The world of dating can be a pretty perilous place. But when you’re armed with the right information about the person you’re dating, you’ll be able to know if marriage is the next step. Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself before you decide to tie the knot.
1. Does this person have a good sense of humor?
Laughter is the best medicine, and you’ll need a lot of it in marriage. Do you find yourself laughing a lot with this person? Do you try to make them smile just as much as they make you smile? Can they laugh at themselves? All these questions will help you know whether spending eternity with this person would be joyful or stressful.
2. Do you learn from one another?
Do you learn important life lessons from your loved one? Just as important as the first question may be a second: are you each teachable, humble, and willing to learn? By the same token, make sure that you let your loved one learn things on their own. Don’t jump in and accomplish the task for them, or you may end up with a husband that doesn’t know how to do taxes or a wife that could never fix a toilet.
3. Do you want to become more like this person?
Spending a lifetime with another person—not to mention eternity—will certainly change you. Couples naturally rub off on each other, and so it’s important to know if you want that person to rub off on you. Both of you should admire the other person deeply and hope to become more like them in the future. After all, when you put two colors of paint together, they eventually mix to become a new color altogether.
4. Are you attracted to their spiritual light?
Attraction isn’t all about physical appearance. If you are drawn to this person by their spiritual light—or their ability to be sensitive to the Spirit, keep their covenants, and live the gospel—then chances are good you’ve found a keeper. But if you are constantly pushing them to be better, choose more wisely, or speak more gently, then yours might be a case where light isn’t attracting light.
5. How well do you communicate together?
We all know that communication is key in any relationship. But what might count as communication for you might not count as communication for the person you’re dating. A single clear-cut sentence might be all they need to communicate what they feel. But you might be used to a bit more explanation. Do they know that? Are you each willing to adapt your styles of communication? Your sweetheart learned how to communicate from their family, so pay close attention to how their family interacts.
6. How do they plan to parent their children?
This may seem like a heavy topic to bring up pre-marriage, but it’s definitely one of the most important discussions you’ll ever have with your significant other. How many children do they want? Do they want children at all? Do they have strong opinions on how they want to raise their children? Do you have differing opinions? From television rules to bedtime discipline, you two will eventually have to decide how to raise your children together. One great thing to do is observe how your significant other behaves towards children in general and then think about what kind of a parent they will be one day.
7. How will you manage your finances?
We can’t all marry accountants, so it’s important to know how to manage your own money—and how your potential spouse manages theirs. Are they frugal? Can you both live within a budget? Do you have self-discipline, and are you each willing to sacrifice? These are the tough questions you need answers to before you decide to spend your lives together. Be sure to have a realistic view of what life will be like financially after you’re married.
8. How do you each deal with stress?
Marriage can be full of stressful times and scary decisions. Knowing how your loved one deals with their stress is crucial. Learn how you can help them get through their stressful times, and show them how they can help you get through yours. If your communication falls apart and tempers rise during stressful times, then you might want to think twice before you decide to tie the knot.
9. How do you each deal with conflict?
When you disagree on something, how do you get through it? Is it a yelling match or an even-tempered discussion? Some couples can go years without having any arguments, but that’s not the norm. Be sure you each know how to respectfully and considerately navigate your way through conflict. Degrading or belittling one another is never acceptable. Be sure that you each are humble enough to try to see things from the other’s perspective.
10. Do you challenge each other to be better disciples of Christ?
Christ bids us all to follow Him, and through the experiences of a marriage, you’ll be tested as to whether you actually will follow Him. You need someone who helps you become more Christ-like—which will require someone who you can look to as a good example of Christ-like virtues. Make sure you and your sweetheart push each other to be better and stand taller.