Whether you have known each other for years or only a few months, you will be surprised at the number of people who really don’t know some basic things about their significant other. For starters I didn’t know R’s blood group or his designation at work until a month ago and we have been engaged for a year now 😮
So I came up with five things which (I think) you should talk about when you get committed/engaged with each other.
Know the basics
Know the other person’s height, weight, blood group and any health issues, drug allergies, the person might have. This will prepare you for any emergencies. Like it or not the two of you are going to play a major role as caretakers of each other and if you have never been used to that role then this conversation will be a good way to know the expectations of the other person when one is sick.
Also, knowing prior about the occasional migraines makes the person crabby or how her cramps are going to make her snarl at you might go a long way (atleast initially) in a relationship 🙂
Know about their childhood and family
An important aspect of a marriage is building a relationship with the family. So get to know about them. Start from stories about their childhood , this will give you a better picture about all the characters in the story 🙂 Have an open mind when you have this talk and (try) to stay away from judgments. Remember details, that t-shirt he loved as a kid or that song that she loves to hum. And of course you can extend it to that color your sister-in-law loves or that occasional drink your father-in-law might enjoy 😉
In addition to the good memories you will also get to know about the not-so-good ones which you might want to stay clear of.
A definite big change after you get married is financial planning for the rest of your life. So if you already have not, then definitely talk about finances after your engagement. How much each of you earn, what are your joint financials goals, what are your individual goals. What if one of you wants to spend the next 5 years spending all your savings in travel while the other has an expectation that a significant contribution will be made towards a down payment for a house? Things do not always happen as planned but it is good to have a plan anyways right? So decide about how you want to handle money after the wedding. Personal advice would be to have personal savings in addition to joint finances irrespective of both people have a job or not.
If you are going to be stay-at-home spouse/moving to a different country, make sure you have your own finances set upor that it is worked out prior to your move.
Get introduced and talk to each others’ friends
‘A person is known by the company he keeps’ goes the saying. Maybe, maybe not but the chances of you seeing a different side when the other is with their friends is high. Especially if you are a couple who haven’t known each other for long. The friends will be another source for you to get some interesting tidbits about the person you are going to marry.
That first crush she had in sixth grade or that embarrassing moment he had in high school. Certain traits and passions of a person is only known to friends. So this will give you an opportunity to even bond and understand your SO.The closest friends are people who you are probably going to see a lot in the years to come after family. In many cases the families of these group of friends tend to grow old together. So make a effort to lay the foundation for this relationship 🙂
Talk personal goals
Maybe this post is starting to sound like a job interview but talk about 5 year and 10 year personal goals. An acquaintance of mine was surprised when he came to know that his fiance had plans to study in a different country in a year after the wedding. Having known each other for only a short period of time that never came up in any conversation. She never thought of it to be something to be discussed and he found it to be something very important that should have been discussed leading to some minor tensions.
So yes have a mock interview session. Leave emotions out of it and talk rationally about what you have planned for yourself in life. Where do you want to be in five years and what do you need from the other for it. This includes work, kids (or lack of), travel, fitness, hobbies, wellness ..anything! Support each other with it, whether it is something small as having a blog or as big as being an entrepreneur.
My last example, a friend of mine made a deal with the spouse. They needed each others’ support in their personal goals so they took turns doing it. When one was working hard on expanding the business, the other took a break to raise the child. And then they switched with the other training hard and the former going easy with work to take care of their child. So yes it is possible to work things out and find a balance when you work as a team with equal respect and support 🙂
What do you think couples should talk about when they get committed? Do leave a comment if you stop by. Do you have an interesting relationship discussion story to share? Drop a message at http://www.facebook.com/jansdoodles or mail to email@example.com.