I’ve never subscribe to the notion that love is all you need. Dunno whether that’s because I’m a cynic, pragmatist or realist, but ever since I can remember when the rest of my friends were still busy describing their perfect prince in great physical details I’ve gone past that and gone straight to the personality and character. My thinking is that whoever catch my eyes, he’s gonna be good-looking to me. Who would knowingly be with someone they find ugly and repulsive? S&M fanatics perhaps? Not me for sure. Of course I had an idea, ideally he would be taller than me, well-built, handsome, etc but again, I just know I must have a complete package or as pageant fan would say, ‘Beauty and Brain.” What use is having a drop dead gorgeous guy who has space for rent between their ears?
So anyway, I was a little surprised when someone asked me for relationship advice. Not because I can’t dish it out, just ask my mailing list, I love to give a piece of my mind 😉 But because this is someone I usually ask advice from. I must say I’m flattered. Apparently it is because of my somewhat no-nonsense approach to life that she asked me. Her question is quite simple, at what stage of relationship do you start talking about serious life issues, such as money management, home trips etc? Well, IMO, when you know for sure that this is going to be a serious relationship. If you both see that this is going towards marriage then yes, start asking. But if you’re still not sure then just hang on to those q’s. No point asking if neither is going to be committed to one another.
When do you know that? She asked again. I don’t know. I don’t think there’s a set timeline when you should be asking these things. Some people know on the first date that this is the person they want to marry, others been going out for years and still unsure. It depends. For me, after a certain birthday I started getting seriously looking for a husband so when I started seeing my then-boyfriend, I think it was after the 3rd date I told him that if this works out I expect a marriage out of it. If not then let’s part ways amicably. Sounds cold? Well, no point spending time with someone who doesn’t want the same thing as you do.
Lucky for me, he wants the same thing too so bit by bit we started having these life conversations. Things like, how many kids do we want, the kind of education they’ll go to, what if we don’t have kids, money and how to manage them, etc. Some friends were quite surprised at how direct we were but I do think it is important we enter into a marriage with our eyes wide open. Love alone is not going to sustain you. One still need to eat, to sleep, work, pray and laugh after one gets married. I’m not the kind of girl who’ll sacrifice everything for love like in romance novels. Yes eating from the same plate is cute in Disney movies, but not in real life. I like my own plate thank you.
Perhaps he really was meant to be, because he was unfazed by my many opinions. Some that would definitely drive away lesser guy. But not him. He just move on forward asking for time with my dad. And the rest is history.
So, going back to my friend, yes I do think you should have these conversations before you marry him. Not during the first date obviously but definitely when you feel that this is going to end at the altar. Better you know and work out these things during courtship rather than at a divorce court. As to ‘when’ that time is, only you and him know when that would be. Listen to your heart, listen to your gut. They’ll tell you when. And of course, pray for God’s guidance. Together Insya Allah you will not be led astray.
Good luck. Don’t forget to send the invites 😉