For most young adults, reaching a certain age means you may have found your true love, someone that makes you want to settle down and walk the straight and narrow. But also, for the majority of 20-something-year-olds, you probably didn’t make the best decisions leading up to this moment. From bad financial choices to putting off doing something on your bucket list, there is plenty of unfinished business to attend to before taking the big plunge into holy matrimony. So before the minivans, big house and 2.5 kids come along, here are 7 things you should do to be the best person you can be for your mate, before you tie the knot.
Now this may seem like a huge task to tackle, and may not ever be accomplished in totality, but being sufficiently aware of who you are is essential when going into a long-term relationship. Knowing your likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and triggers can help you have positive communication with your partner.
Learn to Cook
This isn’t an encouragement for women to learn to cook for old-fashioned, sexist reasons, but as a step towards self-sufficiency. Being able to take care of yourself, without depending on your partner, is an important part of having equal footing in a relationship – and having the ability to make a meal is a part of that. And let’s be honest, it’s also quite attractive.
Straighten Out Your Finances
Budgeting, getting off your own phone plan, saving some money and cleaning up outstanding debts are just a few of the positive ways you can improve your financial situation before getting hitched. Marriages are financial unions just as much as they are romantic, and going in with a clean financial slate will get you off to a great start.
Finish Your Degree
After marriage, it can be hard to predict where life will take you and the prior commitments you can keep up with. Whether its finishing your degree or getting that extra certification in your field, finish your academic goals before tying the knot.
Traveling is the best way to broaden your perspective on life, spend quality time with yourself, understand other cultures and appreciate their differences, and learn more about yourself and who you want to be. These are all qualities that will enrich you as a person, and within your relationship.
Get in shape
Of course, we are perfect and beautiful the way we are. But having good exercising habits keep you healthy and happy, two attributes that will aid in a successful marriage. Plus, losing a few pounds before getting married will help account for the extra weight that many studies say you’ll gain after marriage.
Establish you hard and soft limits
Marriage is all about compromise; and if you are not careful, you will make so many exceptions that you will end up compromising yourself right out of what you want in the relationship. Before its official, determine your soft and hard limits of compromise – what you are willing to give up for the sake of the marriage, and what you are not.