If you are considering popping the question, take some time to consider these 10 questions to ask yourself before getting engaged. Marriage is one of the hugest decisions you'll ever make in your life. It's crucial that couples give adequate thought to their relationship before getting engaged.
- Have I established my own identity? No other person will make you whole. Not even a spouse. It's important to be secure in your own identity and who you are before getting engaged.
- Do we want the same things in life? This doesn't mean that you have to be exactly alike. But it's very important to discuss important issues with your partner before marriage, like whether or not you want kids and how you would want to raise them, where you'd like to live, and what kind of lifestyle you want. You don't want to get married and then be shocked to find out that you have major differences of opinion.
- Do we both have realistic expectations of marriage? Marriage is not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Do you expect marriage to always be wonderful and easy? Anyone who has been married for any length of time will tell you that it takes hard work. Talk to some married couples to get a more realistic picture before getting engaged.
- Can we communicate with each other? Effective communication is the cornerstone of any relationship, and particularly a marriage. If you can't communicate well now, you won't magically be able to communicate after you are married.
- Am I done dating? Do you feel like you've dated enough people and gotten enough experience so that you're ready to be done forever? Some people feel ready to settle down after dating 30 people, and others might feel ready to marry their first boyfriend or girlfriend. Figure out where you stand before getting engaged.
- Am I ready to commit? Some people have issues committing to a two year cell-phone contract. Marriage is not supposed to be a short-term contract. Are you willing to commit for the long haul?
- Do I get along with my partner's family? In some cases, when you marry your partner, you also marry family. These are the people you will be spending holidays with, the future grandparents of your children. For many people, a strained relationship with the in-laws equals a strained marriage. Spend time with your partner's family before getting engaged.
- Are we aware of our differences? Differences are not always a bad thing. But it's important to be aware of the fundamental differences between you and your partner, so you can learn how to deal with them. Maybe you are a spender and she is a saver. Maybe you're a neat-freak and he leaves messes everywhere he goes. You don't want to get married and run into some rude awakenings.
- Do we fight well? Every married couple fights. But for the sake of your relationship, it's important to fight well. Can you and your partner learn how to handle conflict so that it doesn't stew and fester, and eventually erode your relationship?
- Do we bring out the best in one another? When you commit to someone in marriage, you want that person to be a partner and companion; someone who makes you a better person and inspires the best in you. Does being with your partner bring out your best traits?
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