When you're deciding to commit to your sweetheart, there are some things you're going to want to know about them. You'll have a much better relationship if you both are on the same page about some major topics.
Before you're ready to commit to your one love, make sure you know these eight things about them:
1. How many children they want
I've seen several of my friends have relationships fail because of a difference of opinions when it comes to children. If you are set on having five children, but your sweetheart doesn't want to have any, it needs to be addressed. This doesn't have to mean the end of a relationship, but something this important can't be ignored.
2. How they perceive the roles of a father and mother
I've known my whole life that I wasn't going to be a stay-at-home mother, so when I was dating a man who was dead-set against women who work away from the home, it became a problem for us.
Your situation doesn't even have to be this drastic - even little things can help you figure out what you think your life together will be like. Talk through with your significant other about how you think laundry should be divided, who cooks and who takes the kids to school. Even if these tasks aren't in the foreseeable future, it's important to address them now so it isn't too much of a surprise they do come around.
3. Where they spend their money
Before things get too serious, you'll need to know if they're a penny pincher, a shopaholic or anywhere in between. Know how they spend and save their money, and where their financial priorities are. You'll most likely have different priorities (which is fine) but what's important is knowing if you can reach a compromise before sealing the deal.
4. What are they like when they're angry? Stressed? Depressed?
It's important to know how your love handles their bad days. Do they take out their negativity on those around them? Do they shut down and ignore everything and everyone around them? You need to know what to expect on their worst days so that you can prepare for the best way to help them.
5. How they feel about religion
It doesn't matter if you two practice different faiths, as long as you can respect each other for your beliefs. It's also important to address how you would like to raise your children - whether you want to incorporate both religions into their lives or select one for them to practice.
Each marriage is bound to have its fair share of disagreements, so knowing how your sweetheart handles them is crucial. Does everything turn into a heated argument or are they afraid to argue with you? Does she fight fair or does he resort to rude comments in order to "win" the fight?
Your life together will be that much easier if you know what to anticipate when you two disagree on something.
7. How they handle road trips
A friend of mine always made it a rule to go on a road trip with her boyfriend before she got serious with them. You learn a lot about someone when you're stuck in a car together for several hours at a time.
You'll figure out what they are like when something goes wrong (like the GPS shutting down or a flat tire) or how they like to travel ... are you both fans of stopping to see every scenic point or would he rather just hurry from point A to point B?
It may seem silly, but it's important that you two are on the same page on these trips. Whether you're in and out of the car, your relationship will be that much smoother when you know how they travel.
Maybe you look forward to an active retirement - traveling around, seeing the sights and never staying in one place for too long. But what if your honey wants to settle down in a small town close to family? It's important that you two can address where you see yourselves five, 10, even 50 years from now. It's even more important that when you look at yourself in the years to come, you can see your sweetheart there with you.
If you two disagree on any of these things, it doesn't mean your relationship is doomed. It means you two need to talk things through. Two people in love can make anything work. If you two know these eight things about each other, you're ready to tackle anything that comes your way.
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.