An engagement, many times means that a wedding is looming. So many times after an engagement, all attention shifts to wedding planning. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in whole wedding planning and forget that you are literally merging your life with some else’s – which if not discussed before the engagement, can be chaotic.

If there is one thing I have learned and found to be so true, it is that the formula for a successful relationship is communication. Not just a relationship with your partner, but even with yourself.

I have seen so many couples get engaged and all I hope is that they have talked about things before getting engaged.

Whether you are single or coupled, consider these important conversations to create a solid foundation with your significant other.

Finances

I come from a family that openly talks about finances. Now, coming from that background, I am very open about discussing finances with my significant other.

What I have realized, however, is that it is one of the hardest things to discuss with somebody who is not open about finances.

It is still something I am trying to navigate 😅.

When talking about finances with your partner, it is important to be gentle and move slowly.

It is okay to have a different “money personality” from your partner, and if there is something specific that you worry about in regards to finances, you better bring it up sooner than later. You may have realized that your partner is a spendthrift. Or you would like to have joint accounts in marriage. Do discuss—in-depth. Harboring your feelings will only lead to resentment.

It’s important to first get clear on your own feelings and priorities about money before sharing what you expect from your partner. Money issues contribute to divorce more than any other topic—sex, children, and division of labor.

Children

I’m sure you have heard the obvious question. I mean, my childhood friends and I even used to ask each other these questions.

Do you want children one day? How many? What will be their names?

But other than that, there’s a lot more to be discussed when it comes to children.

What kind of life do you want to give your children? Is it similar or different from your partner’s?

Remember, you are raising a child with another person – it’s just not what you want that should/will happen. Before you take the relationship too far, sit and talk about the fundamental aspects of parenting.

How to Fight

Now, this is not necessarily something to discuss before getting engaged, but throughout your relationship.

If when you are dating you realize that whenever you fight, both of you fight verbally/physically or are disagreeing to win, you need to discuss how to change that.

For example, instead of fighting to win, you could talk about how to fix the thing causing the argument and work through it together.

If the way you fight still escalates, consider seeing a therapist before saying “yes” to the proposal.

Career

What happens when the job you have requires you to travel, stay at work late, and in general, eats up a lot of your time? What if it is your partner’s job that requires all this?

What if you are in a job you dislike and want to quit?

It is important that both of you talk about your feelings towards your jobs/careers and how you envision moving forward. Of course, you will not know it all at that moment, but it is important to have a rough idea of what you and your partner expect from each other.

Religion

If you practice a religion or have a particular faith, how important is it that your partner share the faith and practice it with you? How does your religion or faith affect your lifestyle? If you plan to have kids, what religion, if any, do you want to raise them in?

Discuss this before you get married.

Any other thing you would add?