If you're thinking about getting married or engaged, congrats! You likely already know a lot about your partner, like how much time they like to spend out of the house, whether they’re an introvert or an extrovert, what kind of vacations they like to take, and how much time they spend at work. But there are some very important questions that you should ask each other before taking the next step.
Here are seven questions to ask your potential spouse:
Do you want children?
Being on the same page about whether you want children is a big deal, and discussing whether you want to have children or not is one of the most important conversations to have before getting married. It's a major life decision that will affect your relationship, lifestyle, and future.
If you want children, what would your parenting style be like?
If you both want children, it's important to discuss what your parenting style would be like. While it may be hard to describe your particular parenting style with a single word, it might be helpful to discuss what each of you would do in different parenting scenarios. Having these discussions can help you avoid potential disagreements down the road.
Where do you want to live?
Do you want to keep living in the same city, state, or country? Do you plan on moving within the next few years? Particularly if you're planning on starting a family, it's important to discuss where you want to live—some people are completely fine raising kids in a city apartment while others will want a house in a rural area or the suburbs.
Where do you see your career in 5 years? 10 years?
Your career can have a big impact on your relationship. Do you plan on advancing, staying where you are, or switching careers? Especially if one of you plans on going back to school, this can have a big impact on your financial future.
What if something happens to one of us?
No couple likes to think about what would happen if one partner were to pass away unexpectedly, but it’s essential to have a plan. You might want to discuss getting life insurance to replace lost income if one spouse died unexpectedly. Life insurance becomes even more important if you are considering taking on a big debt, like buying a house, or having children who will depend on your income for years.
How do we feel about merging our finances?
If you're thinking about merging your finances, it's important to have a conversation about what that would look like. What will happen if one of you wants to make a major purchase like a car? What will happen if one of you wants to quit their job and stay home? Thinking about these scenarios can help you set up rules and expectations around money.
How will we split up household chores?
If you're planning on sharing a household, it's important to discuss how you'll split up the chores. Will one person be responsible for cooking, cleaning, and laundry? Or will you both take on different tasks? How will you handle it if one person wants to stay home with the kids while the other works?
Getting on the same page
These are just a few of the questions you should ask your partner before getting married. Having these conversations can help you get on the same page about your future together. And, remember, if you’re not sure about something, just ask!