So you've met someone new, and things are going great - fantastic! But before you get REALLY serious, its time for some serious questions. Dating works best when you're having fun - keeping your first few dates light and casual is always your best bet. But at some point, there are some 'serious' questions that need to be asked. Which questions? These 7:
- Do you want kids?: it's best to address the topic of parenthood sooner than later, so no one winds up resentful — or heartbroken — years down the line. If you or your partner are (understandably) worried that having kids will change your relationship for the worse, you should arm yourself with knowledge about what helps parents maintain intimacy.
- Who will do the cooking, laundry and housework?: according to a 2007 Pew Research poll, sharing household chores is the third most important factor in a successful marriage. (The first two are faithfulness and a happy sexual relationship).
- How much debt (if any) do you have?: "Lying about your debt can potentially destroy your relationship". An honest conversation about finances - especially about debt - is key before getting married, or even getting serious.
- How much time apart do you need?: interestingly, spending time apart and getting some of your needs met outside your relationship may be exactly what your partnership needs.
- What do you consider cheating?: there are those who believe looking at pornography or going to strip clubs is cheating. Bottom line is, everyone has different limits. Establish the boundaries, before getting into a marriage.
- How do you feel about divorce?: it's not an easy discussion to have but it's worth it. That's because simply knowing that you have an "out" — even if you never use it — can be freeing. If you're staying in the relationship, it's because you want to.
- How will getting married change our relationship?: Some people feel the expectations are different when you're married than when you're dating, and others feel that they are the same. It's important to be on the same page about expectations for every stage of a relationship.