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Steps to Marriage
  In a serious relationship
  Getting engaged
  Planning the wedding
  Planning your future together
Marriage Tools
  10-minute financial compatibility quiz
  A wedding planner from ModernBride
  Wedding category cost calculator
  Wedding budget planner (html)
  Wedding budget planner (Excel)
  Wedding payment tracker (html)
  Wedding payment tracker (Excel)
In a serious relationship

So you're in a relationship, and you're thinking that your partner just might be the one that want to spend your life with. How can you be sure, really sure, that you're making the right decision? Well, you can't. But the following is a list of facts that usually indicate a couple that is both open and honest about the details of their lives. If you answer true for most of these statements below (be really honest), then the two of you are probably very compatible and may indeed share a future together. If the answers are not true, but you still think that your partner is perfect for you, then do yourself a favor and ask the questions.


  • You go to each other for advice, and you almost always come away feeling better about things.
  • You are supportive of each other's decisions, even when you just don't agree with them.
  • You tell your partner when he or she has hurt you, instead of holding a grudge.
  • You are generally able to resolve fights to your mutual satisfaction.
  • You both know that relationships take work, and you are willing to go the distance.
  • You respect, admire, listen to and just plain like each other.
  • You share enough of the same interests and friends that you don't feel like you are always on your own.
  • You have similar spending/saving habits, or you've discussed how you'll each compromise to keep the peace.
  • You have the same attitude about paying bills or debt management.
  • You are aware of each other's total present debt, if any.
  • You have similar definitions of a "comfortable" income, and similar income goals.


  • Your sexual needs are compatible, and you are both satisfied with you sex life.
  • You are comfortable giving and taking sexual suggestions and requests.
  • Birth control is something you consider a joint responsibility, and you have openly discussed your options and preferences.
  • You use sex as a healthy and FUN expression of your LOVE, not as a way to gloss over problematic issues in your relationship, a weapon, or an easy way to solve disputes.
  • You know about each others sexual past and have had frank discussions about health issues


  • You generally get along with each other's families, and if not, you've at least discussed to what extent they will play a role in your future family life.
  • You are willing and prepared to regard each other as your most important familial relationship after you get married.
  • You have similar religious beliefs or you have discussed how to incorporate religion into your future family.
  • You've talked about children -- how many you want, or if you want them at all.
  • If you have children from a previous marriage, your partner treats them with respect and kindness.
  • You've considered the future responsibility of caring for your partner.

When you're ready to get engaged

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