Honest talking about a shared future is the basis of a calm and pleasant relationship.
The list is quite extensive, so by no means try to discuss everything in one evening. This is, in principle, impossible and unnecessary. Break the list down into several small conversations. First of all, solve the most significant issues for you. And some can generally be left until the moment when you have already moved in.
Household chores and home improvement
How do you distribute the rest of the responsibilities around the house?
In addition to cleaning, you also need to wash and iron your clothes, wash dishes, take out the trash, buy groceries, and prepare food. First, find out which responsibilities are easier for each of you to fulfill. Some people hate messing with dirty dishes, but they almost enjoy ironing. Someone hates washing floors, but they cook with inspiration. For the same household chores that are not to your liking, establish a duty schedule.
Do any of you have special food preferences?
Or perhaps some of you need to stick to a diet all the time. Will you be on the same diet together or will you cook different meals for each? It is worth discussing this in advance.
Who is the first to shower in the morning?
If you leave home for work at about the same time, then this is one of the fundamental issues that can give rise to many quarrels.
Do I need to change the decor in the apartment?
Should you renovate or buy some furniture? Who will organize the process – searching, reading reviews and buying directly? And by the way, will it be joint or individual spending? After all, it may so happen that one of you cannot live without an armchair, while the other is, in principle, useless.
What will you do with your collections of books and discs, if any? How do you organize the storage space?
How often will you spend your evenings separately?
There are couples who do not want to be separated for a minute and do absolutely everything together. And there are those who sometimes need personal time to meet with friends or relatives, go to master classes in drawing or wood carving.
It is important to understand what each of you thinks about this, and come to some kind of decision even before you start living together.
Another important question: do you have to always have dinner together? Indeed, for many families, a joint dinner is a significant tradition, a time when common affairs and plans are discussed.
What if one of you wants to be alone for a while?
It is worth finding or organizing a corner in the apartment in which you can temporarily detach yourself from the whole world. And agree that at such moments even your partner will not bother you.
How will you spend time together?
When you live separately, it is easy to plan a variety of activities, because their purpose in one – to be together. This means that it can be a picnic in the park, watching a movie, or having lunch in a cafe. But when you live together, it is easy to slip into the fact that all your free time you will be lying on the couch and watching TV shows. Over time, it will become more difficult for you to come up with other leisure activities, and this will bring a feeling of boredom and lethargy.
Come up with activities together. Run, take photo walks, go to exhibitions and masterclasses, try to share each other’s hobbies. If one person is skiing, the other will most likely be uncomfortable if he does not share this passion.
How many of you will keep a calendar of friendly and family meetings?
Having accidentally met with friends in a shopping center, you end the conversation with the phrase: “Let’s have lunch together sometime.” And when, in your opinion, this “somehow” comes, your partner suddenly remembers that you were invited to dinner with his aunt together. Create a shared Google calendar and record all your joint visits and trips.
Do your ideas about the development of relationships coincide?
Some get married a couple of months after they met, others only after many years of living together. Talking too often about your future plans puts pressure on relationships and can lead to fights, but sometimes they are necessary.
Be honest with each other.
Are you intimidated by the prospect of marriage? Tell your partner about this. It is likely that he is also afraid of this and you will agree to choose a moment when you can confront the fear together. There will always be something scary on the horizon: buying an apartment, having children. It’s important to make sure that both of you are ready for the next step.
Do you need traditions of morning farewell to work and meetings in the evening?
It seems that we are already delving into insignificant little things, a kind of family micromanagement, but these are really significant moments. It is important for someone that, before leaving, the spouse kisses goodbye and wishes him good luck, and in the evening he welcomes him with gentle hugs. Someone does not even notice when his partner leaves the house, and when he returns. Both are fine as long as it suits both of you and doesn’t make one of you feel like something is going wrong.
What are the boundaries of your couple’s privacy?
Of course, many moments of your relationship are worthy of telling your friends about them. But there are things that no one else should know about except your couple. It is important for you to agree on where this border lies, because everyone has a different understanding of private life.
Who will keep track of utility bills?
And who will pay for them? Who will pay the rent or mortgage payments ?
How will you spend your money on joint purchases?
Leave it off every time it’s time to buy something? Summing up at the end of the month? Will you start a joint account?
How much of your budget will you spend on optional items?
Such as lunch in a cafe, alcohol, and ordering food at home. Someone will happily eat pizza 6 days a week, while for a spouse it will be a waste of money. Find a compromise. For example, during the workweek, you dine at home, and on the weekend you go out to take a break from cooking.
What expenses are significant to you?
For clothes, furniture, and gadgets, beauty salons, concerts, films, travel. For several years of living together, they, in general, will be determined by themselves, but it is better to discuss them at least partially so that there is no discontent or misunderstanding on the part of one of you.
What is the financial balance of each of you?
It will be unpleasant to find out after the wedding that one of you has wild debt on loans. If you are aiming for a serious relationship, it is worth discussing these things beforehand.
What are your goals that require financial costs?
Loan repayment? Travels? Buying a sofa or laptop? Buying an apartment or savings? You may have completely different financial goals, but it is worth voicing them in order to understand what each of you needs and how to relate these needs to the joint budget.
What are your plans to achieve the stated goals?
You already have some savings, will you start saving now or will you pay off gradually? To support and motivate each other, you can use services and applications for accounting finance, in which you can create a family account.
How will you deal with financial pressure?
It is a rare case when the income in a pair is about the same. More often than not, one spouse has a better financial situation than the other. It is not a fact that this state of affairs will persist for life. Perhaps one of you will suddenly start to develop a career rapidly, or you will decide that one of you should find a quieter, but less money-rich job. After all, someone will need to sit with the child for a couple of years if you are planning to have children.
It is important that each of you feel comfortable and in his place, and not feel as if you are dragging a heavy burden.
It is also worth considering what you will do if one of you unexpectedly loses your job. It might be worth preparing a financial cushion for this case.
Remember, inability to handle money is not a congenital condition. Personal finance management can and should be learned. Learn from each other and adopt good habits.
And other questions
- How do you show your love?
- How do you show your frustration or anger?
- How do you like to spend your holidays?
- How will you communicate with each other’s families? How often do you want to visit your relatives? How will you behave if problems arise in the family of one of you, for example, someone gets sick?
- How do you feel about religion? Do you belong to any religion?
- Do you want to have children?
- What are your views on parenting?
- What happens if one of you wants or is forced to move to another city or country? Are you both dreaming of a move?
- What career are you dreaming of?
- All questions regarding sex.
- How will you deal with health problems?
- How will you behave if you break up?
There seem to be too many questions. But you don’t need to know all the answers immediately. It may be better to wait until some of them arise by themselves during their life together. Although it is very likely that this will happen when you completely quarrel over something.
But the good news is that almost everything and can always be changed in order to improve relations: sell a table that annoyed one of you and buy a new one, move to a more spacious apartment, find another job, learn to devote more time to home or try to hurt your loved one less nasty jokes. For a happy relationship, first of all, it is important to be able to hear and understand each other and be ready to work on yourself for the good of your union.