Marriages are made in heaven it’s said. Well, as much as we’d want to believe in the thought, we also feel that shaadis are a tricky affair. Be it arranged or a love marriage, there is just so much that needs to be discussed and navigated before you say “I do.” After all, you are making one of the most important decisions of your life. You are choosing the person you’d be splitting your meals and finances with for years to come. The person who’d have a say in most of your decisions, and the person who’d support you through most things in life. Now, here’s the question: will they? Really?
Sometimes between the initial heady days of meeting “the one” and then the eventual wedding planning, we miss out on something fundamental i.e. having the talk! Before you say “yes” to someone, it is important that you first sit with them and have a thorough conversation. We recently reached out to life coach and author Pamela Puja Kriplani to get a better insight into this.
Insisting on the importance of a candid conversation before getting hitched, she shared, "Although it may be uncomfortable now, an in-depth understanding of your partners’ beliefs can save you both a heartache later on!" She also helped us with some of the most important questions that you should ask before taking the plunge.
Planning to settle down soon? Here are some conversations you need to have with your partner before you plan to settle down.
Nothing matters more than a supportive partner who is willing to watch you blossom in your career or life in general. Also, understanding whether your potential partner is ‘up’ for you potentially growing bigger than them is a sure shot sign to understand what expectations they have surrounding equality.
Getting your partner's version of the two of you together in the future will give you an insight into where and how you stand together. It will help you both see yourselves as you grow older together and also to decide whether or not you like that vision. "Often, this image for both partners is heart-warming and brings you closer together (especially if the visions match)," adds Pamela.
All of us have our own set of deal-breakers pertaining to intimacy, standards, traditions, belief-systems or parenting skills. Tapping into this at an early stage can prime you both to learn more about what to avoid and what you both stand for. If your non-negotiables mostly match, then you’re both in for a smooth ride!
In-laws play a huge role in marriages, especially in the Indian family setup. Hence it is important to understand what your partner expects of you and vice versa when it comes to time management in this area. (Especially if they have lived or live in a joint or co-dependent family system.)
Here you are tapping into the belief systems of your partner—understanding what they might have seen as a child watching their parents together or even couples that they look up to. And remember, marriage does not always mean the same thing to everyone.
With this question, you'd be gauging whether your partner wants to have children together and a relative timeline on when do they plan to start a family. Pamela adds, "Also important is getting familiar with your partner’s perceived expectations of role-care. For example, would you be splitting up a time to take care of your kids equally or is it going to be one-sided?"
Getting more perspective on whether your partner prefers silence, open communication, or time-outs is important to understand what type of conversations the two of you would be having during uncomfortable times. For example, some people need to cool off steam before getting into a serious conversation and might need a few hours to detach on their own.
"Now, this is huge, because the primary cause of much discomfort in a marriage comes from financial stress," says Pamela. Thus, understanding the perceived roles on how each one contributes will give you both a strong sense of stability.
Knowing your partner’s ‘holiday routine’ or schedule will prepare you for the type of person they are. Do they believe they need time to unwind? Do they like joint vacations or boys holidays? This question will also give you a sense of their need for ‘alone time’.
This question will spark up the answer on whether your partner will expect you to keep up with their family’s traditional practices or is willing to see the both of you create your own? It will also help you understand what rituals are important to them and whether you can keep up with his or her standards.
As Pamela says, "even those these standards might change as you grow older, starting the marriage on a joint understanding of each other’s expectations will pave the way for great beginnings and fewer misunderstandings." Also, someone wise once said: there is no such thing as stupid questions. So, go ahead, have a thorough conversation and ask everything that you need to from your prospective partner before you take the plunge.
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