According to Brittany Wong of HuffPost, here are 7 important questions to ask yourself before you get married
1. What makes me feel valued in a relationship?
We tend to express love the same way we want to receive it — but how youdemonstrate and feel love may not hold true for your partner. That’s why it’s vital to learn what your particular love language is, said Anne Crowley, a psychologist based in Austin, Texas.
“Understanding what makes you feel cared for and talking about it sets a good foundation for a positive connection,” she said. “It is important to keep this conversation going as it is not uncommon for a person’s love language to change, especially for women.”
2. Do I want to have kids and if so, at what point in my life?
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Maybe you’re so excited to have kids, you’ve already figured out what schools you want to send them to — or maybe your feelings are more along the lines of, “thanks but no thanks.” Whatever the case may be, don’t wait until after you’re super committed to tell your partner, said Alicia H. Clark, a psychologist based in Washington, D.C.
“While your feelings can change over time, people’s expectations about family are generally deeply held and stable,” she said. “Discussing expectations about family really is a discussion of values, and marriages are most successful when partners share similar values.”
3. How do I approach sex?
To gauge whether or not you’ll enjoy a satisfying sex life once the honeymoon phase ends, ask each other this simple question: When you have sex, whom do you strive to please?
“It’s best if both partners say ‘me and my partner,’” said Laurel Steinberg, a sex and relationship therapist and an adjunct professor of psychology at Columbia University. “When partners are solely focused on their individual pleasure, a couple will only have sex as frequently as its least turned-on member wants. If they’re sexually compatible, they understand that they don’t always have to be completely in the mood — they take delight in their partner’s sexual pleasure.”
4. What’s my approach to personal finances?
No issue is as potentially problematic as having different approaches to spending. That’s why it’s essential to have ongoing, completely open conversations about money, Clark said: how you value money, how you spend it and to what extent you want to combine your finances. (Shared bank accounts aren’t for everyone.)
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“While it is unlikely that you will agree on every aspect of money, it is really helpful to be able to discuss what can be a tricky, conflicting topic,” she said. “Like with the family discussion, money taps our values and how we think about and use money will reflect them.”
Clark recommends talking to each other about how you prefer to save and spend money, what expenses you prioritize most and how you can budget more effectively as a team.
5. What role do I expect my spouse to play in my life?
For better or worse, you’ll likely follow the behaviors you saw your parents demonstrate in marriage, and that includes gender-specific roles. To avoid any awkward conversations along the lines of — “Hey, I thought you were going to stay home once we had kids?” — discuss what family life was like for you growing up.