By: Thea Easterby
I’ve decided to break the 10 items into two groups, and I think you’ll see why. Part 1 (Borrowed from SheNOW’s latest radio interview) aims to focus on you as an individual, instead of you in relation to a partner.
Before you think about getting married, it’s important to know what makes YOU happy and fulfilled. If you establish this first, it is easier to carry those thoughts and behaviors into future relationships…..
eventually making you a better wife, and mother, should you choose to walk down that path.
1. Get Financially Stable
Get an education or trade and pursue a career that interests and challenges you. Know how to handle your finances, earn money on your own terms and only accumulate as much debt as you can realistically handle. Don’t expect parents or partners to bail you out of financial trouble. Learn to be your own financial hero.
Taking care of yourself financially mean you’ll be in a better position to handle life’s monetary curve balls. If your partner falls ill, your husband loses his job or the marriage ends in a divorce, you need to be able to financially stand on your own two feet.
Far too many of us know women stuck in bad marriages simply because they don’t have a valid way to support themselves or their children should they leave.
2. Figure Out Who You Are
It’s important to have your own identity before getting married. All too often we neglect our own personal development and growth, only to merge with a partner and take on their values and interests without being clear on what makes us happy.
Spend some quality time alone and learn how to enjoy your own company. Take solo trips away and live alone for a few years. Keep a journal and document what brings you joy and strength.
While waiting for someone to complete you might sound romantic in the movies; in reality it means you consider part of yourself missing (where’s the romance in that)? You are complete. You were complete the minute you were born. Give yourself the love you need first, then if you find a person who enhances your life and loves the real you – all the better.
3. Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone
I’m sure you have heard it said before, most of the best moments in life happen outside of your comfort zone. Be brave. Be adventurous. Move to that amazing city or country you have been dreaming about.
If you are not interested in moving, try new bars, restaurants and cultural events. Get out of your bubble of constantly spending time with the same people, doing the same old things. Seek out activities that expand and challenge you. Visit museums and art galleries either in your local area or on the far side of the globe.
See yourself and the world through fresh eyes and interests. Free yourself from the burden of other people’s stereotypes and assumptions.
Do as much as possible before you have children; once children come along it all changes.
4. Travel And Be Adventurous
Get out and see the country with your friends. Plan overseas holidays and weekends away with girlfriends. If friends aren’t available, take a trip on your own and see how many wonderful new people you can meet. Try new things; scuba diving, skydiving, eating exotic foods or making out with a local.
You can travel once you’re married but…I promise… it’s not the same.
5. Make a Pre-Wedding Bucket List.
Write down the things you want to accomplish and make a promise to yourself (and to the future you) not to walk down the aisle until you do them. This doesn’t mean you can’t date or be in a committed, loving relationship. Just don’t be in a rush to tie the knot.
After you’ve complete the first five of the ten steps, it’ll be time to turn your attention to towards you AND your partner.
So, before you start planning your honeymoon, it’s time to get serious. Here are five important factors you need to consider before you take that bridal march down the aisle.
6. Make Sure You And Your Partner Are Compatible.
It helps to share similar values, beliefs and interests. Understand your partner’s dreams, needs and desires. Ensure you can communicate in an open, honest and respectful manner. Marrying someone you aren’t compatible with both emotionally and physically could result in heartache down the road. The euphoria of your wedding day will be long forgotten during divorce proceedings and custody settlements.
7. Establish Whether You And Your Partner Share Similar Goals For The Future.
Before getting married, you should have an in depth discussion about having children. You need to be on the same page as to whether you both want children (don’t assume someone wants to be a parent), when you plan to have children and what would happen if you were unable to have a child together.
Also, develop an understanding of where each of you want to live, what you plan to do and how you see your life together down the road. Painting a clear picture now will help to avoid any surprises later.
8. Make Sure You Have Similar Values When It Comes To Money.
You need to understand and accept your partner’s spending, saving and debt habits. Considering money problems are a key reason for the breakdown of marriages, make sure you are in agreement when it comes to how you will both handle your hard earned cash.
9. Be Sure You Are Considering Marriage For The Right Reasons.
Are you getting married because all of your friends are walking down the aisle and you are afraid of being left out? Panicking because of your age? Worried that you are running out of time to have kids? Are you feeling pressured by family, friends or even your partner? Are you scared of being alone? Be careful, getting married for all of the WRONG reasons, could mean marrying the WRONG person.
10. Focus on staying true to yourself after you are married.
It’s important to maintain your individuality. Too many women (and some men) lose their identity when they tie the knot. People give up their friends, family and interests so they can adopt a lifestyle more aligned with their partner. Whilst marriage involves compromise by both parties, don’t hand your life over on a silver platter.
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