17 things all couples must do together before they get married

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    17 things all couples must do together before they get married
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    Marriage is a big step – if you’re planning on doing it right, then you are signing up to be with the same person for the rest of your life so you had better both be sure that you know each other well enough to know that you won’t spend 90% of the marriage ripping each other to bits (rather than the standard 80%).

    There are a number of ways to establish whether it’s the right time for you and bae to dabble in the matrimony game.

    If you can tick all of these 17 things off and still get the butterfly feeling in your stomach about your other half, then it’s time to go ring shopping.

    1. Have a big argument

    Seriously, this couldn’t be more important. You need to know that you can handle the inevitable rows and be able to move on from them.

    Arguments are never pleasant but are often necessary to air things and can actually make a relationship stronger. But if you’re with someone who handles them in the worst possible way, marriage could be tricky.

    2. Meet the parents

    17 things all couples must do together before they get married

    Take on a husband or wife and you take on their whole family too.

    It’s very rare that situations play out as awkwardly as the Ben Stiller film but it’s always best to iron out any differences or awkwardness as, let’s face it, these people will become a huge part of your life. It kind of helps that you get on.

    3. Have a pet together

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    If you’re marrying someone, chances are you might want a family too someday. Start small – get a cat or a dog.

    If you disagree over which brand of pet food they eat and whether the animal can go on the bed, imagine the wars you will have over baby rules.

    4. Get to know each other’s friends

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    When you have your differences, your other half is likely to discuss things with their mates.

    You want them to jump to your defence not urge them to dump you so it’s best you make a good impression.

    5. Experience a financial stress

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    We’re not advising anyone to get into debt, but to pay close attention to how you both react when you have one of those inevitable tricky months where things are a bit difficult.

    Money worries are one of the top reasons for marriage breakdowns so you need to practise how you will overcome these things as a team first.

    6. Show your bad habits

    17 things all couples must do together before they get married

    There’s no point in pretending to be someone you’re not.

    Ensure your partner loves you for who you are. If they can’t cope with your snoring, belching or toenail chewing then it’s best that you find out now.

    7. Play ‘have you ever’

    No marriage should have secrets so start how you mean to go on.

    Get all of those skeletons out now so that you are on the same level. Entering a marriage with a secret from the past still not shared is a big no no.

    8. Have separate nights out

    17 things all couples must do together before they get married

    Compromise in marriage is important and you must ensure you get me time too.

    So have those nights out with friends where you don’t take a plus one and check how you both handle it. If there are jealousies or insecurities to be sorted out, get them fixed before any commitments are made.

    9. Apologise and mean it

    You have to know how to say sorry.

    Make sure you can prove to your partner that you are man or woman enough to hold your hands up when you are wrong. The respect you will win will be massive. The amount of time wasted in relationships over apology stubbornness can be pretty saddening.

    10. But if you truly disagree – stick to your guns sometimes

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    You also have to show your partner that you will stand by your views too.

    Of course you should compromise, but no one wants to be with someone who always backs down. It’s all about respect again.It all depends on the importance of the individual disagreement of course – picking your battles is the way to go rather than stubbornly refusing to give in over something petty and insignificant. Again, if one of you can’t cope with this, it’s best to sort it pre-marriage.

    11. Understand your partner’s life goals

    If you don’t know them, then ask.

    Enter marriage knowing what you both want out of life – both individually and as a couple. And remember that while marriages always involve some form of sacrifices on both sides, no one should be giving up their dreams.

    12. Discuss kids’ names

    Seriously, this can really show how polar opposite a couple can be.

    13. Do a food shop together

    You don’t want to be that married couple that has a massive fight in Tesco.

    It’s a stressful experience so test yourselves and see how you handle it together.

    14. Explore each other’s sexuality

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    Sex isn’t the be all and end all of a relationship but it’s pretty important.

    Even if you don’t want to have sex before marriage, you should at least discuss it. If you’re not sexually compatible, you could be signing up for a pretty tense marriage.

    15. Go on holiday together

    The difficulty of planning this is second only to planning a wedding. And even when you’re out there it can be a nightmare if done wrong.

    A holiday can be the most romantic thing you can do or the most stressful. Make sure you know which side of the spectrum the pair of you will experience before you have the major one – the honeymoon.

    16. Live together

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    Not necessarily full time but at least for a few weekends. This is where you will REALLY get to know your future spouse.

    All the good and bad bits will be here. This is what the registrar is talking about in those vows – this is what you’re agreeing to take on. If it goes well and you’ve ticked off the above and are still in love, get ring shopping now.

    17. Find out your other half’s stance on divorce.

    You know – just in case.

    MORE: 14 of the weirdest sex laws from around the world that could land you in prison

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