If a relationship were a recipe, love would be the main ingredient. But, the meal just isn’t the same without the rest of spices and seasonings to give it flavor. Similarly, relationships need more than love to succeed.
Starting a marriage preparation checklist isn’t a sign that you don’t believe in your marriage. It’s a sign that you will do everything in your power to make sure your relationship a success.
Preparing for marriage is all about two people knowing how to communicate as partners. They want to know each other inside out and know the importance of a romantic friendship. Here are the top tips to keep in mind for building a strong relationship with a partner.
Turn “Me” Into “We”
Preparing for marriage means not putting yourself first anymore.
Happy, healthy couples consult one another before making decisions. Discussing and deciding on important matters as a couple shows dignity and respect.
It can be difficult to change old habits, especially if you have been single for quite some time or you are set in your ways. But, a marriage will benefit when couples start thinking of themselves as “we” instead of “me”.
Researcher Robert Levenson found that married couples who used the word “we” when talking about themselves are calmer, happier, and have higher relationship satisfaction than couples who use the terms “I”, “you”, or “me”.
Just saying the word out loud can change your brains thinking pattern. This will cause you to think of your partner as an extension of yourself, instead of having a “you vs. me” attitude.
Talk about Money
Money is a tricky subject for some, but part of the marriage preparation checklist is getting to know your financial situation once you are married. Couples should talk about savings goals, spending habits, personal debts, and create a household budget together.
Discuss Your Future
One of the best ways to prepare for marriage is by asking your partner questions. Even if you think you know them very well, it’s always helpful to know whether you are on the same page about your future.
Ask your spouse how they feel about starting a family. Do you have similar thoughts regarding birth control? How long do you want to wait before starting to try for children? What kind of parents do you want to be?
Another great marriage preparation checklist item is whether you want to live in the same city or town where you are currently living. Do you want to pursue a different career?
Discussing personal desires such as fitness goals or picking up new and exciting hobbies. This can also be an excellent way to get to know your partner better.
Never Stop Asking Questions
Taking the time to get to know your partner is essential when you are preparing for marriage.
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you know each other inside out. In fact, knowing every single thing about your partner may lead to boredom in the marriage.
On the other hand, studies show that couples who remain curious about one another have higher relationship satisfaction than those who are content to live without mystery.
Communication is an essential part of any marriage preparation checklist.
You and your sweetheart may be madly in love, but how well can you communicate your feelings to one another?
Couples should feel like they can be open and honest regarding any issues they are going through. A loving partner will work hard to be approachable, loving, and patient with their spouse.
Part of healthy communication also means knowing when to talk and when to listen. It’s about resolving conflict escalating an argument. These practices will make for a happy, long-lasting marriage.
Maintain a Friendship
In an Australian study on what makes a lasting marriage, treating your spouse like your best friend came up as one of the number one qualities in a healthy relationship.
Studies also show that marital satisfaction is higher when couples view each other as their best friend.
A best friend is someone you can trust. They are someone you have fun with. You could wait in line at a grocery store with them and never feel bored or irritated because they make everything fun! Think how much better would your marriage be if your spouse was your best friend.
Couples who laugh together stay together.
Studies show that couples who share the same sense of humor or at least laugh together every single day report feeling more satisfied and supported in their marriages.
Laughing makes you feel good. It diffuses uncomfortable situations and skyrockets your confidence when you can make your partner laugh. Laughing draws you and your spouse closer together when you share the same sense of humor. Studies also who that couples who laugh together were more likely to stay together for the long-haul.
Spend Quality Time Together
One of the best marriage preparation checklist tips is to ensure you’re always putting aside quality time for your spouse. This may mean waking up earlier or going to bed later so that you can have that cherished bonding time together.
Having a regular date night has been shown to improve a couple’s communication and add excitement to the marriage. Date night also gives a couple the opportunity to connect on a sexual level.
Studies show that marital satisfaction was significantly associated with sexual satisfaction. So, the more satisfying sex you’re having together, the happier your marriage will be.
Preparing for marriage is a smart step toward building a happy life with your spouse. Continue getting to know one another, think as partners, and communicate openly. By following this marriage preparation checklist, you can make sure nothing is standing in the way of your life as newlyweds.
The author is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com that supports healthy happy marriages.