Getting engaged is an exciting time in any couple's life. My husband and I went from first date to engaged in just five weeks. Three weeks after that, we were married.
Even though my husband and I had a fast courtship and engagement, we knew the most important details about each other, which made us comfortable to move so quickly. Sure, I may not have known his favorite color, but I knew he saw life just like I did and that he wanted the same things out of it.
There are certain important things your partner should know before you get engaged to ensure the two of you are the best fit possible for each other. If you haven't had these talks yet, and you're planning on getting engaged soon, sit down and hash them out together before you start your forever. You'll be glad you did when you have less to discuss (and potentially less to trip you up) down the road.
1. Whether Or Not You Want Kids
Whether or not to have kids is a pretty significant conversation in any couple's life, because it will shape the entire trajectory of your relationship. I had my tubes tied in my 20s because I felt that strongly about never wanting to have kids. Obviously, if my now-husband had wanted to have them, it would have been really unfair of me to wait until after our wedding to have that conversation.
Despite the fact that we got engaged within five weeks, that was still plenty of time for me to be upfront and honest about how I felt about kids. If it were the reverse and I had really wanted kids, a certain number of kids, or if I wanted to have them soon, it would have been fair (and necessary) to clue my husband into all of that as well.
I was lucky that my husband felt the same way about kids as I did, but talking about it is what really helped me figure it out. So before you get engaged, sit down and make sure you and your future spouse are on the same page about children.
2. Your Views On Sex
Your views on sex may not sound like something you think you need to talk about. (After all, if you're talking about engagement, chances are, your sex life is the best you've ever had!) That said, though, talking about sex with your potential future spouse is really critical.
And in this case, I mean all things related to sex: how many times a week you want to have it, what you want to do in the bedroom, what you consider loyalty, if you believe in monogamy... and so on.
Although it may feel awkward, planning a life with someone means being able to talk to them about everything — even the things you think don't matter or the things you think will come easily. Your sex life will always go up and down in any long-term, committed relationship, so even if you think you'll stay having wild, hot sex every hour forever, chances are it'll change. Better to have it all discussed so you can both know what to expect.
3. What Your Values Are
"Values" is a broad term that means a bunch of different things to different people. To some people, values are about having a specific religion and going to church every Sunday. For others, values are more about a lifestyle that includes something like veganism or volunteering a lot.
No matter what "values" actually means to you, you should discuss it with your partner before you decide to walk down the aisle. The most important thing is to make sure that even if the two of you don't have the exact same values, you're still good with each others', and you still agree to respect your differences.
Before you get engaged, have a serious discussion about what things the two of you find important as a couple and as individuals. It'll lead to fewer fights in the future when you know exactly what you and your spouse value.
4. If You Handle Money Well
Letting your spouse know how you handle money will probably help the two of you avoid some arguments down the road. You don't have to be exactly the same as each other with how you handle your dough, but you do have to be able to talk things through easily if you are different.
My husband and I are both about the same level of spender and saver. Despite our quick engagement, though, we still had a few long conversations around money. We talked about how we'd handle what money goes into our savings, how much we want to spend on our future tiny house, and how much we want to devote to things like travel and raves.
You and your potential fiancé will have to figure out a good plan for your financial health — together — before you get married, so it's best to talk about it as soon as possible.
5. How You Argue
I'm more of a "fighter" than a "lover," while my husband is more of a "lover" than a "fighter." We talked about all of this thoroughly before we got married and easily found a way to work it out (i.e. he showers me with love all the time and is so adorable that we never fight).
Pre-engagement is a good time to sit down with your partner, discuss your fighting styles, and make sure the two of you continue to have healthy, constructive arguments (if at all).
After getting engaged (and again after getting married), you'll be dealing with the stress of a new life transition, and this may take a toll on your relationship if the two of you begin to bicker heavily. Talking about things like how you argue, what you need after an argument, how to find resolutions, and how to stay connected through it all will help the two of you remember that you love each other through everything.
While getting engaged is a really exciting time, it should also carry with it the weight that it's due. After all, you're talking about molding two totally separate lives together, so it makes sense that some significant conversations might need to occur. If you talk through the things on the list, you'll be in a better position to build a solid relationship and marriage in the long run.
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