Of course you need to get to know his family, share similar goals and be attracted to each other, but marriage is a BIG DEAL. Here are three more things you HAVE to know if you're thinking about saying "I do."
You're not worried about him cheating on you with other women, but what about other stuff? Is he addicted to anything that could cause him to make you his second priority?
Some addictions are fairly easy to spot (i.e. substance abuse), but some are more easily hidden and oftentimes even more dangerous.
Pornography is an addiction quickly taking the world by storm, and the world is just now starting to realize it. One state recently declared it a public health crisis. Many are calling it "the new drug." Similar to heroin or cocaine, pornography hijacks the brain and can throw it into a downward spiral.
If this isn't a problem for you or your significant other, that's wonderful, but check out these statistics as reported by the Huffington Post:
Eight in ten (79%) men between the ages of 18 and 30 view pornography monthly.
Two-thirds (67%) of men between the ages of 31 and 49 view pornography monthly.
If your significant other has problems with pornography (or any other addiction), help him to overcome it. If you have an addiction, fix it. Seek help if you have to. It won't be easy, but it is necessary. There's nothing worse than being cheated on with a computer screen.
2. Bad communication is the killer of good relationships
Communication problems are cited as the #1 reason why couples get divorced. Does your significant other sufficiently communicate with you?
Do you feel like you can tell him anything, and he'll listen to you? Does he share personal thoughts and feelings with you? If there's an argument, does he try to talk through it with you, or does he close off?
With as many modern lines of communication available to us today, we seem to struggle with it now more than ever. Think back on your past relationships or to those relationships with your friends. Did bad communication play a part? It definitely has for me.
Marriage was never meant to be all gumdrops and rainbows. When things get tough, good communication becomes invaluable. A lack of willingness to communicate can often be a sign of a lack of willingness to fully commit to a relationship. If he's in it to win it, his heart and mind should be an open book.
It's extremely important to differentiate between feelings of infatuation and feelings of real love. The start of a new relationship is always thrilling, but beware not to jump the gun.
There's no set time on the infatuation phase of a relationship. It could last a couple of months or a whole year. If you decide to get hitched while still in the infatuation stage, don't be surprised when the butterflies in your stomach eventually die. Will your relationship last? Does it run deeper than that schoolgirl crush?
On your quest to really get to know him, pay attention to how he reacts to a variety of different situations. How does he deal with pressure? Praise? Anger? Failure? Success? How does he react when you fail or succeed?
Waking up one day realizing you have no idea who your husband is ... well, it's scary just to think about it.