Here are some topics you and your partner should discuss before entering into a relationship.
1. HIV Status, s*xual Compatibility, and Intimacy
We can’t continue to arrogantly ignore the statistics that remind us that the number of those infected with sexually transmitted infections is steadily rising. The first key to survival is self-preservation. Take care of yourself and your body. One of the most important conversations you should have with your partner is regarding their s*xual history, risky s*x practices, and their health status.
Do not put yourself in a position to get, “caught up in the moment” before you see you a clean bill of health. If your partner is unwilling to get tested or to provide documentation that they are in fact STD and HIV free, do not entertain the idea of anything more than a platonic friendship.
Note: This is also a great time to talk to your partner about mental health issues and addictions.
2. Finances and Spending Habits
When your dating situation is on the cusp of friendship and relationship that is the perfect time to start talking to your potential partner about their money management and finances. Set aside some time to talk with your significant other about their financial philosophy. Are they extremely frugal or an impulse shopper? How important is it for them to save for a rainy day? Do they currently make enough to maintain their lifestyle, or do they believe in living life to the fullest, even if that means living paycheck to paycheck? The last thing you want to do is seriously get involved with someone before you have a firm understanding of their finances.
3. Parenting and Blending Families
When you are a parent before you make the decision to merge your life with another person, you first have to determine whether or not you and that individual agree when it comes to what constitutes good parenting. Talk to you partner about how they feel about children and what their role will be in your child’s life. If they have children, how do they expect you to engage with their children? Talk about the relationship that each of you have with the child’s other parent. What are their discipline strategies? How can they positively impact your child’s life?
4. Moral Code of Conduct
Before entering into a relationship, you want to make sure you and your partner understand each other’s moral code of conduct. While you do not have to share the same religion or agree on politics or world issues, you do want to make sure that your belief systems are not offensive to one another.
5. Where is this going?
Trying to force someone who never wants to get married to see the value of marriage is the surest way to exhaust your heart. Make sure that before you put your feelings, time, and love into a relationship you and your partner are traveling down the same path. Do not settle for “friends with benefits” arrangements, a relationship with no title, or a partnership that has no final destination when you know that what you are looking for someone to spend forever with.
6. Delegation of Responsibility
In a world that pressures men and women to adhere to gender assigned roles in a relationship, it is crucial that you and your mate have a discussion about how duties will be delegated. If your expectation is that your woman cooks you 5 meals a week, make it known before entering into a relationship. If you are a woman who believes a man should be the sole provider, you definitely want to disclose that to your partner before making it official.
Every couple has the authority to define how their home will be ran, but the discussion of roles, expectations, and delegation of duties must occur before making the choice to be in a relationship.
7. Shared Vision
It’s important to ask your partner about their goals and work ethic in order to understand what their vision for life is. What do they aspire to do with their talents and skills? Are they in tune with their purpose? How passionate are they about bringing their dreams into fruition? Can they respect your devotion to your goals? You want to make sure that the person you are entering into a relationship with shares the same vision of success that you do.