First comes love, then comes marriage… but what about the work required to get you there? We looked in to which conversations every couple should have before “happily ever after” arrives.
Open and clear communication is an invaluable aspect of any working relationship, especially one that might be approaching the proverbial “next step.” If you and your significant other are talking about getting married or committing to each other for the long-term, you will want to have several conversations that define where you both stand on life’s major issues.
The topic of children—namely whether or not they will be part of your future together—is important to address before saying “I do.” Perhaps you cannot imagine a life without miniature versions of you running around; you might be looking forward to raising a few mindful little people to add to the hopefully-growing population of good folks in the world. On the other hand, you might desire a life full of travel and adventure, and having a family of more than two might not figure into that equation.
If you are in agreement on the subject, it can help you plan your life together; however, if you differ in your opinions on parenthood, even a little bit, understanding one another is key to moving forward. Knowing that you want different things on the topic of parenthood can help you realize that you will make concessions for the person you love, or it can let you know that the relationship is not meant to be.
Another point that you should bring to the discussion board is discussion itself. How you communicate is not only an integral part of your relationship, but it is also something that can be constantly worked on and adapted. Together, you can analyze your past conversations and arguments to separate the approaches that yielded mutual understanding from the methods that led to giving each other the silent treatment for days on end. Ideally, you’d like to know that you can always express your feelings completely without oppressing those of your companion.
Make an effort to never employ tactics just for the sake of upsetting each other or winning the argument. Break down any barriers that prevent you from discussing certain subjects. You want to be able to trust one another with any topic; no conversation should be taboo. Finding methods of communication that allow you to respect and appreciate your loved one’s opinions, no matter how they differ from yours, will help you learn and grow with that person. Moreover, refining your techniques for understanding each other will equip you to deal with difficult times and inevitable arguments after you have made your commitment.
For these and more conversations to have before getting married click here.[image: via Leland Francisco on flickr]