Ideas & Advice

Why it's important to take time to know your other half before getting married

After coming across a few relationships that unravelled before the big day, Steve Thio, Contributing Editor of Her World Brides, highlights the importance of knowing your partner well before making the commitment to wed.
 

PHOTO: HER WORLD BRIDES MAR - MAY 2015

I'm sure everyone must have seen a movie (usually it's a thriller or comedy) where the husband or wife suddenly realises his/her other half, through some unfortunate (or fortunate) situation, isn't who he/she presents him or herself to be.

In real life, women would probably discover that their fiancees’ deep dark secrets would probably be other girlfriends or bad habits they didn't know of, and not that they were psychopaths or spies or murderers! If these brides-to-be were lucky enough, they would have found out these secrets before tying the knot.

See also: 6 REASONS WHY PRE-WEDDING COUNSELLING MIGHT SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE

And these situations may be more common than you think. I know of two couples who actually confirmed all their wedding plans and cancelled the event after they returned from their pre-wedding shoots. It was during these trips that the brides-to-be discovered that their fiances were not the man the planned to marry; the women simply couldn't imagine themselves spending their lives with such a person. 

So in between shooting romantic bridal portraits at exotic locales, there were bitter fights and tantrums. The couples broke up before returning home and because it was too late to cancel the wedding plans and confirmed bookings, the newly single brides went ahead to have their big bash and banquet, celebrating the start of their brand new life journey as single women again. They would rather be happy single than unhappy in a marriage, tied down to someone they didn't love. (See: 4 situations when wedding insurance may be a life-saver)

So how did love that was once so right turn out so wrong?

Couples can be together for years and still not know each other well, especially if they spend all their time together with friends, doing numerous activities or checking their phones for Facebook updates (These are 7 ways social media can sour your marriage) and work emails. 

It takes time and effort to know someone fully and truly - all of his/her quirks, fancies, moods, dislikes, manners and habits. Some aspects of a person's personality will only reveal themselves under specific conditions or after a long time.  So before you plan for your big day, here are 5 useful tips to help you get to know your other half better.

QUALITY TIME
It’s not the length of the time spent together that matters, it's how you spend it with your loved one. Set time aside every day for some time together without any distractions; it can be a quick lunch in the day or a relaxing phone call before sleep. Have date nights at once a week and keep to a schedule. Make it a priority to spend at least a full day during the weekend with him/her. 

Image: konstantynov/123rf.com

NO DISTRACTIONS
If you only have an hour or two together for the day, make sure you focus on the time together without any distractions. Unless there is an emergency, ban the phone! If you're out on a date, don't be distracted by things or events happening around you. 

KEEP THE SPARK ALIVE
Be interested in each other's life. Discuss, support and advise each other when there is a need for it. By keeping in touch and updated, both of you can keep pace with your evolving needs and priorities.  

NOT TOO ACTIVE
Not every outing together has to be packed with activities. Doing things together can help the relationship, but too many activities can be a distraction. Sometimes, just spending time chilling out at home, or at the beach together, helps the relationship more. People are more open about themselves when they are more relaxed and in more private, intimate situations.

BE OPEN
If you get irritated by the way he eats, or is bothered by how stingy he is with finances, talk about it and see how you can come to a reasonable solution or compromise together. Ignoring the issue or suppressing it for whatever reasons will not help the relationship at all. Be open, discuss and compromise. 

See also: MANAGING YOUR FINANCES RIGHT AFTER MARRIAGE - 4 STEPS TO TAKE