When I began this article, I had originally thought of naming it “10 things to ask your partner before the wedding”. On second thoughts I felt that too many couples rush into a commitment, before thinking it through. Just because you enjoy being together and doing the same things is no reason to rush into matrimony. You have to go a step further; you have to glean what your partner’s present and future aspirations are to make a decision. It does not end here, there is more.
You need to explore their childhood, their upbringing and what they imagine is the norm for a regular home life. While it is a given that you met each other while pursuing higher studies and have similar future plans, but you really do not what his/her expectations from his/ her life partner are. Your background will really influence your way of thinking and thereby future expectations. In any case, I have some serious questions you must ask each other to know if you are really are suited to each other in the long run. Asking these questions will get you talking in the right direction.
These are not random questions; they are based on discussions with my spouse, observations of other people and their relationships. I have often noticed that things are going smoothly with a couple till such both commit to a long-term relationship like getting engaged when things start to unravel. They discover things about each other that they wished they had found out before they had taken this step. You can reach an impasse where you do not want to part ways because both of you have invested so much time and effort into the relationship but do not want to let go of your aspirations either. I hope I am being clear as to where I am going with these points. Keep reading to find out more:
- How strong are your religious beliefs? Will these affect the rearing of our offspring?
- What age do you think is right to have kids and how many do you want? You may find that both of you think very differently regarding this. You may want to do earlier rather than later and he may want to wait till he feels confident about his career.
- What has been your standard of living till now? And how do you think we should live in the future? This has to do with how he/she lived in the past. Maybe he/she is not used to doing without the many luxuries that he/she has been taking for granted. There will have to be many compromises that both of you have to agree to make.
- Who will handle the finances? What do we do? Pool our money in a common account or do we each manage our accounts and contribute something every month to a common account? Who will be in charge of paying bills?
- How about holidays? Everybody has different ideas about the destination, the type of vacation and the frequency of vacations. It is important to know what your partner thinks.
- What about the care of our children once we have them? Will we be sending them to daycare or will one of us be expected to stay home and take care of them? What sort of schooling do you think is right?
- Was there something in particular that your family did that you would like to do when we start our family? If there is anything you could change about the way your family did things, what would it be?
- How would you like to spend your spare time? Do you have any particular free time ritual like a boys’ night out or a particular activity with your friends? Do we each get to do our own thing once in a while?
- How about the division of household chores? Do we share them equally or do we allocate certain tasks to each of us?
- What would be our retirement plans? Do you have plans for the coast or the mountains? Or is it subject to discuss
I cannot say that this is an exhaustive list by any means, but I am sure it will get the conversation going. I can tell you from personal experience it really worked between me and my partner. We ended up knowing each other better.