Unlike getting a driver’s license or earning a diploma, there isn’t a standardized test to determine if you’re in a healthy relationship that’s ready to move forward. There are, however, relationship questions to ask before marriage that can reassure you that the person who’s madly in love with you is also the person you should settle down with — or not. Being in love can be a heady experience, so these questions to ask before getting married may be able to help you get in touch with your most clear-eyed self.
How many of these questions to ask before marriage have you talked about with your partner or fiancé(e)?
If my partner never loses a pound or changes any of their daily habits, would I be happy with them for the long-term?
Accepting your partner as they are now — not who you know they could be if they just worked harder or listened to your advice — is a key component to determining if you’re ready for marriage. While it can be tempting to make a bet on someone’s future potential, the reality is you should be marrying them for who they are, flaws and all.
Do my partner and I communicate well with each other, and often?
If you’re wondering which questions to ask before marriage, communication should be high on the list. Every couple is different, so if you’re communication doesn’t look like long, eloquent speeches a la “This Is Us,” that’s OK, as long as you’re both on the same page. Communication is one of the keys to a healthy marriage, so if you’re iffy on this, spending time during your engagement to work this out, perhaps with a couples therapist, is a smart way to go.
Are you both comfortable spending time developing yourselves outside of your relationship?
Whether it’s grabbing a cocktail with the girls or taking a continuing education class, you should have interests outside of your future spouse — and they should have interests outside of you. Happy couples are secure enough in their relationship to not be intimidated when their boyfriend or girlfriend spends time with their friends or invests time in their hobbies. If the idea of your boo having interests and making connections without you brings out the green-eyed monster, it may be time to reevaluate marriage plans.
Are you both completely transparent about your individual finances?
Some of the most important questions to ask before marriage involve money. Before considering marriage, you’ll definitely want to be comfortable talking about your income, any debt you carry, your credit score, and your long-term financial goals, like buying a home or retirement. These definitely aren’t the sexiest conversations you’ll ever have with your future forever, but they’re totally ones that’ll safeguard the longevity of your marriage.
Am I on the same page with my partner about plans to start a family?
While your idea of the future might include a house full of babies, if your partner always imagined themselves living the DINK (dual-income-no-kids) life, you might have a problem. That’s why family planning is one of those essential relationship questions to ask before marriage. Some people assume what they want — having kids or not having kids — is what their partner also wants, but when it comes to something this crucial, you’ve got to be really clear on expectations before you start wedding planning.
Do we have lingering questions about why past relationships didn’t work out?
It’s not fun rehashing the past, especially when it ended in a broken heart, but there are certain things you both need to know about each other’s past relationships before making a lifelong commitment to each other. If you’ve already passed this milestone, congrats! If you haven’t, don’t feel bad about bringing it up again.
Are we both willing to keep working on our relationship?
Perhaps one of the most important questions to ask before marriage. Intimate partnerships take work, and that can look differently for different couples. Some will work together in pre-marital counseling to create a roadmap for a healthy marriage, while others might prefer to turn to religious leaders for guidance, or read up on love language differences to better understand their partner. No matter the format, be sure you and your partner are open to continually working to be the best spouses you can be.