Your partner will always remain a mystery to you, even just partly.
And that’s fine—it’s healthy to keep discovering new things about your partner, because the moment you stop discovering or trying to discover is the moment the relationship will become stale.
However, there are a few certain important issues that you need to clear up with your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife before it’s too late.
These are the issues that two people must see eye-to-eye on if they want to stay together in a serious relationship.
If not eye-to-eye, then they must at least find a compromise.
Without discussing these concerns, they may find themselves in a situation where it’s too late to change something that one or both partners don’t like.
1) “Will we change with marriage?”
The most common answer? Yes.
Of course you and your partner will change with marriage.
The more important question is how your relationship will change after marriage.
With two people come two different sets of notions and ideas about marriage, whether this includes responsibilities, gender roles, your sex life, and so on.
In one study, it was found that major personality shifts generally occur after marriage.
It’s important that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to how you will evolve after your wedding day.
2) “What is cheating?”
This may seem obvious, but the definition of “cheating” isn’t as universal as we would like to think.
Some people consider it cheating when you are touching someone on the shoulder, or sharing a personal secret with another person.
Others might not think of it as cheating until their partner is in bed with another person.
Remember this: your expectations and thoughts on fidelity may not be the same as your partner’s, and if that’s important to you, then it’s something you need to clear up before you disappoint your partner (or the other way around).
There are many cases of emotional affairs, where a partner invests themselves emotionally in another person. If this makes you uncomfortable, discuss it with your partner immediately.
3) “Do you have debt? If so, how much?”
Many young couples ultimately refuse to discuss money, thinking that it might dampen the “love” in their relationship.
But at some point it is crucial to grow up and be realistic: a relationship is more than just your emotions; it’s also about spending your life with another person, and that means sharing costs and expenses.
Imagine getting married to someone you love, only to find out a week later that they are $50,000 in debt. Not a great picture, right?
Sit down with your partner and talk about debt. Whether you have any, and how much you are willing to take on.
Hiding debt from a partner almost always destroys a relationship completely.
4) “Do you want kids?”
To some, kids are a basic component of life. They were raised with the belief that kids are a normal and expected part of any married couple’s life.
To others, kids may simply be an option (or not an option at all). You may meet the love of your life, but if you avoid the question about kids, you and your partner may one day be in for a big surprise.
How terrible would it be to share a life with someone, only to find out that you two are incompatible because of kids? Don’t let heartbreak or resentment become an inevitability.
5) “How much personal time and space do we need?”
The biggest change that we experience when we jump into a long-term and committed relationship is the change to our personal time and space.
All of a sudden, even your most personal moments now have another person in it. Even if that person is someone you deeply love and care about, you may not be ready to share all your time and space with another person.
Confront these questions and ask your partner how much time and space they truly need to be themselves.
Failing to “ask less” from your marriage can weaken it, according to one psychologist from Northwestern University.
6) “Who will do the chores?”
A 2007 poll from Pew Research found that one of the most important factors in predicting a successful marriage is how much the couple shares household chores.
Unfortunately, many relationships fail to grasp this importance, with women still carrying the majority of the work around the home.
By sitting down with your partner and evenly dividing or assigning the chores, this eases tension and saves time from fighting about housework.
7) “What do you think about divorce?”
It’s a dirty question that many in relationships would never want to consider, but it’s one that provides valuable insight into your partner.
Whether or not you are planning to have a divorce, you need to know what your partner thinks about it.
The simple fact that you know that your relationship can have an end, with a clean divorce possible at the end of the road, provides a freedom that can keep both partners mentally healthy in their relationship.