Congratulations! You are in a loving relationship and thinking about the next step. Is marriage the right path for you? A good way to explore the next phase of your journey is to have some heart to heart conversations. Much research on relationship shows that couples who are aligned on a number of issues are better equipped to handle all that life dishes up. So here is the first in a series of topics for conversations to have with your partner. Some of the topics might sound intense, but better to find out before you are married if there are any deal-breakers. Most of all, having these conversations will deepen your relationship and set a solid foundation for your wonderful lifetime ahead.
Topic #1. Do you share similar attitudes about life and what makes life important? So, you might ask, how do you even begin to have that conversation? Here are the areas to explore in your conversation. What kinds of activities do you like to do in your spare time? Would you rather watch a game on Sunday with an ice-cold beer and chips, or would you rather hit the trails and hike at a local park? What are your religious or spiritual views—do you feel the same way about attending church? What are your political views and are you politically active or like to stay at some distance? What are your views about sex—level of interest, frequency, like and dislikes? (We will leave the specific “having kids” question for another day).
What if you are different on many of these issues—is it all that important? You might ask, isn’t it true that opposites attract? Yes, there may qualities about a partner that are attractive because they are different from you. But if you do not share similar attitudes about basic things like what is funny, what is interesting and what you think is absurd or amazing, you will probably loose interest and respect for the other person when they are talking about these things that are important to them but not to you.
What is important to remember in all of this is that differing views, individual styles and differences is a wonderful thing about humans on this planet. There are no right or wrong answers in these conversations. Just know that for a marriage to work, being on the same wavelength is really essential. Although you might love to wear colorful clothes and your mate, not so much, as long as you don’t care so much about what they wear, it won’t be a problem. Not agreeing on issues that are significant and important to you will cause problems. So have these conversations to deepen your relationship before you decide to make your life together. Be open and know that you might be surprised what you learn. You will be glad you talked!