Advertising
Advertising

10 Things to Know Before You Say “I Do” to Lifetime Commitment

10 Things to Know Before You Say “I Do” to Lifetime Commitment

If you are considering the lifetime commitment of marriage, or if you are already engaged and have your special date set, you will want to know these 10 pieces of advice. Before my wife and I said “I Do” fifteen years ago, we ignored most of the advice experienced couples gave us. These 10 things will save you and your spouse a great deal of heartache if you will put them to work. Below are the 10 things married people want you to know before saying “I Do”:

1. Live Your Life as a Single Person, First

Face the facts, you need to enjoy your life while you are single. This is a time in your life when you should take time to travel, explore, find your place in the workforce, and work out your individual kinks. Know yourself before you try to know someone else.

2. Get Financially Sound

One of the worst things you could do to your future spouse is bringing a heavy load of debt into the marriage. Worse than this would be bringing bad financial habits into your marriage. There are tons of resources available with great information to help you grasp the importance of being financially sound. Don’t bring unnecessary burdens into your marriage.

Advertising

3. Realize People Change

This one is tough to understand until you have been there and it especially applies if you are saying “I Do” at a young age. People change because of life’s circumstances, events, and other influences. Just know, your spouse, even yourself, will change over time. The key to success in your marriage is knowing ahead of time you will need to be able to adapt to a changing spouse, and a changing you, over the years.

4. Get Your Priorities in Line

If you are accustomed to hanging out with the guys six nights a week or hanging out with the girls in clubs on the weekend, it is time to change your priorities. If you think you can put yourself in these positions after saying “I Do”, you are setting yourself up for a failed relationship. Understand this; I am not saying you can no longer have fun, but you must respect your spouse when you take your vows. You should communicate your priorities well before setting a date for the big day.

5. Communicate with Your (Future) Spouse

This is the life blood of your relationship. Over the past fifteen years, my wife and I have had our share of conflict, with the majority of conflicts being caused by the lack of communication or miscommunication. Be intentional and deliberate when communicating with your spouse. This could be as simple as calling your spouse to let him/her know you are going to be late for work, always give an estimated time of arrival.

Advertising

6. Respect Your Spouse

This should be in all bold, italicized, and all caps. Maybe you should consider having it tattooed across both arms and your chest. Respect in a relationship determines how severe, and how often, conflict will be in your relationship. Learn to respect yourself. When you can respect yourself, you can adequately respect your future spouse. Respect is simply this: Considering the feelings and needs of another over your own.

7. Never, Ever, Quit

Don’t go into your marriage thinking ahead of time, “If he/she does this, I am out”. You must be open to forgiveness from the start. Regardless. No, I am not suggesting you tolerate any type of physical, mental, or verbal abuse, but, beyond these issues, learn to forgive. After marrying my wife at the age of eighteen, I packed my stuff and threatened to leave multiple times the first year. Show commitment to your future spouse. Don’t threaten to leave. Don’t mention leaving. Be committed. Never quit.

8. Make Sure You Can’t Live Without Him/Her

Listen, if you date casually now and if you can go days without talking to him/her, you should reconsider your plans to marry. Marriage is a covenant between two people who are best friends, first. Best friends talk. They have conflicts, but they are fair about dealing with conflict. Think about this: If your spouse disappeared from your life today, how would you respond?

Advertising

Reality is none of us are promised tomorrow. I know, stop with the depressing talk. This is reality, and once all the parties and celebrations are over, reality hits you between the eyes like a baseball thrown at 95 MPH. If you two aren’t even friends now, maybe you should consider your decision: marriage is a commitment for life.

9. Be Prepared to Give 100%

You have heard the cute little saying, “marriage is 50/50”, right? Well, that’s crap. It is not 50/50, in fact, it is more like, you give all you have and your spouse gives all they have, plus some. Marriage will chew you up and spit you out if you go into it thinking you can get by with giving half an effort. It does not work that way.

10. Never Stop Dating

Do you remember the very first time you and your spouse, or future spouse, went on a date? Do you recall how your heart was beating out of your chest at some point during this date? Often times after the vows are exchanged, us men especially, tend to sit back on cruise control. Don’t do this! Celebrate her! Celebrate him!

Advertising

Pursue your lover like he/she is still considering spending their life with you. When you love, respect, and pursue your spouse, you will reap unending rewards. Yes, guys, sometimes this means sex. To men, be men. Your wife wants someone to lead the way. Lead her by loving her, respecting her, and never, ever, stop pursuing her.

Featured photo credit: NGDPhotoworks via pixabay.com

More by this author

J. A. Davis

Founder & Owner of Enlivify Total Solutions, LLC

Why Complainers Are The Most Miserable Ones In The World 10 Things to Know Before You Say “I Do” to Lifetime Commitment Warren Buffett’s 10 Inspiring Tips For Young People

Trending in Communication

1 30 Refreshing Routines to Boost Your Morning Motivation 2 Feeling Like a Failure? 10 Simple Things to Help You Rise Again 3 What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward? 4 6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master 5 5 Ways to Turn Around a Bad Day at Work

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

Advertising

In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

Advertising

Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

Advertising

It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

Advertising

If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

Read Next