You’re madly in love with your partner for seven years. The way your partner looks at you and admires every piece of your being as well as the fact that you have known each other for years, assure you that he or she is “the one.” Your relationship is just like the movies, and you can’t wait for your story to have a sequel.
But if you’d take all the chick flick moments aside, what would remain? Are you best friends and confidants of each other? Or merely cold strangers?
Older folks used to say that marriage is not like a hot spoonful of rice that you can spit out once you get burned. Unlike in young, shallow love, there’s no such thing as a “break-up” in marriage. Upon wearing those wedding rings, two persons vow to spend the rest of their lives with each other, for happiness and sorrow, and for better or for worse, and they swear to stay committed to that lifetime promise.
10 Love Questions You Must Answer to Yourself
Ready to take your relationship to the next level? Here are 10 straightforward questions you and your partner should first ask each other.
1. “What do you love and hate about me?”
Saying that you two “click” together and share similar interests isn’t enough to take you and your partner to the next step. It’s pretty easy to discuss all the characteristics you love about your partner, but you should go deeper and discuss the topics you’re afraid to bring up – pet peeves and turn-offs. Talk about the habits and attitudes you both have to change, from the grossest practices inside the restroom to the insensitive remarks your partner says during conflicts.
2. “How will we solve our primary unresolved issues?”
Aside from negative characteristics, discuss all the issues that have been bothering your relationship for the past months or years. It can be your partner’s past and exes, his or her extreme codependency, or his or her bad spending habits, which usually starts conflicts.
If they are bearable, think of steps you can make as a couple to resolve them. Remember that your mind and heart should be worry-free when you walk down the aisle, and the idea of spending the rest of your life with your partner should give you excitement instead of apprehension.
3. “How do your family resolve conflicts?”
There are three common ways families deal with huge conflicts; addressing the problems calmly, breaking plates and yelling at each other, and keeping quiet and letting the issue pass. Couples Institute founder Peter Pearson says that we are all shaped by our family’s dynamics. Your partner’s answer to this question will give you an idea of how your partner will deal with future arguments. Some people tend to imitate these conflict resolution patterns while others try not to repeat the same mistakes their parents had at home.
4. “How important is religion to you?”
Most people believe that love knows no religion, but will this phrase remain true after marriage? Well if two people came from different religious backgrounds and they have respect toward their partner’s affiliation, there wouldn’t be any problem. Bigger conflicts arise when children are put into context.
Another problem is when partners share the same religion but differ in views and spiritual practices. With this, it should be clear how important religion is and how you celebrate not only as a family but as an individual.
5. “What are your views about money?”
Is your partner frugal? Do you know the most he or she would be willing to spend on luxurious needs? What is his or her views about money? Is your partner ambitious and tend to depend on money and assets for self-worth? Does he or she prefer separate accounts or joint accounts?
Couples should be on the same track in terms of financial caution. Keep in mind that money is one of the leading causes of couples’ arguments, and these fights may be eliminated if each is aware of his or her partner’s spending habits and priorities.
6. “What are your expectations when it comes to lovemaking?”
Sex routines will also change as couples last longer in marriage. When work and children steal the time, lovemaking becomes optional, and may even get to the point that you set appointments for it. However, your spouse may see the sexual excitement as an essential means to achieving a healthy and satisfying marriage. Knowing how often you and your partner expect to make love will help keep the love and intimacy alive through the years.
7. “What is your expectation as to what ‘privacy’ means?”
Should you know each other’s Facebook passwords? Will it be necessary to narrate everything you did throughout the day with your partner, including the gender of the people you’ve contacted with?
In marriage, you will vow to be as one. However, privacy and “alone time” are also essential in keeping the marriage successful, so it should be clear to the both of you when to draw the line between a “committed” partner and a “possessive and suffocating” one.
8. “What role does the other’s family play in our own family?”
Should you consult your parents regarding huge decisions. How often will you visit and socialize with them? When you have children, how much time will they spend with their grandparents and what kind of relationship should they have? Know if your spouse is raised in a strong family-oriented culture, wherein certain expectations have to be met.
Marriage kicks you out of your parent’s nests. You will move out, raise kids, and have new sets of priorities, and make grown-up decisions. However, your bond with your “original” family should remain intact, especially when youngsters come to the scene.
9. “How would you know I love you even if I don’t say it?”
There are times when the statement “I love you” are uttered as frequent as “hello” that it loses its true essence. Verbal expression is just one way to express one’s love, and if you’re going to enter a lifetime union, you should be aware of your partner’s other means of showing love.
Let’s call it “The five love languages,” a concept by the author Dr. Gary Chapman. The love languages include words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Talk about each other’s primary and secondary languages of love so you can further strengthen your bond.
10. “Seeking professional counseling: will you be comfortable with it?”
Counseling is a great way for couples to cope with the struggles of their marriage. By hearing what experts have to say, couples gain a better understanding of each other and this helps them avoid irrational decisions. However, there are instances when the ego hinders us from seeking professional help. When one is not committed to the process or even to the idea of healing, the therapy will not work.