My mom always said that the true test of a relationship is what happens after the wedding -- once all toasts have been made, the cake has been cut and the bridesmaids have scrambled for the bouquet. She maintained that it was the nitty-gritty of life post-honeymoon that helped to define your marriage and your coupledom.
And I agree with her -- almost. Justin Halpern, author of I Suck At Girls, says that there are just some issues you can't put on the back burner until you've settled into married life. He recently outlined eight key questions everyone should ask themselves before walking down the aisle (questions like "How much money do they associate with the phrase "I just treated myself to a little something?" and "How often do they want to see their family?" and "Did they have sex with one of your friends before you started dating?"...). I've paired my questions down to a mere three, but they are nonetheless important ones...
Can I see myself raising kids with this person?
I know, I've said before that I might not ever want children, but it's probably a good idea to at least keep the window of possibility open. Who knows how I'll feel a few years from now, so I'll want someone who will be as equally open to those possibilities too. Someone who loves kids. Someone who is responsible. Someone who cherishes family as much as I do.
Am I doing this because I'm truly in love, or because I feel like I have to?
I'll be the first to admit that I've been in love with the idea of love more than an actual person a time or two. I can only imagine how confusing things must get when you apply those blind folders to marriage. Who wants to be walking around like a zombie bride, merely going through the motions because you think you have to or that you don't have a way out? In love -- and in life, I'm learning -- you can always say "no."
Do we agree on major issues?
The worst thing in the world is spending the rest of your life with someone who differs from you entirely. That's not to say that opposites don't attract, but when it comes to things like money, family values and even life goals, it helps to have someone in your corner.
I even posed this question to several friends, and their answers were pretty revealing and eye-opening...
*Why am I doing this?
*Can I handle dealing with his mother for the rest of my life?
*Will there be further education for either of you?
*Can I live with their political views?
*Do I like this person enough to have them by my side for the rest of my life? (Might sound stupid but I truly believe you have to like someone before you can love them).
*Close friends and family know you best. Discuss your plans with them. Do they approve of thus person you plan to bring into the family?
*Is this person your best friend? A lifetime is a long time.
*Would I enjoy having a son who turned out like a mix of his father and mine?
And someone even suggested playing a strategy game with Monopoly first and talk about kids, life expectations, fears and concerns. I love that idea!
Now it's your turn, friends: What questions went through your mind before you got married? If you're not married, do you have some questions in mind? What's important to you? I'd love to hear! xoxo
[Photos via Le Love]