Couples have many questions to ask before getting engaged, and opening the lines of communication early is vital to a strong relationship. If a couple can answer the tough questions before they decide to wed, the easiest answer of all will be to "Will you marry me?"
Creating Clear Communication
The infatuation stage of any relationship is easy: the couple is concerned with spending a few precious hours together while dating, and both individuals strive to make those hours special and meaningful. As a relationship grows, however, the couple must begin to learn more about one another to determine if there may be a long term commitment in their future. Couples need to learn to trust one another and to have honest discussions about important areas of their lives so they can determine whether or not their relationship will be viable for a lifetime. With no surprises after the marriage proposal, the couple can concentrate on their happily ever after instead of discovering issues they should have resolved long before their I do's.
Basic Questions to Ask Before Getting Engaged
Everyone will have different issues that are important to their happiness; the questions below are suggestions for prospective brides and grooms to discuss so they can learn more about one another and their potential life together. Exploring these questions will help couples strengthen their relationship and form the basis of a long, happy marriage.
Before discussing questions together, each individual needs to decide if they're ready to get engaged.
- Am I the right age to get engaged? Someone who always planned more single living before marriage may want to hold off on an engagement.
- Am I ready for this commitment? Getting married is more than putting on a ring or throwing a party. It is a lifelong dedication for better or worse, in good times and bad.
- Why do I like this person? Examining the basis of your attraction can help you see beyond surface considerations and decide if this is someone you truly want to marry.
Understanding family relationships can help couples determine how their two families will combine after a wedding and how they may wish to expand their family.
- How close are we to our parents? Will there be regular visits? Will we ask them for wedding planning or marital advice?
- Do we want children? How many and when? What types of birth control are we comfortable using until then?
- What are our parenting beliefs? How do we feel about discipline, allowances, and other parenting issues?
- Will one of us be a stay at home parent? If yes, who and for how long?
- Where will we spend holidays? Will they be private celebrations or will we visit family and friends? Will we host parties?
Many couples argue about money, and different financial behaviors and beliefs can quickly sabotage a marriage. Understanding one another's finances can help couples keep their relationship solvent.
- Do we have any debts or loans? When will they be paid off?
- What are our spending habits? Can we afford our lifestyle?
- How do we feel about using credit cards? Are they fine for everyday use or just for emergencies?
- How much savings do we have? Does this include retirement plans or investments?
- If one of us loses a job or elects to stay home, can we still afford the necessities?
- What is our income earning potential in the future? Do our jobs offer regular raises and advancement?
Many couples share the same faith, but even if each individual has different beliefs, discussing them carefully can help create a spiritual and supportive marriage.
- What is our faith? Are our beliefs compatible?
- Is it important to attend one specific church or just within a certain denomination?
- Will we have a church or religious wedding?
- Whose faith will our children be raised in, or will they get to choose?
- How devout are our spiritual practices?
Career planning can affect income, living arrangements, and other details that can be crucial for a couple about to get engaged.
- What are our career paths? Will we want to change careers?
- Are we finished with education or do we want additional degrees, certificates, or training?
- How will we handle career changes?
Living together before and after marriage are vastly different, and getting a feel for home life through careful discussion can help couples build their home sweet home.
- Where do we want to live? Will it be in an apartment, condo, or house?
- How will we divide household chores? How will we help one another?
- Will it be necessary to relocate? If so, when and how far?
While it may seem premature to discuss wedding planning before popping the question, understanding basic wedding plans will help couples transition into this new phase of their relationship.
- What size will the wedding be?
- What sort of wedding budget do we anticipate?
- What type of wedding do we want: a simple casual ceremony, a formal affair, a destination wedding, or an elopement?
Other Issues to Question
Depending on a couple's individual circumstances, there may be other issues they need to discuss such as neglect, abuse, and other skeletons in their closets that are best aired out so there are no shocks or unwelcome surprises after the marriage proposal. In the case of deeply ingrained or potentially dangerous problems, engaged couples should go to counseling for professional help in resolving their issues.
A marriage proposal may be a simple question, but there are many questions to ask before getting engaged. Discussing these basic topics will help couples learn more about one another so they can feel confident when they answer that final important question that will last a lifetime.