(Closed) How much discussions Pre-Engagement

posted 7 years ago in Waiting
Post # 3
Member
3296 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - An amazing non-profit retreat

Discussing the future just comes naturally, really. Our goal is pretty much to get married within the next couple of years. I’ll finish up school, get a job or do more school, he’ll continue getting raises, and we want to be able to have our first child and have a larger home for said child when we’re 30/31. That’s about as much as we’ve planned, because you can’t plan everything down to the last minute. Something WILL go wrong lol

 

What are your goals? What are his goals? Discuss how you two can mesh those in a way that will work for both of you 🙂

Post # 4
Member
248 posts
Helper bee

The three main things that we were told (by our counselor) that are the most important to discuss prior to marriage and/or engagement are money, sex, and kids. Money is the #1 reason for divorce, so make sure you are on the same page about accounts, budgeting, spending, etc. Apparently most guys worry that sex will change and lessen after marriage, so discuss your expectations for that. Kids is self explanatory. Discuss if and how many you want and when, and if you want, your thoughts on how they will be raised.

Other good things to discuss are goals for the future, as well as plans for where to live and possibly move. I’ve also heard to discuss about expectations for in-laws: how often to visit, etc.

Post # 5
Member
296 posts
Helper bee

Thank you for asking this, because I’m curious too!

I’m not engaged yet, or even really close to that yet, so I’m afraid I don’t have a very concrete answer for you.

However, I’d say that my bf and I have done a fair amount of discussing important issues. Back in January, we discussed some stuff like how we would handle finances, where we’d like to live someday, and how many kids we want, but it was mostly me bringing that stuff up, and my bf finally admitted that he was a little uncomfortable talking about this stuff when he was unsure of our future. So I left well enough alone, and stopped pestering him with that stuff.

A few months later, he decided it was time to start thinking about the future, so for the past 6 weeks or so, he keeps bringing up a lot of stuff about our career plans, when he sees himself being ready to marry, how old should we be when we try to conceive, will his family be able to accept me (we’re from different countries/races/cultures), how manageable is my bipolar disorder, how will we deal if our children inherit some sort of mental illness… 

We only see each other on weekends currently, but each weekend, we sort of set aside some time where we’re free from distractions to just cuddle for awhile and talk about whatever’s on our minds. Like I said, lately he’s been initiating most of these conversations, but I’m glad that he’s ready to talk about it, because my general stance is that some of these things SHOULD be discussed before even getting engaged, in order to avoid problems or disagreements down the road, when things might be more serious. 

Because my bf got overwhelmed the first time around, I definitely understand that it can be overwhelming. I guess my advice is to address one topic at a time. Maybe set aside some time to talk once or twice a week; talk about one issue (i.e. kids, or career goals) and then give yourselves a few days to process what the other person has said. Next time you talk, you can either revisit that topic if you have more questions, or else move on to something else. 

Post # 6
Member
43 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2012

this is an excellent question and I’m surprised that it got pushed down and not many people answered it. I’d like to know too.

 

we already have kids and wether or not we have another I don’t know right now. for me it depends if i am going to go back to work or not. If his career does well and I can work from home and work a little less then I might want to. I have already raised my son having to work full time when I was younger, i’d prefer not to have to do that the next time around if there is one. but we both already know that we are great parents 🙂 and he hints that it’s okay if i want to. so we’ll see.

we both want to build a house on a plot of land someday when we can. somewhere pretty.

he’s better at finances and i’m pretty good at making money so I figure I will let him keep me to my limits as far as how much to spend so we can save. i don’t mind that. I’ve been on my own for awhile. I’ve had times in my life where I did live it up and i’m happy not to spend so much and simplify my life now. I have everything I need but I do like to make it look prettier with what I can without spending much money if any at all.

we don’t like eachother to hold things inside in when upset. we try to get it out when it happens and working on being understanding. we also don’t like yelling.

and as for getting engaged he has said that he wanted 4 more months about a little over 3 months ago. I think he was referring to proposing…

 

Post # 7
Member
73 posts
Worker bee

@gramgeek: I think feeling you need some sort of time frames is perfectly warranted. I’m 26 and felt the sme way with my SO, and we did set timelines. We are in the pre-engagement mode now and we have discussed finances, goals and plans in great detail. We don’t know everything…like what city to settle down in etc. However, the general and most important topics we have covered. The rest we will figure out after the wedding. Being overwhelmed by cost is normal. We both felt this way. However, we both have our education and good jobs and yes, it will be tough, but we will get through it, and so will you!

