Thursday, November 14, 2013

101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged


I know a guy who bought this book for a second date. Yup, he was that serious about getting into a good relationship that he cut right to the chase. That guy is now happily married to the woman from that date and they have two children. I don't believe cutting to the chase is for everyone, but asking essential questions should be! 

My first two years of marriage were a crap storm. Now that's crass, but I can't think of another way to put it. As newlyweds we did three of the most stressful things, simultaneously. We had a baby, bought a home and changed careers. Three of the most stressful life scenarios were happening all at once during year one of marriage. What were we thinking? We weren't thinking. And we didn't ask the questions we should have beforehand.

We were engaged and married in less than a month. Sure, we successfully dated for three or so years, but those honeymooning years aren't always insightful or efficient. In fact, like us, most couples are blinded by love and don't see things clearly in the falling in love stage. No fault of anyones really. That's just love! We don't see faults or complications and I'm sure we all vow we'll be different.

But couples are more alike than different and compitability can be carefully crafted beyond the honeymoon stage and once the perfectness of coupledom fades. How? Ask the questions. This book outlines 101 good ones. 

But even if you just cover basics you should be set:

- Money: Debits? Savings? Goals?
- Sex: Expectations? Unmet Needs? 
- Kids: Yea or Nay, How Many? What If You Can't Concieve?
- Career: Demanding? Fulfilling? Stable?

There really should be NO wrong answers when discussing the basics. It's all about getting to know each other on a level that is straightforward while addressing key areas of adult life. So talking personal finances isn't very sexy, but not going over these important matters can complicate life later. 

For instance, my husband and I changed careers year one of our marriage. This proved to be a huge challenge financially and our stability went out the window. I supported my husband through it, but I also fought him and complained often! I wasn't always happy with the sudden changes and that strain was so hard on our marriage. It's something I believe would have been different if we would have addressed our career goals and needs prior to just winging it. 

Are you thinking of getting engaged? Or moving in with someone? 
These are great questions to ask before taking the plunge!

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