As a part of really getting to know your partner, having serious, deep, and honest conversations about life, love, and the future can be both fun and enlightening. To increase the probability of long term relationship success, make sure that you include these topics as you are dating before marriage.
Over the long term, a couple’s spiritual connection (above and beyond religion) is the overriding factor driving relationship health and longevity. Having a strong spiritual tie opens the door to the fullest attraction and compatibility in all other areas: sexual, personality, overall interests, etc. It even facilitates basic communication.
This, deeper, spiritual link is something that young people frequently overlook. Many singles who fall madly in love are attracted by physical factors, which are, of course, extremely important, but are much more about superficial matters. At the end of the day, when physical attraction subsides, a spiritual connection is what can sustain happiness and compatibility in a relationship.
A strong spiritual connection has the power to transcend life’s challenges. When they come in your marriage, your connection with your husband will need to be rock solid. Can you love him no matter what? Or is your marriage going to be contingent upon what he can do for you? You will need to understand his views on spiritual and religious matters before getting in too deep. You will be able to read between the lines at several turns in your relationship but it will be a great conversation to have with him. You will see him in a new light as he shares his views and this conversation has the power to bring you closer together.
Conflict about money is perennially the leading cause of divorce. Knowing this in advance, its imperative to assess compatibility about financial matters with your boyfriend well before marriage. As with most issues, its probably wise to be sensitive to both what your boyfriend says … . and to what he does in this area. Frequently we aspire to perspectives that we’ve not quite arrived at ourselves.
Probe about his thoughts about money: how does he feel about it?, does he have anxiety about it?, does he crave it?, is he afraid of it?, is he fixated on it?, etc. Whatever the answers, just make sure that you can live with what he tells you.
Whether we want to admit it or not, human beings are mammals and, as such, we are hugely driven by physical needs around sex, hunger and security. It is extremely important that a couple is sexually compatible. Sex doesn’t need to be the focal point of the relationship, but to sustain a long term marriage, you must to be attracted to your future husband and have similar appetites and interests in the bedroom. Do your best to understand his sexual expectations and be just as sure to communicate yours. If there are any major differences, do your best to talk about them and get to a place of understanding and comfort about them.
For most singles, sensibilities around raising children surface when the children are already here. It is difficult to ‘future trip’ about kids, but you must begin to think about the realities that will likely be in your future. Some people have a laser focused point of view about how children should be raised while others take a more laid back approach. Make certain that your boyfriend, soon to be husband, shares your values around raising children. You may have your mind made up about how you want to raise your children but do you know how your boyfriend is processing this experience?
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