If you’re up for a lifetime of marriage, understand that preparations begin from your dating period. Romantic relationships are common today; as of 2020, 30.4 million people in the US are on dating apps searching for partners. Although some relationships move faster than others, all relationships move through the same stages and, if the partners do it, may eventually end in a marriage.
In the relationship phase, you build solid foundations and principles and make unique rules to guide your marriage. But make no mistake; while relationships are similar to marriage, the real deal begins when you sign those lines. How do you ensure that your relationship and bond grow better after the wedding, helping you reach a lifetime of marriage? Here are practical tips to guide you:
Fix Your Finances
Finance is a crucial aspect of marital relationships and family life. There’s no way to have a lasting marriage without fixing your finances; financial planning is a tool for making your marriage succeed. Here’s what to do:
- Identify individual financial habits so you know what areas of strength and weaknesses to work on. It also helps you and your partner to create a plan that fits your marriage.
- Discuss potential issues such as paying bills, vacations, and family treats. Marriage increases financial responsibility; you may have to do more planning than you do now. Discuss budgets for bills, family vacations, movie and dinner dates, and general family treats. It is best to reach an agreement before marriage and implement a working strategy. Discuss the when and how of every expense.
- Family savings is an essential financial discipline that will determine your financial situation. There are several options for savings: personal accounts, joint accounts, and retirement accounts. Discuss and choose what works best for you and your partner.
- You should also discuss investments and potential businesses to diversify your income. There are safe investments such as government-issued bonds and treasuries for people who prefer low-risk investments.
- Emergency funds are also necessary. Although good insurance coverage should cater to emergencies, you might need to keep some money for those rare moments.
- It is also an excellent time to discuss the black tax and devise strategies to avoid it. Black tax is a term for requests for financial assistance from family members. It is a dangerous trap that destroys the finances of young couples, especially immigrants.
Suppose you and your partner have limited financial knowledge. In that case, it may be necessary to hire a financial expert to help you plan.
Make Your Wedding Plans
Your wedding is the official beginning of life as a married couple. For most couples, the wedding day is an exciting and memorable experience they work to make successful. Your experiences on that day may shape your disposition and attitude towards your marriage. Wedding plans are therefore crucial to the success of your marriage. Here’s how to plan your wedding
- Make a budget: A budget is the first thing to consider if you want to plan your wedding. Identify all you need and start checking prices. Check for those items you can rent, those you must buy, and what you can get for free. Weddings cost a lot, but by removing something, you can have a budget wedding
- Venue: the average wedding venue cost between $3,000 to $11,000. You can save that money with a backyard wedding reception. A backyard or wedding garden has its unique advantages and memories.
- Food and entertainment: depending on your guest list, prepare enough food to keep everyone fed. Although your guests are not there for the food, there’s no way to host a wedding banquet without food. Arrange for quality entertainment; hire a musician, magician, or other entertainers that will thrill your guests.
- Choose your guest list: unless you’re inviting the entire community to your wedding, a guest list is essential to keep things organized and affordable. First, set a target guest size and lose those you want at your reception.
- Hire a wedding planner: hiring a wedding planner takes the weight off your shoulders. You only have to provide the funds and ideas for the wedding, and the planner takes over. Of course, they’ll check most decisions with you to ensure a successful wedding.
Should you go for a small or big wedding? That’s a choice that you and your partner should make. Determine essential factors before choosing. A backyard wedding reception, for example, will help you save more.
Focus On Personal Development
One of the biggest lessons to take into marriage is this: although you and your partner seek to bond and help each other, your relationship is only as good. Personal development is a non-negotiable for everyone, married or not, but marriage makes it even more critical. You and your partner must grow to handle more responsibilities and create memorable moments. How do you improve yourself?
You might choose to further your education. This could be getting a new degree to improve your income and personal skills. Think of advancing your career or making a switch. It might be challenging, but it is worth it. Alternatively, you might decide to learn a new skill to earn more and also have a hobby. Your partner will not take all 24 hours of your time; you need hobbies and skills to help you pass the time sometimes.
Another way to improve yourself is to learn more about marriage. All successful marriages take intentional work. You and your partner must commit to learning about marriage before you wed. Read books, attend seminars, and, if possible, find a marriage counselor as you prepare for your wedding. Consider setting yourself personal development goals. It is often easy to become lost in a relationship and raise a family as you gradually shift attention from yourself to your kids and spouse. You can beat that trap by setting practical development goals and devising strategies to achieve them.
Build And Hone Relationship Skills
Relationships may be similar, but every couple faces situations that they respond to in many ways. The uniqueness of your relationship demands you build and hone relationship skills to keep your marriage going. You can focus on these seven pillars of marriage that many marriage counselors recommend: love, trust, loyalty, respect, openness, transparency, and communication.
Make Marriage Plans
Discussing the type of marriage you want is one crucial aspect of relationships many people leave to chance. Being intentional about your marriage demands that you have those comfortable and uncomfortable discussions. Many of these topics can seem foolish, but it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss them. Learn about how many kids you wish to have and how you will raise them.
If you want kids, will you choose to conceive naturally, or will you be open to other options such as surrogacy and adoption? Ask each other about how responsibilities will be shared in the house in terms of cooking, cleaning and how bills are managed. These questions can offer great insight into one another’s perspectives. It offers opportunities for both parties to discuss and come to an agreement on certain topics.
Preparing your relationship for a lifetime of marriage isn’t always easy. Still, it is satisfying if it turns out right. Relationships are different, and there are few one-fits-all ideas. You and your partner must find what works best for your relationship.