Post # 8
Member
1088 posts
Bumble bee

For us, talking about the future comes pretty naturally.  We’ve talked about everything from where we’d like to live to how we want to raise our kids.  Once the intent for marriage and a future together was made clear, we began to periodically talk about our vision of the future. 

There was never any official discussion where we laid out all of our expectations, goals, etc.  A lot of things were discussed prior to the discussion of marriage.  Early on, SO asked me how many kids I want and what religion I would raise them, for example.  As time went on, we talked about the prospect of marriage and a prospective timeline.  We’ve discussed our different cultures, how that will affect our children, and what traditions we find important. 

Over time, we’ve discussed how we would handle the finances once we are married and living together, and perhaps more importantly, our view of money and our financial goals.  We’re not even engaged, and SO has brought up retirement!  (More planning for retirement, but still!)  It doesn’t scare me, though. 

We are constantly growing both individually and as a couple and have agreed to openly discuss things that would directly affect our timeline (not just engagement timeline).  I’m a bit of a planner and a thinker, so bringing the future just comes naturally, I suppose.  Whatever the case may be, we keep finding out more things about one another, and our relationship keeps getting better and better!

Post # 9
Member
1527 posts
Bumble bee

We talk about everything…we don’t want surprises haha. We’ve always been very honest about what we both want from life and discussed whether our goals and timelines match up.

Sometimes it’s taken some compromise, but it’s better to compromise now than stress out later when things don’t go like we think they will. There are some things we have general ideas about and aren’t going to make final decisions about, but have options that we both will be satisfied with so we know everything will work out. 

I think the sooner, the better to talk about things. As soon as you find someone you really love and want to spend your life with you have to figure out if you are compatible to spend your lives together…timeline, financially, goals. 

Post # 10
Member
1697 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@glittermoon:I agree. the sooner the better. We talked about it after 2 months of dating. It just kept coming up. I have a son so I needed to make decisions about where we wanted this to go ( I never introduced random guys to my son ever). Money was my big thing. I needed to feel secure and I DID ask his credit rating and savings plan and told him mine and we came to many agreements before the engagement.

Post # 11
Member
1088 posts
Bumble bee

@glittermoon:  it’s better to compromise now than stress out later when things don’t go like we think they will. <–I can’t agree you more. 

There are some things we have general ideas about and aren’t going to make final decisions about, but have options that we both will be satisfied with  <—This is also a very valid point.  Discussing every little detail isn’t always necessary as long as you know where you are headed (both individually and as a couple) and you are both are happy with that. 

Post # 12
Member
1088 posts
Bumble bee

@Angelz_love:  You were extremely smart to have a financial discussion with your SO.  It is extremely important to be on the same page when it comes to money, especially because money is one of the leading causes of divorce. 

I’m (still!) a student, so money matters are complicated for me, but SO has asked me a number of hypothetical questions with respect to money.  It’s not that he’s money hungry, but he just wants to be sure that I value money the same way he does. 

It’s funny because one day, pretty early on in our relationship, he asked, “Do you think $___ is a lot of money?”  He also has asked things like, “If you were given $__ what would you do with it right now?”  or “Would you rather live in a smaller house that suited our family’s needs and own that home outright, or would you prefer to have a larger, nicer home with a mortgage?  They would both be in comparable areas with good schools, etc”  For me, it’s fun to talk about stuff like that because it shows us how eachother thinks! 

Post # 13
Member
1088 posts
Bumble bee

@babybumblebee:  my general stance is that some of these things SHOULD be discussed before even getting engaged

I think that you are absolutely right!  I feel like the more things we can talk about before getting engaged/married, the better. 

Post # 14
Member
1088 posts
Bumble bee

@robotsneedlovetoo:  he’s better at finances and i’m pretty good at making money so I figure I will let him keep me to my limits as far as how much to spend so we can save.

Knowing that you can balance eachothers strengths and weakness is awesome.  For us, SO is great with the investment aspect of the finances whereas I’m much better with the day to day budgeting (ie groceries, utilities, etc).  I’m grateful that he enjoys managing portfolios because I don’t.  Likewise, he could care less about who has laundry detergent on sale and what the going price for meat is, so he’s happy that I like to bargain hunt and am willing handle things from that end.  It definitely sounds like you guys have had similar conversations, too!

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