It can be a journey to find love. So when you do meet someone and fall in love, the next natural step is a desire to marry them.
But, before you take that walk down the aisle, it’s crucial that you know these 7 things about your significant other:
1. Communication is everything.
What is your communication style and is it similar to your significant other? One of the best ways to know if your relationship can stand the test of time is to pay attention to how you communicate with one another.
It’s so easy not to say exactly how you feel out of fear of not wanting to hurt your partner. But, if you are not honest with one another, it can create serious havoc down the road. It doesn’t mean you need to be over the top in your communication with your significant other. However, the two of you should have a clear, straightforward, and easy way to share your likes, dislikes, and grievances with one another.
2. Physical chemistry matters.
This one is often over or underrated. But, the key is dependent on what is important to you.
For example, if your love language is one where affection and physical intimacy is important, but say your partner is less interested in being physically intimate, this could create some problems in the long-run. I get it. You won’t spend the rest of your life in bed making love to your significant other. But, for some physical intimacy goes beyond sex. It’s a way of reconnecting with that person and expressing love to them in a mental, spiritual, and emotional way. And for others, they may merely enjoy getting it in. The key is for the two of you is to have a similar perspective on sex and to have some natural chemistry.
3. Understand your partner’s viewpoints on raising kids and the importance of family.
For some, they may enter relationships with the long-term goal of having a family. Others may come into a relationship with a child(ren) and not want to revisit the path.
It’s a tricky road to navigate. Here is the takeaway. Have this discussion up front. If you want to have kids with one another, discuss your parenting style and viewpoints of how you see a family structured. See if your perspectives are in line with one another.
If they don’t, take a pause in the relationship. Kids do add joy to your lives, but if you two aren’t on the same page about your parenting styles and your views on the family dynamic, it can be a rough road. Raising kids, mixing families, and disparate views on how family life should be are some of the most significant reasons for a breakdown in relationships.
4. You should have similar interests and goals.
Yes, opposites attract, but did you know people who share more in common tend to have more long-lasting and satisfying relationships? True story!
While it may not seem like a big deal at first, if you are goal oriented and your partner is the complete opposite, it can be a source of contention. Think about little things such as do you like to travel? Does your partner? What things do you enjoy doing with another? You don’t have to completely alike. But, if you share common interests, these moments help to cement your relationship further.
5. Finances, finances, and finances.
Money matters and our relationship with money can be challenged to another degree when we are in a relationship.
It can be helpful to be with someone who might be better at budgeting, saving, and planning for the future like you. But, it’s incredibly important that you are clear about finances and both you and your partner’s view on them before you walk down the aisle.
Ask your partner how they budget their finances. It should include sharing your credit reports, discussing your debts, financial obligations with one another, and both of your financial goals. Bad credit can sometimes be indicative of someone’s inconsistencies and a person’s lack of commitment to being responsible and accountable, i.e., red flags.
Unfortunately, these traits can carry over into your relationship. Money and the handling of money management in a relationship are often one of the top reasons why couples divorce.
Be honest with one another about all of the finances and if you and your significant other can work together, do it. But, don’t go into marriage blindly not knowing anything about their finances because once you tie the knot, you are legally financially interconnected.
6. How does each of you feel about spirituality?
Is it a formal practice of attending church services and a part of how you live your life?
Religion can be a non-starter for some, while others look at spirituality outside of the constructs of practicing a formal religion. If religion is top of mind for you and a prerequisite, the same should hold true for your partner.
It becomes even more crucial if you want to raise kids together. Some religions can dictate the way you live your life. For some, having spiritual beliefs keeps them grounded and can serve as a moral compass for them. Be clear with one another of what spirituality means for both of you and how you tend to practice it in your lives with one another.
7. Meet their family so you can gain a better understanding of your partner.
Sometimes people hide from this one. But, if you’re serious, make time to meet one another’s family because, after marriage, they will become your extended family.
Your boyfriend or girlfriend’s family can provide intimate knowledge of your significant other. And once you are married, their family will become your family. Look for relationship patterns and see how your boyfriend/girlfriend interacts with their siblings, parents, extended family, etc. It will give you clues on how he manages these relationships and also how they may translate to your relationship. Healthy relationships with parents and siblings can often translate into a healthier connection with you. Dysfunctionality exists in every family on some level, but addressing these things head on will save you some grief in the long run.
Being with someone you love can be a life-changing experience. No one or any couple is perfect. Don’t believe that hype. The key in your journey to marriage is to be clear on who your significant other is and make sure that your decision to marry is a sound one.
What are your thoughts? What do you enjoy and dislike about dating? Share your experiences and comments so it can help others.
You are capable of finding love. There is a relationship that will work for you. Sometimes all you need is a nudge in the right direction. If you are struggling with your current relationship, newly divorced and looking to get back in the dating scene, or single and trying to find the right person for you, maybe I can help. Contact me here.
Originally published on Thought Catalog.