Take a couple of moments and be real with yourself, before blurting out an "I do" or mentally accepting that you’re ready to take the next steps with a person who makes your heart beat like it’s the background track of a "The Chainsmokers" song, and ask yourself “have we chatted about things…about everything?” It’s easy to build up a relationship with a person over lovey dovey moments, fun adventures and exotic vacations, and even small talk about how your day was or what you plan on doing next month.
But before you’re really ready to take the next step and walk down the aisle into the arms of a person you’re promising to spend forever with, it’s important that you both sit down and talk about some nitty gritty things.
Wondering what kind of real-talk you should have? Here are eight awkward topics to talk about before you get engaged.
1. Babies on the brain
Be honest with each other about whether having kids is something you want in the future. One of you may have a strong opinion that’s the complete opposite of the other's. Either way, having a chat about kids, when you want to have them, if you don’t want to have them at all, or you’re plain-old unsure, is something you want to get out in the open before jumping into marriage.
2. Bank account mergers
Don’t forget to talk about money. Will you combine bank accounts? Share credit cards? Sign a pre-nup? Help pay-off the other’s student loans? Chatting about where you both stand financially and how you want to manage your money together, or separately, in the future should be at the top of your pre-marriage chat list.
3. Location, location, location
Maybe right now you two already live together or live in the same city. But what about the future? Discuss where you see yourselves living in the next five or 10 years. If kids are in the picture, you might even start planning ahead now to decide where you want to build your future family’s roots.
4. What will you give up
Marriage is all about compromise and some of those compromises don’t have to happen so much when you’re just in dating mode. Now that you’re about to start a life together and not just as two individuals, some sacrifices might have to be made.
5. Belief in higher powers
Whether you both share the same religion or spiritual belief or you both have different affiliations, now is the time to chat about that, especially if you’re on team "kids in the future." You’ll want to make sure you have a game plan on how you’ll raise them, so that both of you feel represented with your religion or beliefs.
6. Political leanings
With a messy election season about to come to an end, it’s always a good idea to talk about politics, even if you both disagree and vote for different parties. Having it out in the open that you both respect one another’s choices is a good way to start the rest of your lives together.
7. Dealing with family
If your partner clashes with a member of your family or you clash with a member of theirs, now is the time to chat through that to make sure that you are on each other’s team and that you have a plan of how to build up that relationship or smooth it out. Remember, when you get married, you marry that person and their family.
8. Skeletons in the closet
Do you know everything you need to know about that person? Their debt? Their past relationships and the baggage they are left with? Sit down with each other and make sure you have shared all the major, and even some minor, details about your past life that may affect your future. Keep your partner-to-be surprise free before the wedding and for the rest of your lifetime with them.
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