Proposals: Are You Ready for Married Life?

You're about to take the plunge -- but you both need to think about some things first, if you haven't already. Here's a checklist...

So you're in a relationship, and you're thinking about taking the plunge of all plunges -- marriage! How can you be sure, really sure, that you're making the right decision? Well, you can't. But we've come up with a list of issues to help you with the big questions. Read through them and see what you think.
When it comes to thinking about the future of your relationship, sometimes questions are the answer.

You go to each other for advice, and you almost always come away feeling better about things.
You are supportive of each other's decisions, even when they suck -- er, we mean, when you just don't agree with them.
You tell your honey when he or she has hurt you instead of holding a grudge.
You are generally able to resolve fights to your mutual satisfaction.
You both know that relationships take work, and you are willing to go the distance.
You respect, admire, listen to, and just plain like each other, gosh darn it!
You share enough of the same interests and friends that you don't feel like you are always on your own.

You have similar spending/saving habits, or you've discussed how you'll each compromise to keep the peace.
You have the same attitude about paying bills or debt management.
You are aware of each other's total present debt, if any.
You have discussed how you will merge your finances once you get married, and you are comfortable with the plan.
You have told your honey about all your assets and have no hidden nest eggs, "just in case."
You have similar definitions of a "comfortable" income, and similar or symbiotic income goals.

Your sexual needs are compatible, and you are both satisfied with your lives between the sheets (or on the kitchen table, in the shower, or wherever).
You are comfortable giving and taking sexual suggestions and requests.
Birth control is something you consider a joint responsibility, and you have openly discussed your options and preferences.
You use sex as a healthy and FUN expression of your LOVE, not as a way to gloss over problematic issues in your relationship, a weapon, or an easy way to solve disputes (without addressing the root of the argument).
You've 'fessed up about your sexual past (at least most of it!) and had frank discussions about STDs and previous partners (or lack thereof).

You generally get along with each other's families (we're not talking about a sappy love fest, just general friendliness and goodwill), and if not, you've at least discussed to what extent they will play a role in your future family life.
You are willing and prepared to regard each other as your most important familial relationship after you get married.
You have similar religious beliefs or you have discussed how to incorporate religion into your future family.
You've talked about children -- how many you want, or if you want them at all.
If you have children from a previous marriage, he or she treats them with respect and kindness.
You've considered not only the future responsibility of caring for your honey, but also the possibility of caring for their parents or other family members.
If a majority of these statements are true about your relationship, you're in great shape -- we say go for it! But if the majority are "don't know" or "no way," your relationship needs more work before you're ready to tie the knot. Don't despair -- knowing what you need to tackle is half the battle.


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