There aren’t many moments in life more exciting than when you realize you’re dating someone who could be “The One,” but marriage is a serious commitment and you shouldn’t rush into it. These are some of the most important things you need to know about your partner before saying “I do.”
1. HOW HE MANAGES MONEY
Finances are one of the most common reasons couples get divorced, which makes sense. Life becomes so much more stressful when the bills are overdue and the savings account is depleted, so you need to be able to communicate with your partner about money. If he’s the type to spend $100 on Xbox games instead of paying the bills on time, you need to know that so you can either think twice about marrying him or be prepared to handle the household finances yourself.
2. WHAT HIS CAREER GOALS AND FUTURE PLANS ARE
He may be underemployed or in school now, but standing by him through the tough times will be worth it if he has a plan and is motivated to succeed. On that same token, if he has a hard time keeping a job and has absolutely no career goals, you need to know that too so you can decide if that’s a dealbreaker for you. It’s better to find out ahead of time than to rush into the marriage and end up divorcing.
3. WHETHER OR NOT HE WANTS KIDS
Another leading cause of divorce is disagreement on whether or not to have kids. Parenthood isn’t a foregone conclusion for everyone; in fact, choosing to remain childless is becoming far more common now than it used to be. If you want kids and he doesn’t (or vice versa), it’s a bad idea to walk down that aisle anyway hoping he’ll change his mind. The decision to become a parent should only be made if you really want it, not conceded just because your spouse wants kids.
4. HOW HE HANDLES CONFLICT
The honeymoon phase of a relationship is great, so it can be easy to forget that it’s going to wear off at some point and his true colors will shine through. If he has a dangerous temper with a short fuse, you need to know that before inadvertently committing to a lifetime of screaming fights. There’s nothing worse than living with a partner who can’t handle any kind of conflict without resorting to yelling or violence. In order for a marriage to work, you need to be able to discuss problems calmly and find solutions together.
5. WHERE HE WANTS TO LIVE IN THE FUTURE
Once you’re married, you have to agree on where you’ll put down roots together. If you’ve ever watched HGTV, you’ve seen how messy it can get when one partner wants to live in a big house out in the country and the other wants to live in a loft downtown. Whichever option you decide on, one partner will be unhappy and could end up resenting the other, so it’s best to have that conversation before you take a walk down the aisle and make sure you’re on the same page.