When you know, you know, right? Well, maybe. While gut instincts are all well and good (and often scarily accurate), here are 25 other things to make sure you cover before either of you gets down on one knee. Because who wants to take chances with the rest of her life?

  1. The difference between like, lust, and love. Only one is worthy of an engagement. Only one determines “together forever”.
  2. Each other’s career goals.What do you each want to accomplish in life — and how will it affect your relationship with each other? Knowing what you each want to achieve and supporting those dreams is a critical foundation for any couple.
  3. How you each feel about faith.What your belief system means to your life as a couple (and your future life as a family).
  4. Each other’s spending habits.And debt situations. And savings plans. Get it all out on the table early. And even if you have different spending and saving styles, it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. It is simply an acknowledgement of a fundamental difference in money attitudes.


  1. Whether you want children — and when. It is important to be on the same page regarding your general timeline for starting a family. But you might not need to agree on how many kids just yet. Once a couple has their first kid, they will have a better idea of how many children they really want.
  2. How you plan on parenting your children. At least, in theory.
  3. Each other’sparents/siblings/immediate family. These might be your in-laws. Know what you are getting into.
  4. Your significant other’s relationships with said family. Love, hate, love-hate — it’s important to understand the dynamics at play.
  5. The past.Like it or not, it helped shape who you both are at this very moment. You don’t need to provide every exhaustive detail, but you should have a general roadmap for how you each got to the present.
  6. Any previous spouses and/or children.This should come up in No. 9, but I’m not taking any chances. Nobody likes a surprise ex.
  7. How you each respond to stress.One of the main theories for why the majority ofBachelor/Bachelorette engagements fail is because they do not face real-world, anxiety-inducing, pressure cooker situations. Stress can be the ultimate saboteur in a relationship, and studies show that even happy marriages can end up in divorce thanks to stressful life events, low commitment and negative communication. But if you know how you each handle life’s obstacles, big and small, you can tackle them successfully together. If you perceive your partner is there for you and supportive of you, it buffers and reduces the impact of chronic stress.
  8. How they take their coffee in the morning.Which section of the paper they read first. Whether they even like coffee at all. It may seem like minutiae, but love sometimes comes in the tiniest details.
  9. Each other’s worst qualities.Love involves elevating the best traits, and accepting the worst ones.
  10. Their friends!I’m a believer that meeting the friends can be even more important than meeting the family, because friends are the people that your better halfchooses to spend time around. If you haven’t met your S.O.’s inner circle, then the relationship isn’t that serious — and certainly not serious enough for an engagement.
  11. Their stance on major political issues.How does your partner feel about gay marriage? Abortion? Voters’ rights?Gun control? You don’t necessarily have to agree, but their opinions (and the arguments they use to justify them) can be very telling.
  12. How to fight and make up.You are going to disagree. It happens. And to an extent, it is healthy. Conflicts are inevitable. But conflict has its benefits if you use it productively. Use respectful language with each other and be willing to listen to your partner.
  13. Each other’s living habits.You don’t have to live together yet, but it is a good idea to at least have an idea of what it will be like when you do.It is not whether you live with your partner as much as how you live with your partner.
  14. Your sexual chemistry.Yes, this is totally making me blush because I am a 12-year-old at heart, but knowing how you connect onthat level is pretty critical to relationship — and marriage — success.
  15. How to talk to each other.No phones. No emails. No texts. Just straight-up, face-to-face, brutally honest communication. This is vital,especially considering “communication problems” were cited as the most common factor (65 percent) that leads to divorce in a recent survey.
  16. Their hobbies.Whether it’s golf, running, reading, collecting, or live-action-role-playing, you want to know the things that your love loves to do. It’s not about you loving soccer, it’s about the person that you love loving soccer.
  17. How you each feel about travel.Striking a balance between a homebody and someone with a case of wanderlust is one tricky seesaw act. Determine whether travel is a priority in your relationship before committing to marriage.
  18. Your views on household duties.Does your significant other expect a partner who will take care of all the chores? Or will it be a shared responsibility (ahem)? People are going to disagree about how to run the house, chores, who cleans the bathroom, but those are the kinds of things that people can, if they work on their communication style, work through.
  19. The difference between a wedding and a marriage.A wedding is one day. A marriage is a lifetime. If you want to throw a party, there are plenty of other things you can celebrate if you aren’t ready for matrimony.
  20. That being said, you should talk aboutyour vision for a wedding. Because eloping at City Hall and 500 people at the reception in June are two very different scenarios. Plus, planning a wedding can be extremely stressful — you and your fiancé need to be on the same team.
  21. What you want out of the future.No one has a crystal ball, and life loves to throw curveballs.But since one of the top reasons for divorce is that the couple “wanted different things, you should share your thoughts, hopes and dreams for what the future might look like — together.

Culled from bustle.com with inputs from MacHenry Churchill

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