How To Choose A Life Partner Step 2 of 4: Setting Your Priorities

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1 Decide whether or not you want kids.

This decision is hugely important  perhaps the most important decision you’ll make with your partner. In spite of this, a surprising number of couples fail to discuss this sufficiently before trying to commit to a lifelong relationship. Raising a child can be the most rewarding thing you ever do, but it’s also an enormous responsibility, a huge financial commitment, and a decision to spend at least about 18 years or so (possibly more) directly responsible for the care of your child, so it’s not something to be treated lightly.
Most people want children, but this is by no means universal, so don’t make assumptions about your partner until you know for sure.

2 Decide how important your culture and religion are to you.

Many people’s cultural or religious traditions are a huge part of their life others are agnostic or atheist and have little in the way of non-mainstream culture or tradition. Both lifestyles are equally valid, but, for some partners, someone at the opposite end of the spectrum may not be a viable long-term choice. Before you commit to someone, it’s important to have an honest idea about whether or not it’s important for your partner to be like you in this aspect of life.
To be clear, people from different races, religions, and cultures are perfectly capable of having happy life-long relationships. For instance, in the U.S., interracial couples are more common today than ever before

3 Decide how you want to spend your money.

Money can be an awkward subject to talk about, but it’s something that it’s important for two life partners to be on the same page about. Money can play an important role in the way a couple’s life plays out — it can determine how long the members of the couple work for, the sorts of jobs they’ll take, the lifestyle they’ll be able to live, and much more. Having a frank talk about the ways you plan to save and spend money as a couple is essential for anyone considering a life-long relationship.
As an example of the sorts of financial decisions couples have to make, consider this: in a couple where one partner wants to spend his late 20s and early 30s taking lots of trips and exploring the world and the other partner wants to spend this time building a successful career and saving to buy a house, both partners may not be able to get their way.

4 Decide how you want your partner to fit into your family (and vice versa).

Our families shape the way we think and act throughout our lives. Having a clear picture of how you want your partner to fit into your family is a must for anyone thinking of spending his or her life with someone else. You’ll want to know both what role you want your partner to play in your immediate family (i.e., you and any kids you have) as well as what role your partner to play in your extended family (i.e., your parents, siblings, cousins, etc.). Conversely, your partner should also have this figured out for you.
For example, for some couples with children, it’s very important for one parent to be a full-time caretaker. For others, it’s OK if a nanny fills the gaps. Similarly, some people may want to live near their parents and visit frequently, while others may want more independence.

5  Decide what kind of lifestyle you want to have.

This decision is a major one, but, luckily, it’s usually quite clear how your partner wants to live once you begin spending serious amounts of time with him or her. You and your partner should have compatible ideas about how you want to spend your free time, how you want to interact with your friends, and the types of material comforts you want to pursue. While you don’t have to like all of the same things your partner does, you shouldn’t disagree about things that require major decisions or commitments.
For example, a couple wherein one partner likes watching pro wrestling on Monday nights and one partner likes watching nature documentaries at the same time will probably be able to make things work (especially if they agree to buy a DVR). On the other hand, if one partner wants to buy a house and the other doesn’t or one partner wants to be a “swinger” and the other doesn’t, these are major roadblocks to long-term happiness.

6 Decide where you want to live.

Sometimes, location is key to a couple’s happiness. People often want to live near friends or relatives that they’re very close to or live in places where certain types of activities are possible. If both partners can’t be satisfied living in the same place, this can (at the very least) make it necessary to spend lots of time traveling.

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