak up and learn to listen (like really listen).
The difference between a wedding and a marriage.
It’s one day vs. a lifetime. If you just want to throw a party – there are plenty of things to celebrate if you aren’t really ready.