Factors to Consider When Dating Before Getting Married

Factors to Consider When Dating Before Getting MarriedWhether you are yet to get married, or you’ve been divorced and are considering tying the knot again, there are certain topics and factors you should consider when dating and choosing who is the one for you. While it is important that you and your partner have chemistry, it is also important to consider the more mundane and technical aspects that factor into every relationship and, if ignored, can ultimately be the cause of the demise of your relationship.

It is critical to address what may be the more difficult parts of a relationship early on, such as how well you two communicate, what is important to the both of you concerning finances, and how you both intend to maintain your relationship throughout hardships over the years. All of these factors have led to divorces in far too many relationships when they had not been discussed or agreed upon previous to being married. Dating (to marry) is an important stage of a relationship, as it is like a test-run of what your long-term relationship may look like.

Ask questions and do research

A recent Buzzfeed article reinforces the fact that no one said dating is easy, so when you are determined to go out and find the one you want to be with for the rest of your life, it is important to commit yourself to do the work (as well as the fun) involved. A carefree, lackadaisical approach is an easy way to an unstable and fragile marriage (something we often see portrayed on reality TV these days).

When you begin dating, it is key to know who you are talking to. The easiest way to do that is to ask questions while on dates or communicating through texts or social media. Ask him what foods he likes, what sort of relationship she has with her family, what jobs they have held that have been their worst and their favorite.

In this way, not only can you learn more about them from their point of view, but you can also learn how open a person they are with you as your relationship grows. They may be secretive about certain topics that may concern you, or perhaps they’re just a little too open for your tastes.

If the two of you have any shared friends, you could also ask them what the person you’re dating is like, as their perspective is likely to be different from your date’s. Finally, there’s nothing wrong with checking your prospective partner’s social media account. In this way, you can see how they present themselves to the public.

Get to know your date more and more as they possibly become your significant other. Discovering an unfortunate secret of theirs when you are already married to them is a quick way to see that marriage go downhill.

Communication is key

Communication is sometimes easier said than done. The idea of communication makes sense, but when you need to bring up a difficult topic, or something about your dating partner is bothering you, actually communicating about this with them can be uncomfortable, and we may even think it’s not worth it. Problems cannot be solved without discussing them, however; and usually, once the topic or feeling or whatever it is that is troubling you is brought up, often the problem itself may lie in a misunderstanding.

Each of you come from different places in life. People grow up being taught different ideas; given different priorities. We learn to treat people in certain ways based on what we see and experience throughout our lives. What may seem obvious to you may not be so to your partner, no matter what it is. Does your partner spend too much time looking at their phone when you’re on a date with them? Bring it up, tell them how that makes you feel. Perhaps they have a good reason for continually checking their phone, or perhaps they are not that interested in you. If the latter is true, then you know that this person is probably not right for you, and therefore you should move on. It’s best to figure that stuff out now instead of later when you are married.

If it is your partner who is bad at communication, and refuses to make an effort at changing that, that can be a red flag. As communication is critical to a healthy marriage, it may be best to end that relationship sooner rather than later.

Talk about finances

In the beginning of your dating journey with someone, this may take the form of asking them what they like to do in their free time. If they say they like to travel the world, go clubbing, and attend expensive concerts regularly, this may give you the hint that they might not be someone who is frugal and working on saving their money. If you’re an adventurer too, then this might be right up your alley, but if not, you may want to talk about this with them. “Studies have shown that financial conflict is a leading cause of divorce for all levels of earners,” states Buzzfeed.

Parameters and compromise are important in a relationship, especially when it comes to marriage. You have to consider possibly buying an apartment or house together, purchasing a car, and the costs of having children (if that’s what you choose to do). Saving money is important, but having some spending money to do exciting, adventurous activities may be important to maintaining a healthy relationship.

It’s also important to talk about how much each of you is willing to earn income-wise in the relationship, and if one partner is more invested in being a stay-at-home partner, how they will contribute to the relationship in other ways. If it is not a 50/50 income relationship, perhaps one partner is better suited to supporting the other’s career while taking care of household duties and errands. Maybe one partner is exceedingly good at taking care of the children full-time, while the other leads an important, high-earning career. Each role is important, and discovering what is sustainable and workable both in the relationship and financially is critical to a happy marriage and a happy family.

Relationship maintenance

Finally, after you are with someone for a long while, small things may begin to get on your nerves. Molehills become mountains, and it only takes a small crack for the dam to break. The key is to consider what is important in your relationship. Does your spouse not do the dishes in the way you want them to? Maybe they leave their socks lying around in the living room. Family law attorneys will tell you not to sweat the small stuff when it comes to your marriage. These are issues you should be able to easily communicate about with your partner. If you’re having a bad day, and the bag of chips has been left open and left your favorite snack stale, don’t get into an argument over that in the heat of the moment. If the two of you ever do end up divorcing, that angry, heated moment may come back to bite you when your spouse uses it against you during a cross examination.

In the grand scheme of a marriage, of your relationship with your husband or the mother of your children, these little irritations don’t truly matter. Splitting up over something so small (and usually easily fixed) isn’t worth the cost of a divorce, which can run anywhere from $10,000 to$20,000 or more depending on the details. No one wants to get divorced, but sometimes, it may be best if the problems you have with your spouse are deep-rooted and complex, affecting the mental and financial health of both spouses, and possibly your children as well.

Ultimately, those of us who want to get married, want our marriages to last, be fulfilling, happy, strong, and healthy. There are ways to prepare for this, and on the flip side, there are also ways to ensure a messy divorce. If you need help or advice on marriage or divorce, the Franklin family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates have the experience and understanding to help you through difficult times. To schedule a consultation, call us or use our contact page. We are committed to helping the people in our community prepare for a lasting marriage or help them through a stressful divorce. We also have offices in Columbia and Brentwood.