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ideabrian's avatar

Is this a pre-marriage checklist or one for any relationship?

Asked by ideabrian (394points) August 19th, 2008

I sometimes reflect and think, why didn’t I think about THAT before I got married. No regrets, just curious as to why I was actually so clueless.

Help me create a checklist of what somebody should consider during the dating phase so they kinda know what a commitment will really consist of.

Include some examples of things you may have learned the hard way.

Goal: somebody will find this down the road and think we’re all geniuses for helping them be such thoughtful partners.

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17 Answers

Bri_L's avatar

1. How do you view, treat and handle money

2. View on kids

3. View on religion

4. View on sex

5. View on relationships and how to compromise and solve problems, rules and such.

Those are the big 5 my wife and I discussed.

Judi's avatar

My daughters made a list of all the things they wanted in a mate when they were in High School. They kept it in their wallet and revised it as they matured. I don’t know where they got the idea because it wasn’t from me. They vowed never to marry a guy unless he measured up in at least the top 5 on their list. Each list was different and I don’t even remember if they shared their list with me, but I know that they are both in happy marriages now because they figured out what they wanted while they were level headed.

ideabrian's avatar

thanks Bri_L -

here are some more of my thoughts:

1. What do I like about this person? (would i like this in any person or is there something specific in this person I like?)

2. Do I need a partner? (what am I REALLY hoping this person will do for me? – the truth may be revealing)

3. How will I feel about them not liking to do something (cook, clean, handle the finances etc. if I don’t like doing those things either?)

4. What kind of children would we raise together?

5. What are the top 3 things we enjoy doing together?

6. What tests could I make sure to put them through during our dating phase? (e.g. If I like camping, should I take him/her camping to see how it works out?)

7. What am I willing to learn about myself along the way?

8. Am I willing to take full responsibility for how I think and feel? (if not, am I just hoping to find somebody I can blame for stuff?)

ideabrian's avatar

@ Judi, it would be interesting to see if their list included (“Guy must have his own list and I must qualify for his list as he qualifies for mine.”)

Judi's avatar

@ideabrian;
I know at least one of the guys DID have a list. My daughter was the first gorl he ever met who “qualified” so he married her.

cak's avatar

@Bri L – great list!

Goals – what are your goals – do they match up, at all or are they so different that they will cause too much conflict?

The family/ kid thing was the most important, for me. How do you want to spend your time with them? I know one too many people that want different family styles. It gets very difficult and has finally (part of the reason) split up one couple I know.

You need to know the person’s connection with their family. Are they close, what is that relationship like? How do they feel about your family? Are you close to your family? Will they be ok or will you – with incorporating certain family traditions into your life?

Can you and your partner sit in a room together and just feel comfortable? It’s funny how many people just can’t relax around each other.

If your interests aren’t the same, do they compliment each other or are you going to groan every single time they ask you to do some they want to do – or vice versa.

Have you spent 4 seasons together? It’s amazing how some people change – a lot – throughout the seasons!

Illness? I’m sick. I have cancer. My husband is wonderful. I’ve been in-patient, a lot! He’s had to raise the kids, alone, too much! Will that person be there for you? I know you might not ever truly know until it happens; however, do you have a good indication as to whether or not that person will stand by you? Will you stand by them? It’s hard, extremely hard.

Do you respect each other?

Name 5 reasons why want to spend the rest of your life together – do not include anything about their looks.

baseballnut's avatar

If you’ve read “The Secret” or anything by Martha Beck, defining your expectations clearly is the first step to attaining them. So the whole list concept is one tool you can use to set a positive intention. If you don’t believe in the concept, the list at least helps you form an inner dialogue about understanding your needs.

I think the concept holds true for any decision making situation – not just relationships.

trumi's avatar

@Bri; You don’t need to have the same religion for a relationship to work, just a mutual understanding and respect for each others beliefs. Mais oui?

Bri_L's avatar

@ Trumi – very true I should have clarified. I meant to say discuss religion and its place in your lives and relationship. I am glad you pointed that out!

What does Mais oui mean by the way. My guess? Want some nachos?

Thanks also Cak and ideabrian!

Judi's avatar

When things get tough, (and I guarantee they will) It sure is helpful to be in sync religiously. I guess it depends on how high faith is on your priority list.

trumi's avatar

@Bri; Mais oui means “of course” in French.Thanks for agreeing! A lot of people only date within their sect, which I think is crazy. Limits you so much!

ideabrian's avatar

the hardest thing ever.. is to yell at your spouse (as you project your frustrations about yourself as if they were their issues) and then immediately follow that up with,

“Well, at least we both know how I would play the part of a jerk if we were filming this.”

flameboi's avatar

Sorry guys but, marriage is nothing but a pragmatic financial venture… no check list, no nothing…

lily's avatar

question:
what happens if someone ‘matches” with most of your checklist but one thing is not a match? or what if they match you totally on some things, but others are maybe’s. have any of you broken off a relationship that made you happy because there were ‘list” items that simply would not or could not jive?

cak's avatar

@lily – the one time I broke off a relationship was when we didn’t agree on how to handle money and it seemed our goals were so far apart that it just wasn’t going to work. It seemed to interfere with raising kids.

Bri_L's avatar

@ lily – I think it really depends on the importance of those things. I was going to propose to a woman I was dating. In the end we broke it off because our lifestyles didn’t match. Meaning I liked the occasional movie at home and game etc. she didn’t.

stratman37's avatar

Whether or not they know how to open the Frizzer.

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