Meeting a guy or a lady that stands out from the crowd and sync with you on many fronts is a really beautiful thing. Falling in love and starting a relationship is even more exciting.
It’s really an experience of growing into another person until thoughts of them comes naturally to you.
Let me state early in this article that the ultimate purpose of such love relationship should be marriage. Also we assume that you are with a person of like faith according to the bible.
Moving on, the requirements for sustaining a loving and happy marriage are quite different from that needed to keep a love relationship going.
Here are things you need to consider before you get engaged.
The vision of a man or woman is often the thing that drives their actions and decisions on a long term basis. Where there is no vision, people cast off restraint. If all you want from life is to get married, get a nice house and a good car, have some children and be comfortable, then it’s only a matter of time before emptiness sets in. it’s important to have a vision as an individual before coming together as a couple. Everyone needs to find a sense purpose.
Here are a few question to help you and you partner identify your vision as individuals;
A. What do I truly want in life?
B. Where do i see myself in 10 or 20 years from now?
c. In what way would i want to impact the world starting from my community?
Write the answer to these questions on a piece of paper and ask yourself if you can achieve them after you get married to this person.
2. Would you marry you?
Most people are quick to list out the good qualities they want in a partner. The hard truth is that people are not perfect and would many times have flaws some of which can be managed.
You know your own flaws and it’s time to ask yourself if you would marry a person that had those same flaws. If the answer is No, then you should start working to change.
Values are the principles and standards that help you to decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations. Here are a list of values that would help you decide if you can live with this person; Honesty, Truthfulness, Faithfulness, Dependability, Respect etc.
If your partner has a habit of telling lies before marriage, this simply means that truthfulness is not one of his/her values and the chances that he would continue that path afterwards are high.
In the case of a cheating partner, faithfulness isn’t one of his/her values.
So it’s important to know the values of your partner before marriage.
4. Sex and children
sex is a critical part of every marriage and should be discussed before marriage. This is important because many marriages have crashed on account of differences in sexual disposition. Make a decision to discuss sexual matter as they arise and this would help both parties better understand their sexuality and increase their sexual compatibility.
It’s also important to agree on the number of children both of you would like to have.
Effective communication is key to the survival of any relationship. I’m talking about real-time communication and not chats and phone calls. You need to evaluate the level of communication between you and your partner. Does it feel like he/she is keeping things that concern you both to him/herself. If this is the case, then you need to discuss it and sort it out.
If you find it difficult to be completely honest with your partner, then take your time to really work on your communication and don’t rush into marriage.
6. Money and Spending Habits
This is a very important area to consider in every relationship. Having a partner with an impulsive spending habit can lead to financial problems for the family and should be addressed before you get married. Ask your partner if he/she has any savings. You may be able to get by without saving some of your money as a single guy/lady but it’s difficult to when you start a family.
7. Your views on household chores
There are many men who feel it’s completely a woman’s responsibility to tend to all household chores and may not be inclined to help out. This has caused many problems in families and should be discussed before marriage.
8. Career Goals
People can sometimes be career-driven even at the expense of relationships and family. If his/her career path at some point requires travel, persistent late nights or absenteeism, things can go bad very quickly. However, communication and agreement can help resolve issues like these when they arise.
9. Seek Counsel
Taking a decision to get married is first of all personal. However, you should seek counsel from people in your circle that have proven themselves over time to walk in wisdom i.e your parents, spiritual leader e.t.c
Sometimes these people might see certain things the euphoria of love can make you blind to. Therefore I recommend you seek their counsel.
10. Get to know His/her family
A guy who has not introduced you to his family has no business proposing to you. It’s important to know his family before you get engaged and this applies to both parties. What kind of relationship does he/she have with family members?
If you are engaged to an only child/son, you need wisdom to relate with his mother who may be understandably attached to her son. There are some other issues you may discover just by meeting his/her family.
11. Get to know His/her friends
There is always someone your partner talks about frequently, a really close friend. Make no mistakes about this, that person is a major influencer in your partner’s life. At some point, your partner would want you to meet such a person, never turn down such an opportunity. Get to know that person and maybe at some point you would be able to influence your partner’s influencer.
12. Conflict resolution
Decide early on in the relationship how you would resolve a conflict should it ever arise. Many people only know how to resolve conflict by lashing out, hurling insults, and even keeping malice. Therefore, it’s important to lay down rules for conflict resolution and abide by them.
a. No use of insulting or abusive words
No raising the tone of your voice.
Agreeing to take a break and discuss the issue later.
d. No arguing about money in the presence of a third party.
13. What’s his/her thought on divorce
I once met a single guy who was completely open to divorce the moment he could not tolerate some issues in marriage. Knowing what your partner thinks about divorce could help you know what to expect in a marriage and if you really want to be with such person.
14. Knowing Your Partner’s Belief Systems.
We all have different ideas and perceptions about different life issues. These belief systems had been built up over the years from our families, traditional practices, worship denominations and the environment we grow up in. It is important to find out the belief system of your spouse and also share your opinion on some subjects before engagement.
15. Physical Attraction
Even after loving a person’s character and attributes, is the physical looks of your partner appealing to you? Before considering marriage, make sure you and your partner have mutual physical attraction.
16. Spend quality time
Only time can actually test how a person actually feels about you. Quality time also happens to be a love language for some people. Spending quality time may unveil some character flaws that you might want to discuss with your partner before you get engaged.