Congrats, you two are happily engaged!

It most likely was a long path to get to where you are, wasn’t it? Behind every successful marriage, are two people who have done some tremendous things before deciding they’re ready to take the next step. Have you considered a “must-do” list before putting the ring on your finger? Maybe you should, as there are things everyone needs to do before getting married.

1. Get your heart broken.

Sounds cliche, but true. Dealing with a breakup teaches you about what went wrong in your relationship and how you can prevent them from happening again.

2. Experiment With Online Dating.

You need to learn to take credit for all your strengths and general awesomeness right?

3. Learn From Your Relationship Mistakes.

Look back at your past? What part did you play in the destruction of that relationship? Did you take them for granted? Were you neglectful? Critical? These are all very important things to ask yourself before moving on to a new relationship so you can be a better version of you and not make the same mistake.

4. Fall in Love, More Than Once.

You need to find out what kind of relationship or partner you want for the rest of your life, so get out there and figure it out.

5. Come Up With a Definitive List of What You Won’t Compromise On in a Relationship.

These are normally called deal breakers. You have values that your partner shouldn’t make you compromise just like they have values that you shouldn’t ask them to compromise either. Talk it out and see where each of you stand.

6. Learn to Trust Others.

Trust is one of the most important (if not THE most important) thing to have in a relationship. If you don’t trust your future partner, how will you create a solid marriage?

7. Learn Not to Make Being Married Your Sole Identity.

You need to be your own person and not to rely on someone else solely to define you.

8. Spend Time Alone.

The more comfortable you are with yourself, the more likely you are to attract someone who will be comfortable with you.

9. Get to Know All the Facts.

You need to talk about all the boring stuff, like financial matters and health before taking the leap into marriage. Would you rather find out your partner is $30,000 in debt before you got married, or after?

10. Live with someone that is not a member of your family.

Think of it as testing the waters before getting married. You want to know if you can live with your future spouse!

11. Spend some time on your career.

Again, cliche but true. You need to work on yourself before being able to fully commit in a relationship.

12. Spend time around kids.

This will help you decide whether or not you want them and to let your partner know where you stand regarding children before you tie the knot.

13. Figure out why you want to get married.

Do you genuinely love your partner? Or do you just like the idea of getting married? Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with them? Do you just want to wear a wedding gown and have a big fancy party? Or do you think it’s just something you now have to do because you’re getting older? Find out your true intentions before making the leap.

14. Learn to fight fairly.

Disagreements will inevitably happen with your future spouse. Learn to fight fairly now before you say something you’ll regret after you’re married.

15. Learn to love people as they are.

Don’t expect people to change for you. Marrying your partner means you’ll accept for their strengths AND weaknesses.

16. Learn to DIY.

How can you nurture a marriage if you cannot learn to take care of yourself first? Consider learning how to cook or become the handyman around the house.

17. Meet your future spouse’s friends.

You might be able to pick up on red flags that could hint at why you might not want to marry this person. Or to confirm that your decision is completely spot on.

18. Meet your future spouse’s family.

You’re not just marrying your spouse, you’re marrying into the family. Figure out if you can deal with their family drama beforehand.

19. Get to know yourself.

A no-brainer here. If you don’t know who you are and aren’t comfortable in your own skin, how could you possibly know what type of person you want to spend the rest of your life with?

20. Learn to apologize sincerely.

We screw up from time to time. Admitting it shows your partner that you’re mature and you’re willing to do what it takes to make things right.

Love yourself before falling in love with anyone: 15 Ways to Fall In Love With Yourself

Featured photo credit: Couple getting married via Shutterstock

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