Are you engaged and about to get married? Congrats! First things first though, so while marriage may prove to be not that walk in the park you expected, it's still a lifelong partnership that is meant to be enjoyed and gives you a sense of fulfillment, protection, acceptance and love.
While I am no marriage counselor, I believe that there a few things every couple must try before getting married.
1. Understand that marriage is not your identity but it is your marital status
Getting married may be awesome for some but that should not be your sole identity. You are an individual and you are your own person so don't rely on your significant other to define who you are or what you become.
2. Move out of your parents' house and find a roommate
Yes, moving out of the family home in the Middle East is no easy task. However, it is an absolute must to try at some point before getting married. This will make you learn to do things on your own, cook for yourself and clean after yourself. You will also obtain a sense of responsibility toward yourself and people around you.
3. People are flawed but learn to love them anyway
Your significant other is not perfect and neither are you. Therefore, putting a person on pedestal and continuously viewing them as "perfect" will add strain to the relationship which will eventually result in resentment. Instead, identify your partner's flaws and learn to love them regardless of the quirks.
4. Learn who you really are and love yourself
Sometimes we lost sight of who we really are or who we want to be and get so wrapped up in our daily "must-do's." We eventually lose focus and follow a routine that doesn't necessary make us happy. Be more spiritual, be spontaneous and do things you usually wouldn't do and find out who your really are and you want to be come. Learn to love, appreciate and respect yourself.
5. Pack a bag and travel with your spouse to be
Traveling together will provide you with some insight on how compatible you will be when living together. Traveling together will also allow you to see how both of you, as a couple, are in a new environment.
6. Let it all out
We all have certain demands and expectations for our future. It is important to openly discuss all these things. For instance, not every woman wants to have a child but your future hubby might - This is not a bomb you'd want to drop on your marriage out of nowhere. Furthermore, we all have a bag of secrets tucked away nicely in the closet, get them out and be open about your past. After all, your past is your past and whoever you end up marrying but accept it.
7. Start a friendship with each other's friends
Friends are important and it is a necessity to not only meet one another's friends, or anyone deemed important to them for that matter, but to spark a friendship with them as well. For starters, showing genuine interest in your future spouse's inner circle will be appreciated. Secondly, creating a shared bond with different people is always a good thing for a healthy relationship.
8. Go through a bit of financial strain
Don't go all wild with your spending and get yourself into needless debt. However, financial stress can cause a lot of couples to split up. To avoid this, live on a tight budget for a month and see how both of you react to things and deal with issues that arise from difficult financial situations. This will make both of you understand how the other deals with stress and will strengthen your relationship as well as yourselves as individuals.
9. Don't halt your career or stop living your life
Putting a halt on your career for a relationship or a marriage is never a good idea simply because subconsciously, jealousy and resentment towards your significant other will start grow. Lead your own individual lives together and like Kahlil Gibran once said, "for only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart."
10. Don't try to change one another
If you're ready to tie the knot with this person for the right reasons, chances are you already love that person to bits and therefore, do not try to change their negative flaws. Instead, appreciate that person as a whole and understand that marriage does not miraculously change a person.
11. Find yourself a hobby
Learn to be comfortable alone without getting lonely. It is unhealthy to spend 24/7 with your future spouse because the both of you need time to spend time apart and do things individually. If your future spouse to be is having a night out with their peeps, why not start learning a new language/ Perhaps pick a sport to play or take up painting?