1. Will we have children, and how will we parent them?
Before getting married, couples should honestly discuss if they want children, how many they want, at what point in the marriage they would want to have them, and how they envisage their roles as parents.
2. How important is religion? And what religion would that be?
Whether it’s two people from different faiths or an atheist and a believer, if a couple comes from different religious backgrounds, the expectations that each partner has for the place of religion in the marriage has be discussed – especially if there are children in the picture.
3. Is my debt your debt? What about the other way around?
How does your partner feel about financial independence? Is there the expectation that resources will be kept separate? This is particularly important to bring up if there is a big difference between your income and your partner’s.
4. What are your career plans?
Besides talking about money and personal finances, it’s good to talk about your career plans, where you want to be in the next five years, how you see your job and your salary evolving over your lifetime. Getting both your expectations in line with reality will cut down on money-related arguments later, because none of you will be expecting the impossible.
5. Can you cope with me pursuing my interests without you?
No two people are completely alike, and there are some hobbies and interests that you and your partner just don’t share. People have different levels of dependence, as well as expectations of privacy, so it’s best to discuss how comfortable they are doing things alone.
6. How much of a role will our parents play in the relationship?
If you and your partner are used to different levels of involvement from your parents, problems will inevitably arise. You have to be open about what feels most comfortable, and how to present a united front without causing a lot of conflict between different generations of the family.
7. What are the deal-breakers in the relationship?
If there's anything else that you know will drive you crazy when you’re married, it's better to chat about it sooner rather than later. This can be anything from not being okay with your husband watching porn to being worried about your wife’s tendency to drink too much.
8. What are your sexpectations?
How often do you expect to have it? Who should initiate it? What if one of you doesn’t want to and the other does? A couple’s love life changes as the years go by and you may need to have this talk more than once - the more in depth you understand your partner’s expectation of sex, the better off your marriage- and your sex life- will be.
9. What are your love languages?
Love languages are the different ways people express love and affection - affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. Each partner may have a different way of expressing their love, so the couple needs to work out how to nurture the relationship, in a way specific to them.
10. What are your long-term goals?
This isn’t necessarily all about money and careers (although they do factor into it). However, you should talk about where you see yourselves five, ten or twenty years down the line. Life often throws unexpected curveballs at you but if you can’t mesh your partner’s plans with yours, there may be trouble brewing already.