You and your beau have been together for a while now and things have been going well. It’s only natural to start thinking about the future and what the next steps will be for your relationship. Traditionally, the next step will be engagement! Getting engaged is extremely exciting, but it’s important to make sure you’re both on the same page for a lot of big ticket items. Today, we’re going over some of the hard hitting discussion points you should cover before committing to forever with your significant other.
This is a multi-faceted discussion. Are you a saver and they’re a spender? Do you like buying expensive things and they prefer the be more frugal? Do you have any debt they don’t know about? It’s totally okay to have different habits, but you should definitely be able to come up with a plan together for your financial future. This includes discussing topics like how you’ll handle your banking (separate accounts or joint), taxes, retirement accounts, other savings, big purchase spending, etc. Financial struggles and disagreements are one of the leading causes of divorce, so be proactive and make sure that you can agree on how you want to handle things in the future.
This also carries over into things like paying for the wedding. Will you be asking your families to help or will you be shouldering the expenses as a couple? How much are you willing to set as a budget? And, the dreaded question that has become quite taboo… a prenup. Do you need one? It’s sad to think about the potential ending of your marriage before it even begins, but depending on your situation, it may be something to consider, but definitely something that needs to be discussed.
Careers & Lifestyle
Now, if you’ve been going strong for a while, chances are your careers and lifestyle choices already mesh well. That being said, it’s always good to connect and review. Things like where you want to live, how much traveling you would like to do, if you’re interested in switching jobs or going back to school. Do you want to keep renting or is it time to start considering buying a home of your own? All these things are topics usually discussed while you’re in a relationship anyways, but it can’t hurt to re-visit them!
Do you want kids? Or maybe you want to adopt. Or maybe you just don’t see kids in your future. Whatever you see is totally fine, that’s your choice! But it’s only fair that your partner knows what you’re thinking, too. Timeframe is really important here, too. Maybe you’re not ready yet and want to freeze your eggs and focus on your career. Maybe you want to start a family right away. There’s no right or wrong answer as long as you’re on the same page.
Religion & Holidays
Your religious and spiritual beliefs are really important to discuss too. Not just on a compatibility level, but also for things like your wedding and future children. It’s important to be open about whether or not you want to get married in a church, or by a minister versus a justice of the peace. It’s also a good idea to talk about how you want to raise any potential children, whether you have different views on religion or the same.
Holidays are also largely important to discuss. Do you go to church for the major holidays? What are your family traditions? Splitting up holidays between families can be an extremely stressful and difficult process. It seems like there’s always going to be at least one person who isn’t happy with your decisions. Before bringing other people into the discussion, sit down just the two of you and figure out what is most important to each of you. After you have a better grasp on that, feel out your families and see if they’re amenable with your plans and ideas.