Getting married is a wildly exciting new chapter to embark on in your life. It signifies a new level of maturity and partnership in your life that can really help you flourish, but it’s also a huge decision that might require a checklist before taking the big leap.
1. Travel together! We don’t just mean a weekend away at the cottage. Take a long vacation or an international adventure together that will challenge the limits of your relationship in different contexts.
2. Move in together. Getting married before you live together is a disaster waiting to happen, even though it’s quite normal in many cultures. Getting used to someone’s quirks is an important part of living in harmony and not fighting all the time.
3. Understand each other’s values such as politics and religion. These are topics that one usually avoids on a first date but that are very necessary for an engaged couple to discuss so that their future is aligned.
4. Talk about if you want kids. This can be a sticky subject for many, but if you guys are in it for the long haul, it’s a chat that needs to be had. Compromises might need to be made depending on how invested you are in the decision.
5. Talk about any name changes, such as if one of you will change their last name. This lack of discussion surprisingly causes rifts between people, even though it seems like a somewhat banal decision to many.
6. Got to know the most important people in each other’s lives all inner circles. Take a class or embark on a new experience that takes you both out of comfort zone, such as a cooking workshop, TED talk, or skydiving.
7. Have a few major fights. Feeling should never be repressed and fighting is healthy for a relationship. If you save it all for post-marriage, the divorce could be looming closer than you think.
8. Make sure that you discuss finances, which is another big cause of divorce or fighting in newly married couples. Have either of you amassed any debt? Are you ok with sharing a checking account?
9. Figure out what you consider cheating, or if the idea of an open relationship seems to pique your interest. Setting these boundaries before will help maintain trust as well as clearing up potential for miscommunication. Clear definitions help keep couples on same page.
10. Make sure you’re seen each other at your worst and are ok with it. If you’ve seen each other ugly cry and experience their lowest lows, you’re on the healthy track to marriage. If they can’t stick it out through the thick and thin, marriage might not be for them.