I came across an article in Her World once which I found insightful. It was a list of questions to ask yourself and the significant other before taking any big leaps. Not just referring to marriage here. Could be moving in or getting engaged.

I tore that article to keep and made a mental note to run through it the day I had to make 'grown up decisions'. Then of course I met The Boy overseas and ended up marrying him while my useful article protested in my home drawer.

To make amends, I hereby reproduce it and hope it serves you well.
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Moving In Together

- Am I moving in with him/her mainly to get distance from my parents or to prove that I’m an adult?
- Am I doing this because I don’t think I can make it alone and I assume he/she will take care of me?
- Was this decision prompted because it makes life more convenient or is it a great financial deal?
- Am I running away from a bad living situation or roommate?
- Can I tolerate their daily habits?
- Do I feel relaxed enough around them to reveal my flaws?
- Have we discussed duties? Who cleans and when? Or have we agreed to hire someone?
- Will we split our rent down the middle or does it depend on whose salary is bigger?
- Have we set rules about how often friends and family may stay over?
- How will we merge our decorating tastes? Do either of us have items we’re not willing to give up?
- Am I prepared to have someone always in my space?
- Does he/she drink/smoke too much?
- What is his/her financial track record?
- Has he/she been financially dependent on prior girlfriends/boyfriends?
- What do our recurring fights tend to be about? Do we believe that cohabitation will fix those issues?
- Could our routine spats get worse when we share such close quarters? How have we prepared for that?
- Am I hoping this will lead to getting engaged? If so, does he know that and share the goal of marriage?
- If we split up, how will we divide our assets?

Before Getting Engaged

- How much do I expect him/her to spend on a ring relative to his income? Does s/he know this?
- What is the first thing I’ll be excited about when they propose: the ring or spending our lives together?
- Does being with him/her make me truly happy - happier then I was before - or am I just relieved to have a fiance/fiancee?
- Am I doing this because it feels right or is it because I have an internal time lime?
- Do I feel pressured because my friends are engaged or my family is pushing me?
- Does he/she take responsibility and know how to say “I’m sorry” or does he/she stonewall me?
- What kind of friends and friendships does he/she have?
- Does he/she put their friends ahead of our relationship?
- Are we moving at the same pace or is one of us rushing the other to take this next step?
- When I have pangs for old flames, are they random and fleeting or do they leave me longing?
- Has he/she ever flirted or been touchy-feely with others while dating me? If so, am I convinced they now understand appropriate boundaries?
- Do we have the same ideas about where to live?
- What are his/her long term values and goals in terms of his/her career? Wealth? Relationships? Family? Health? Are those compatible with mine? Do I expect any of those to change - for either of us - down the line?
- Would I be prepared to move if they got a great job in another state?

Before Getting Married

- Can he/she put up with my relatives and can I put up with his/hers?
- Are either of us cut off or over-involved with our families?
- Have we discussed our family health histories?
- Have we discussed whether or not we want kids, how many, and how we want to raise them?
- Are we on the same page about our careers? Does one of us want to stay at home?
- Would he/she be cool with my desire to work - or not - after kids?
- Would I be okay with if if I were the breadwinner? Would he/she?
- Would he be okay with it if I keep my last name?
- Do I feel comfortable “marrying” into his social circle of friends?
- If one of his/her parents turned on me, would s/he stand up for me or would I have to fight for myself?
- What’s his/her idea of the right way to discipline children?
- What are our values (family, religion, politics) and do they mesh?
- Do we have similar definitions of what quality leisure time is and how our vacations should be spent?
- Will I be incurring any of his/her debts or will he/she be incurring any of mine?
- Do we plan on having separate bank accounts or creating one that we will both share?
- Is he/she open to going to therapy to work through problems if we need to one day? Am I?
- If he/she doesn’t change and what I’m getting now is exactly what s/he’s going to be and nothing better, will I still be content with he/she?

 


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