8 Things You Should Know About Your Partner Before Engagement, So There Are No Surprises
Getting engaged, getting married, and everything that comes with those decisions are pretty big deals. Obviously, it can also be a fun and exciting time, but that isn't to say that you won't have questions about what to expect out of your engagement, and your marriage. So, if you're wondering what things you should know about your partner before engagement, then don't worry! I asked experts the exact same question, so we can all breathe a little easier.
Personally speaking, I just got engaged two weeks ago. It was lovely, and I had no doubts in my mind when I said yes. But, at the same time, I knew that we wanted the same things in life, and that we were both willing to work on our relationship first and foremost.
Specifically, as Charlotte Slocum, a life coach at Blush Online Life Coaching, tells Elite Daily, "You should also share both of your long-term goals and make sure that your values align." It's not easy, and "You don’t necessarily have to be on the same page — but if your values about goals align, you will likely be able to figure out how to make them happen," she says.
So, what else should you know about your bae before saying yes? Here's what experts have to say.
1. First of all, how do they handle certain situations?
Before you agree to spend the rest of your life with someone, you should definitely have a clear understanding of how they deal with tough situations.
"I think you should try to know as much as possible," Slocum says. "Some of it isn’t necessary possible — but it would be helpful to see them 'handle' certain situations. Handling loss, death, conflict, family changes, moving, promotions (yours and theirs) all provide you with valuable information about who they are and how they are likely to be when stress hits."
So, before you get engaged, try to (at least) have a basic understanding of how your partner deals with big life changes. Because if you're going to spend the rest of your life with someone, you should know how you're going to handle the rough times, as a team.
2. Do they have any obnoxious habits?
Additionally, it can also benefit you to know what habits your partner has. Are there any that make you want to scream into your favorite throw pillow? That's OK if they do, but you need to know the difference between habits and personality traits.
"You have to check in with yourself and make sure that you aren’t trying to change the person," Slocum says. "So, you must know and love them for who they are now. Know that, while they can grow — fundamental components of their personalities are unlikely to change."
You might be able to change them constantly leaving the toilet seat up, but you can't change who they are, fundamentally.
3. How do they handle money?
Brittaney Young, also a life coach at Blush, tells Elite Daily that knowing how your partner deals with money is also extremely important if you want to marry them. Spending your life with someone is a big deal, so, according to Young, you need to ask yourself, "What's their approach to finances?"
Hopefully you're on the same page, but it's OK if you aren't. It's just important to know whether one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, so you can be prepared going into a marriage.
4. How close are they to their family?
Not getting along with your partner's family could definitely be an issue that affects your relationship. "I would say everything you learn is important," Slocum says. "It's important to know as much as possible to make an informed, life-long decision. What is their family history? What are their family dynamics?"
Hopefully, how close you are to your families is something you can both agree on. To do that, get an idea of how close they are to their family, how much time they want to spend with them, and what holidays they plan on including them in. Will their parents be hands-on with your kids together, if you have them? Will they interfere in every little thing? These are all important factors to consider.
5. Do they want kids?
This is a pretty big one. If you're preparing to commit to someone for as long as you both shall live, then there are a few things that you really need to agree on. And this is definitely one of them.
Young emphasizes asking yourself, "Do they want children and what's their preferred parental style?" Hopefully your ideas on the matter align with theirs.
6. How will you divide household responsibilities?
Living with your partner before getting engaged could make things easier when it comes to household duties.
"I totally recognize that a lot of people aren’t comfortable or don’t believe in it — and that is totally great for them!" Slocum says of living with your partner before marriage or an engagement. "But if you don’t have those strong beliefs about it — do it. You work out allllll the nitty gritty stuff ahead of time. You divide household chores and cleaning and bills before you get home from your honeymoon. I believe it allows for a much smoother transition into married life."
7. What are their thoughts on marriage? Divorce?
Additionally, you should really be aware of how they feel about marriage in general. Them proposing might not necessarily mean they'll be by your side in good times and bad, for better or worse.
"One extremely important factor is knowing your partner's views on marriage," Young says. "Right or wrong, good or bad, we all enter into marriage with some expectations, so it'll be helpful for you both to know what those are for each of you, and if they align prior to the engagement."
8. How do they manage holidays?
If you've been with your partner for over a year, you've probably seen them around the holidays. While it isn't the most important thing, seeing and understanding how your partner likes to celebrate the big holidays is something you should be aware of before agreeing to marry them.
"It would be easier on everyone to experience and learn to manage your relationship during football season, or hunting season or the holidays before you are married," Slocum says. While it doesn't necessarily matter how long you've been together, seeing each other through the holidays is a great way to prepare for marriage.
If your partner has a different belief system than your own, they may celebrate different holidays. Knowing how they celebrate them, and how you can be involved, will also be beneficial for your relationship in the long-run.
Getting engaged is exciting, and sometimes, the old saying, "when you know, you know" is true! But you should still consider these factors before making a big, life-changing decision.
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