Marriage is considered a pretty large step in a romantic relationship. To many, marriage represents the highest form of commitment and love to one another, and therefore, should be entered into seriously and wholeheartedly. It’s important to have checked certain tasks off of your combined to-do list, and we’re here to give you the top nine:
- Travel. And by this, we mean all kinds: to the next town, to the next state, to the other side of the world. Seeing how you work together on the road – or on a train, or in a plane – represents a lot concerning your problem-solving styles and communication under stress. Plus, you get to see new places with the one you love most!
- Sync up your future plans. There are many facets to solidifying your life plans with one another – discuss where you’d both like to be in your careers, your personal goals, your thoughts on children, and other important points one, five, ten, and fifty years down the road. Plans will change as time goes by, but starting with a solid foundation of expectations is important.
- Get to know one another’s families. It’s often said that when you get married, you not only get a spouse, but an entire new batch of family. If you and your partner have close family members, it’s pertinent that you spend quality time with each other’s parents, siblings, or extended relatives to cultivate those relationships.
- Immerse yourselves in each other’s passions. This doesn’t necessarily mean you must enjoy the exact same things, but if you or your significant other are deeply involved in certain activities, hobbies, etc., it’s such a lovely sign of love to express interest in knowing more about the subject or trying it out. Similarly, it’s also important that you each have a set of individual passions without the other.
- Get to know their friends. Just like their family, a strong relationship will likely also include spending time with one another’s friends. These are the people your love has chosen to associate with, so they’re quite important to them. Making an effort to incorporate them into some of your weekend plans will go a long way.
- Find out your respective communication styles. How you handle arguments and their aftereffects is unique, and it’s vital to understand your own style, as well as that of your beloved. Sometimes, the best way to figure this out is through couples counseling – even if you don’t perceive your relationship to have any dire problems, counseling is a fantastic way to learn more about yourself, your sweetheart, and you as a couple.
- Discuss finances. Unfortunately, money talks need to happen. Whether it’s about everyday bills, spending habits, or saving up for your future, being on the same page monetarily is important in any solid relationship. Entering into marriage without going in-depth on the subject is incredibly risky.
- Be clear about what you consider “cheating.” This day and age, technology has brought about more solutions, but also more issues when it comes to romantic relationships. Figure out what you believe to be “crossing the line” and find out what your love believes as well. Like finances, this isn’t an entirely pleasant talk, but one that needs to happen before moving forward.
- Move in together – or at least spend an extended amount of time together. We recommend living together before you’re married or spending a lot of time together in the same city or state. It’s like traveling in that it reveals your true colors, but on a much more mundane level. “Test running” your cohabitating relationship before marriage can show you their exact style – and vice versa – while allowing you to discover their everyday habits and quirks.