Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

7 Questions Every Couple Should Consider

7 Questions Every Couple Should Consider [EXPERT]
Buzz, Love

Lust doesn't last ... don't trust cupid with the fate of your relationship!

Miley Cyrus is only 19 years old, and she just got engaged to Liam Hemsworth. Will it last? Well, the fact that it's a celebrity match is not favorable; celebrity couples don't have a great track record at maintaining lasting marriages. As a little pre-wedding gift, here's what Miley and Liam can do to make sure they're ready for a long and happy marriage.

In my counseling practice, I see a lot of couples who don't make it, usually because they're not prepared, and their expectations are out of line with reality. However, there are various reasons why these unions don't succeed.

Cupid, the god who represented love to the ancient Romans, was blind. In mythology, he's been represented as a cherub; a perpetual baby, (which means someone without wisdom or judgement) who flies around zapping people with his arrows, throwing them helplessly into infatuation with whomever they happen to be with when the arrow strikes. This is a great metaphor for the sensation of "falling in love" instantly, otherwise known as limerance, lust, or "blind love." If You Do These 10 Things You're Headed Toward Lasting Love (Yay!)

Unfortunately, lust doesnt last forever, and love isn't blind forever. I've created a basic outline of some important ideas to help others begin their relationships on the right foot. Because I see so much of the damage caused by people while they're blindly connecting, rushing through the stages of commitment and not creating the solid foundation a true relationship needs, I always welcome the chance to do pre-commitment counseling.

My job is to ask the tough questions that, in the excitement of a new romance, the couple may not have considered. Here are seven questions every couple should consider before moving in together or making joint financial commitments:

1. What is your definition of commitment? Whether you know it or not, you and your partner are responsible for defining your relationship. If you don't know what your relationship means to the both of you, you risk repeating past mistakes, getting stuck in uncomfortable roles, or fighting about what a healthy relationship is. Talk about what you want, using terms such as 'relationship', 'commitment', 'love', and 'faithfulness'. You'll be amazed by what you learn.

2. Have you discussed finances? Next to sex, money is the biggest generator of problems, arguments, and resentment in long-term relationships. Couples tend to assume that money should be pooled, but it usually isn't that easy. A disparity in income can mean struggling about who pays for what, or whose income determines your lifestyle.

Different financial habits (one likes to save, the other spends more, or doesn't keep track) can become a source of constant argument. For many couples, separating your money makes things run smoother; you don't wind up struggling for control. You can split expenses evenly, or work out a percentage share if your incomes are different.

More advice on couples from YourTango:

This article was originally published at Tina B. Tessina. Reprinted with permission from the author.


Explore YourTango