Life is a beautiful thing. There’s so much to see, so many places and things to explore and the wonderful thing about being single is that you can do these things freely. However, at some point in life we are bound to fall in love and it’s natural to want to do all the amazing things that you love with the person you love. You want to make sure that the grand life you had as a single person stays grand even after marriage. You want to make sure the person that you love is socially compatible with you or at least open to some of  your epic adventures. You want to leave enough time to figure out if you two have a similar vision of what your lives will look like together. I call this my “pre-hitched” checklist because seriously, who wants to be bored in love? Or as Martin would say, “clank clank, locked down” in love?

Travel the Globe, See Some World

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I’m a girl who loves soaking in different cultures whether through food, film, literature and music, but isn’t it more fun to soak in those things in their country, city or state? From past experience, traveling together can bring out the worst and good in a couple, but it can also be a learning experience, a shared experience. I mean home is where the heart is and that’s cool and all, but it’s even better being able to step away from your routine life for a bit for some foreign rejuvenation. Wouldn’t it be cool to just pick anywhere in the world to explore with your significant other? Someplace neither of you can pronounce? I think traveling together is important.

Have Some Very Adult Conversations

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Does your partner want children? How many? Do you not? Does your partner belong to a specific religion that you have no desire converting to? Have you two discussed future care plans? If the circumstance arose that a work relocation was offered how willing would you be to make accommodations? These are important things to discuss BEFORE being legally bound and be honest. Don’t trick your partner into a situation that would leave them unhappy in the end. The worst thing that can happen is you two get married to later find that you have some opposing ideals that are a huge deal. Talk about your financial status and any debts that you’re responsible for.

Take Care of Something Together

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In a perfect world I’d have two cats (Hyrules & Zelda) and a dog (Dottie)…maybe even a mini teacup pig (Juniper)…I love animals, but in all seriousness, taking care of something 100% dependent on you is something every couple should do before marriage and most definitely before kids. Pets are like a couple’s pre-trial period to kids. You learns each other’s nurturing styles, at times discipline styles, and how dedicated you two are to this dependent. If pets are too big a step for you, a plant will suffice.

Share Some Space

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Living together is debatable. Some feel that gives you a preview to what married life will be like while others believe that it’ll just unnecessarily speed things up in the relationship. I say whatever floats your boat. I dated a guy for 6 years before moving in with him and in those seven months of living together, it revealed so much to me about our relationship which caused me to call it quits. Moving forward I wouldn’t live with another person before marriage, but I did see the benefits of it. If you can share space with someone and not feel like killing them, they might be the one. If you can share space with someone and feel like killing them, but you don’t, that person is a keeper because self-control ain’t too easy to come by these days (just kidding).

In my journey to love I’ve learned that good things such as marriage shouldn’t be rushed, they take time, but in the meantime you have some tasks to tackle before the “She Said Yes” or “I Said Yes” social media post because you want to make sure what you’re saying yes to is what you really want and need.

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