Being in a loving, committed relationship is awesome.
But let's be real: Commitment can also be terrifying as hell.
Even if you've always really wanted to find your perfect match and you've spent your whole life looking for "the one," when it actually happens, you may find yourself experiencing some doubts or looking for some reassurance.
Don't worry: If you didn't have some questions, you wouldn't be human. It's totally normal to wonder if the person you think is "the one" is really your best fit to commit to forever. Forever is a long time!
If you think you might be about to start your forever after with your love, here are some questions to ask before committing for good:
1. Do They Value Me As A Person?
Does your partner value you as a person, separate from a girlfriend or wife or sexy hookup?
I love that my husband values me as a complete individual, apart from anything I bring to his life as a wife. He loves my drive in my career, my desire to help animals, and my commitment to my own fitness. In other words, he loves the same things I love about myself.
Before you decide to commit to someone forever, make sure they value you for who you are. This means they should know you're an awesome person, regardless of whether you're also their girlfriend or wife — and they should make it clear to you they feel this way.
2. Do I Trust Them?
Do you trust your partner more than anyone else in the world? Do you know that you can always rely on them to be honest and loyal?
I feel like I could not know where my husband is for hours at a time — his phone could die, he could be incommunicado — and I would still trust him completely. I've never felt that way in a relationship. My husband, though, has shown me time and time again what a good man he is and has never let my faith in him be misplaced.
One thing you should never question about your partner is whether or not you can trust them. Trust builds the foundation for a great relationship forever.
3. Can I Open Up To Them?
Can you open up to your partner about everything — the big things and the small ones?
I can talk to my husband about the fact that I hate our hometown. I can also talk to him about the fact that I feel bored and cranky and don't know how to not be a moody jerk. Either way, he's there, he's listening, and if I ask him for it, he's going to be available to help. He's the person I love talking to most in the world.
If you decide you want to commit to someone forever, it's pretty critical that you feel like you can open up to them and be yourself.
4. Do We Work Through Problems In A Healthy Way?
Are you guys at each other's throats when there's a disagreement, or are you able to sit down and talk things through in a healthy and productive way?
I'll admit: I'm guilty of standing barefoot in my kitchen yelling at my husband that we're too nice to each other and we need to have a damn fight once in a while. (In case you're interested, his standard response is to laugh and then kiss me.)
The truth is, though, I love that we don't fight. Ever. I've never been in a relationship where we only ever talk productively about any issues that may arise, and I truly love and value my husband and our marriage for this.
It's normal to fight every once in a while — even the healthiest couples have disagreements. That said, you should be able to deal with your problems in a mature way if you're going to spend forever together.
5. Do We Feel The Same Way About Kids?
Do you and your partner feel the same way about having a few bundles of joy, or are you both pretty set on avoiding parenthood at all costs?
I had my tubes tied when I was 29. I knew that I didn't want kids my whole life, and I was just bummed it took me that long to find a doctor to do it. I made that decision when I was single, but that didn't mean it wasn't one of the first things I asked my husband about. I wanted to know that he was on the same page as me about kids. If he had wanted them, it wouldn't have worked, and it was important to figure that out before we got married.
You and your partner should feel the same way about having kids, because there's really no room for compromise there. Having the same view on such an important subject makes it more likely that you'll fit with each other over time.
6. Are We On The Same Page About Life Plans?
Do you and your partner want to buy a house, have stable jobs, and settle down in a small town? Or conversely, do you both want to work online, travel, and see the world? Either way, you should be on the same page.
I always wanted to spend my life free to roam around and travel as much as possible. Before we got married, I made sure my husband knew this, and I asked him about his thoughts on how he viewed his life. If we had been on different sides of the fence when it came to the kind of life we wanted to build, it never would have worked.
Luckily, my husband is also a nomad at heart, so it's perfect!
You and your forever partner should be clear on how you will build your life, because in a healthy relationship, you'll both be building the life you want together.
7. Am I OK With How They Manage Money?
Is your partner a huge spender while you count and save pennies? Or are you the one that likes to buy nice things and your partner frets over 401ks?
My husband and I are both equal parts spenders and savers. We believe that we should be responsibly preparing for our future, but we also believe in living in the moment as much as we can. Before we got married, we sat down and had a real talk about how we planned to manage our money together — things we wanted to prioritize, things we wanted to save for, and how we wanted to work on it all.
You and your partner don't have to be the exact same way when it comes to managing money, but you do have to be OK with each other's habits.
8. Can I See Myself With Their Family?
Do you hate their family? Can you picture yourself wanting to scream or cry or throw up every Christmas dinner?
My husband and I were lucky: We found a perfect fit with each other's families just like we found a perfect fit with each other. Our parents live in the same town, and we both decided early on that we were going to make a significant effort with our families, together and separately.
If you want to plan a life together, you and your partner should each make sure that you are OK with the other's family. You don't have to be besties with your mother-in-law, but you do have to respect your in-laws and make space for them in your life.
9. Do Our Views On Sex Line Up?
Do you want to have an open relationship? Do you believe in traditional monogamy? How often do you think is healthy for a long-term couple to have sex?
I was never a giant fan of traditional monogamy — and my husband knew this about me when we got married, because I made sure he did. Not only that, but because each of us had been in long-term, live-in relationships before where our sex lives drastically went south, we made sure to talk about what we each thought would be a good sex life for our marriage. And we committed to prioritize it, together.
Before you commit to forever love, make sure you feel the same way about the basic, day-to-day details of your sex life. You'll be glad you did when you avoid emotional disappointments down the road.
1o. Can I Make The Decision To Love Them Every Day?
At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself whether you can make the decision to love your partner every day — day after day — for the rest of your lives.
Before my husband and I got married, among all the other "real talks" we had, we had a real talk about what we thought love and marriage meant. Love and marriage, we decided, went hand-in-hand, but were also two very different things. Love was not just a feeling, but also a choice, and marriage was the opportunity to make the choice to love every single day.
If you think you have found forever love, make sure you are willing to decide to love them for the rest of your lives.
Committing to love someone forever isn't a small decision. It's a big one, and it deserves a lot of time spent thinking about it. If you are happy with the way you can answer these questions, you are ready for a true, forever love.