6 Things You and Your Partner Absolutely Need to Talk About Before Getting Engaged
You’re not even engaged, but you’ve picked out a ring and planned the wedding in your head. (Rustic barnyard chic.) So even though you and your soon-to-be fiancé are on the same page regarding pass-around appetizers (lamb chops or bust), you should also make sure you’re set on the more practical stuff, like whether or not you want to merge bank accounts. They’re not as fun as cake tastings, but these are six things you should definitely decide together.
You two might be having a blast now in your one-bedroom apartment in the city, but where do you see each other growing together long-term? While you envision moving back to the suburb where you grew up, your partner could be dreaming about taking that job in Amsterdam. It doesn’t mean you should stop looking at rings, it just means you should talk about it.
No, not just whether you both want them. If you do, when you want them? Avoid surprises after you say your vows—maybe you want to start having kids right away, but your partner wants to wait another five years. It’s a decision you have to make together, and it might actually take longer than one conversation, so give yourself time to come to terms with whatever you land on.
The wedding emcee introduces you as Mr. and Mrs. [INSERT SAME LAST NAME], and suddenly you realize you never told your husband you’re keeping your name. Or maybe you want to merge your names together or hyphenate. Make a point to come to a solution together before your first dance. And also remember: it’s not just about your name—make sure you and your soon-to-be fiancé are aligned with what last names your future children will have, too.
Even if you both grew up going to the same church, chances are there are some differences in how you fit (or don’t fit) religion into your life. It’s also important to be clear about what you expect from your partner when it comes to your practice. Does it mean the world to you to have weekly Shabbat dinners together? Or are you OK heading to mass without your atheist wife? And of course: kids. It’s soooo much easier to talk about whether you’d like your kids to go to Sunday school before you’re getting two hours of sleep a night. So do it now. Trust us.
Money can the most sensitive subject of all. And that’s exactly why you need to know as much as you can about each other’s spending habits, goals and—yes—debt, before you plan to make it legal. Your money convo should also involve long-term thinking (career goals or buying a place) and short-term plans (vacations).
How You Like Your Coffee
A two-hour discussion about credit card debt is way easier to swallow with a café au lait prepped by your partner and served in your favorite mug. Trust us on this one.