Getting hitched is a big deal, but if you do your research right, the ride can be a lot smoother than the rocky road everyone is warning you about. So how can you prepare? Here are ten ways to get you started.
1. How does your partner like their eggs in the morning?
The odd breakfast in bed is the make or break, especially if you get the eggs just right—it should be written into wedding vows everywhere and inscribed into engagement rings: “Scrambled eggs with pepper and ketchup.” It’s little treats like this that remind your spouse how glad they are that they married you, and you’ll remember how much you’re willing to do for them, too. So find out, now, before getting married: how do they like their eggs?
2. Will you be married to the housemate from hell?
Will the love of your life also be a domestic god or goddess? Will you have to make the bed every morning? You’re not just starting a life with the one you love; you’re also getting a permanent roommate, and you’ll have to learn to compromise. Make your house a home, together, and you’ll feel a lot better about your living arrangements.
3. You’ve already explored their flaws—but what about your own?
Enter your marriage aware that you will sometimes clash, because you’re both human. You won’t always be right or win the argument; sometimes you will be the one to blame and remembering this will help you cut them some slack when they get things wrong. Know yourself, know when you are making mistakes and get ready to fix them and apologize.
4. What are your partner’s favorite things?
I grant you this one’s a bit Sound of Music, but it’s an important one. When those thunder storms crash straight into your life, will it be whiskers on kittens or a whopping slab of chocolate cake that will cheer and comfort your spouse? Prepare yourself for those rainy days by finding out before getting married.
5. Have you found their funny bone?
Laughing is perhaps the most important thing. It’s early and he can’t find his belt because you tidied it away somewhere and you can’t remember where? Don’t snap back with a snide comment about his messiness—crack a joke about indecent exposure on the train and repair the damage with some laughter.
6. Do you have a mutual passion?
You both know you love each other, but do you know what you both love? Find a sport, a hobby, a dance class, anything that you can do once a week that gets friends involved and casts each other in a new and interesting light. The key is giving each other plenty of chances to keep falling in love for years to come.
7. Sometimes you have to choose other things.
It’s important to choose each other, but it’s also key to choose yourself sometimes. Don’t resent your spouse for a week because you stayed in with them instead of hitting the gym or the local bar. Keep yourself happy and bring that energy back to your relationship, because your spouse is not the only good thing in your world and you can’t put the pressure of your own happiness squarely on their shoulders. Sink this in before getting married and half the battle is over already.
8. Beware the green eyes of jealousy.
If you know you’re a jealous person, be aware —because you will get jealous of the blonde, big-eyed secretary that brings your husband muffins at work, or the burly builder your wife makes coffee for while he rips out the kitchen cabinets. Talk yourself through it, remind yourself that trust is the only way to make things work—even if it is terrifying.
9. Learn from Gogglebox’s very own Steph and Dom.
If you love the cosy domestic feel of this program as much as I do, then you probably already love these two. Holding a martini in one hand and linking fingers with the other, this posh couple know how to let loose together. Do you two? Make sure your nights in are just as raucous as your nights out—you’ll be spending the rest of your lives together, make sure you’re having as much fun as possible.
10. Have your doubts.
This might sound like risky advice before the big day, but the most confident approach to your marital relationship is to thoroughly explore your doubts before you go into it. And if you haven’t found reasons not to marry your partner, then you haven’t looked hard enough, because we all have plenty to choose from. It’s being aware of these and still wanting to jump in head first that will keep you certain that you’re waking up with the right person every morning and getting into bed at night with the real deal. And then you’ll get to prove how much you love them every day for the rest of your life.