15 Things You Should Know About Your Partner Before Marriage

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We all know that getting married is a huge deal. And it’s not just about the wedding—it’s about gearing up for a lifelong adventure together. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 15 things you should know about your partner before marriage. These conversations might feel a bit awkward now, but they can save you from bigger hurdles later and help build a rock-solid foundation for your marriage.

Why does your partner want to get married?

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This is one of the most important questions to ask before tying the knot. What does marriage mean to each of you, and why is it so important? Whether for stability, legal reasons, or a deeper commitment, you need to know why marriage matters to your better half. Make sure they’re in it for the right reasons and that you’re both thinking beyond the wedding day.

How does your partner handle disagreements?

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Be frank when you ask this: Are you someone who easily gets angry, or do you prefer to calmly discuss and find solutions? There’s no perfect way to handle disagreements, as long as it’s done respectfully. But before marriage, you should know how your partner handles disagreements and keep that in mind when conflicts arise.

Is your partner influenced by their parents’ marriage?

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It’s very common for people to be influenced by how their parents’ relationships were or are, even as adults. Some may want to get married because they saw their parents happily married for 40 years, while others might hesitate due to their parents’ messy divorce. Make sure to talk about your partner’s parents’ relationships—what they admire, what lessons they’ve learned, and what they would avoid in their own marriage.

What are your partner’s family expectations?

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After you tie the knot, family responsibilities often change. Does your partner have any family traditions or obligations? How will you fit into those? If either of you already has kids, it’s really crucial to talk about how you’ll handle family life together. Everyone should feel heard and valued in your home. Remember to make time for your relationship as a couple and for bonding as a blended family.

How much alone time does your partner need?

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Learn how much alone time your partner needs to unwind, and find ways to respect each other’s need for solitude—we all crave a bit of personal space now and then! It’s also fascinating to discover what “alone time” means to your partner—it might be a peaceful bike ride or catching up on their favorite show. Equally important is understanding how much quality time they want with you. 

What are your partner’s funeral preferences?

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We hate to bring up something so serious, but it’s crucial! None of us wants the pain of losing a loved one and not knowing their wishes. Have you two discussed how they imagined their funeral? Are they leaning towards cremation or burial? These are just the things you should know about. It might not be the most fun topic for an engagement day, but it’s a conversation you must have.

What are your partner’s deal-breakers?

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Everyone has non-negotiables. Be upfront about yours, and listen to theirs as well. Decide if you can work through these differences and if they make sense to you. It’s also crucial to talk about what might happen if your relationship ends—how your partner sees divorce, how you’d divide your stuff, and what could happen with custody. Having these talks early on can make things easier to handle if your marriage ever does come to an end.

Does your partner want children?

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Does your partner want kids? If so, how many are they thinking about? If not, are they really sure about not having children—enough to take permanent steps like a vasectomy or using birth control? If they do want children, when do they hope to start? Are they open to adoption or fertility treatments if they can’t have kids naturally? How long are they willing to keep trying before considering other options? Ask these questions.

What type of home does your partner dream of?

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Does your partner dream of a big house in the suburbs, a comfy apartment in the city, a beachside cottage, a forest cabin, or even a cool treehouse? You might not end up in your ultimate dream home, but understanding each other’s long-term goals helps strengthen your partnership and ensures you’re both heading in the same direction.

How will finances be managed in your relationship?

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Are you planning to have a joint bank account with your partner? Or will you maintain separate accounts? How will you divide the bills between you? Are you both comfortable contributing a set percentage of your income towards shared expenses? What if one of you loses your job or chooses to stay home with the kids? How will you manage financially? Discussing these questions helps ensure you’re on the same page about your finances.

What are your partner’s preferences in intimacy?

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Does your partner see themselves being with just one person forever? Can you both feel happy and satisfied in a monogamous relationship? If not, it’s crucial to talk about options like open relationships or ways to keep the romance alive. You might also want to wait before marrying until you’re both sure about your commitment. These talks help make sure you’re both on the same page about what’s best for your relationship.

What are your partner’s vacation preferences?

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Here’s something important to consider about your partner: their vacation preferences. If you’re all about Disneyland but they can’t stand Mickey Mouse, that might stir things up. Or if one of you loves roughing it in nature while the other dreams of luxury stays, that’s a point to discuss. And if one of you is glued to work while the other craves adventure, finding a middle ground will be key.

What are your partner’s career goals?

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How dedicated is your partner to their job? Do they prioritize work over everything else, or do they see work as a way to support their life outside of work? How will their career choices impact family life? Are they pursuing their ideal career path right now, or are there more educational goals to achieve? What sacrifices might you need to make to support their career ambitions? These questions shape your future together.

Does your partner want a TV in the bedroom?

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Consider the TV in your bedroom as a symbol of your whole marriage. Does your partner see it as an escape or as something that might affect intimacy? There’s no right or wrong answer, but discussing this before marriage can give you a glimpse into how you both envision your life together as a married couple.

What are your partner’s retirement plans?

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One of you might see retirement as a chance to explore the world, while the other pictures settling in a quiet spot to fish. Your visions don’t have to be identical, but they should be something you both feel good about. That’s why it’s key to talk about your partner’s retirement plans: Do they want to travel or move somewhere new? Knowing these goals helps you both plan ahead for your future.