Some couples fall in love, get engaged and THEN get around to talking about life-changing topics, like kids and finances. But wedding therapist Landis Bejar says waiting until you have a ring on your finger to bring up these important issues can be a problem because you may discover you and your partner want different things and envision a different future. Of course, you don’t want to bring up serious stuff on your first date either, so when is the right time to make sure you’re on the same page? When you start to feel serious about each other. These are the big talks Landis says couples need to have BEFORE the proposal:
- Kids- Before you agree to spend your life with your S.O., you should talk about whether or not you want children, as well as how many you want and your views on parenting. And it’s a good idea to spend some time around kids as a couple, if you can, to get a feel for things and spark conversations around parenting.
- Money- People don’t really like talking about money, but it's crucial to discuss personal finances with your partner because it impacts pretty much every aspect of your life. Even if you don’t plan on combining your money with theirs when you get married, Landis explains, “You want to get on the same page because there’s a lot of variability about what partners’ expectations are or how they handle their money.”
- Family- You and your future spouse may have different ideas on the roles your parents and extended families will play in your lives. According to the wedding therapist, you want to get a sense of things like how often you expect to see your in-laws and how involved you think they’ll be with your children.
- Cultural and religious differences- Even if you have similar backgrounds and were raised in the same religion, you may feel differently about it. Bringing these things up earlier in the relationship can make wedding planning easier down the road.
- Sex- Don’t assume you’ll automatically see eye-to-eye about sex. Landis encourages couples to talk openly about intimacy expectations as they consider marriage so a difference in sex drive doesn’t lead to conflict.