You're dating a guy/girl. Everything is, in a word, perfect. They have a great job, are attractive, confident, treat you wonderfully. They're the total package....
Or so you think.
The relationship progresses. Feelings become more intense, and soon, you're talking about searching for that perfect diamond.
BEFORE you start thinking about tieing the knot, you may want to ask yourself if this person is actually compatible with you completely. You should ask questions BEFORE the relationship goes much further than "Exclusive Status".
9 times out of ten, the reason that relationships fail after a period of time, is that the right questions were never asked, or, even worse, no questions were asked to begin with. You walked into a relationship because the other person's " Representative", as I like to call it, seemed to have the total package plus that bag of chips you were looking for. You seemed perfectly compatible.
One of the biggest things that is never really discussed is money. How will you spend it? If you won the lottery, would it be spent on cars and fancy things? Or would it be put into savings?
What if you lost your job? How would you budget things?
If you don't know his/her answers to these questions, you may want to pull the E-brake on this wonderful little ride to marriage right now. If you don't know what their spending/saving habits are, how will work things out if you're a saver, and they're a spender? Not just a spender, but a frivolous spender? Or what if they're a penny pincher? Will that bother you?
Ask about their career. Figuring out where they stand as far as a job goes will help you determine if they're independent enough to be a "go getter" and not have to rely on someone else to pay the bills. Also, it will earn you bonus points for being interested in them. We may as well include thier dreams and ambitions in this category too. Does he/she have any goals? Anything that's long term? What about short term?
What about YOUR career? Do you work late shifts? Do you work 15 hour days? Work schedules can lead to problems when things get serious. If they're used to being able to have you at their leisure before things get serious...are they going to be able to handle it when your job demands that you work a 9am-10pm day more than three times a week?
By date number three, you should have already figured out what their interests are.....(you HAVE done this, right?) If not, you should really find out fast. I'm not a firm believer in the whole " opposites attract" thing. Reason being, individuals have to have things in common in order to make it work. End of story. You can't have a die hard vegitarian and an insatiable carnivore in a relationship together. Doesn't work that way.
Talked about children yet? Yeah, this is a biggie. How many will you want to have? Would you want to have one parent stay at home? Both working parents? How will you discipline them?
In a relationship, it is imperitave that parents support eachother in disciplining their children. This is one of the number one reasons ( aside from money) that couples fight. Not being on the same page in this area can be like hydrochloric acid on a hardwood floor; it deteriorates until there's nothing left. Many parents do the " Well, go ask your mom/dad." Children aren't stupid. They understand that if one parent doesn't agree with another, they'll ask the parent that will give them the answer they want. Ex: Dad doesn't agree with 15 year old Daughter going to the movies with a group of friends and no adult. Mom doesn't see a problem so long as there's a group of friends. Daughter will ask Mom before she asks Dad.
Religion. Yeah, that's right. I said it. Politics can be coupled with this, solely because they're both considered controversial issues. Not for any other reason but that.
It helps to learn of their beliefs, and their reasonings for believing this or that. It helps to be able to support eachother with something that may be important to one or both.
What about family? How important is family to them? Do they have to see/talk to their family at least once a day every day? Or are they more comfortable with distance? What about holidays? How do they generally spend holidays with their family? It's best to learn these things AHEAD of time rather than fight about the issue at hand the day of the festivities.
Can you actually have an intellectual conversation with this person? Converstation is key. Not saying that awkward silence doesn't happen, and that you have to be able to keep a conversation going constantly without ever running out of something to say.....because that's unreasonable. But to be able to carry on a conversation with someone is a pretty big part of a relationship of any kind. That's just my opinion, someone will probably disagree with me, and that's their opinion.
These may be the "hot-button" issues. You might want to consider them before you actually slide that ring on.