As you get to know your partner, you begin to see future reflections throughout your relationship. It starts in the early stages when you only know what you have in common and continues as you start talking about things “someday,” such as the vacation you’d like to do together. Many couples discuss plans for the future and even accept them to some extent, but there are still no goals built around them.
We have advanced the past and the present in previous blog posts. In this post from the final block, we will focus on the future, you guessed it.
The future talk
While you may have imagined what a future holds together, you may not have considered the financial implications of that future. Think: careers, children, caring for elderly parents and even where you want to live and travel. Actually, all of these things have price tags attached.
For us, the location was easy. My fiancé, Rebecca, is from the suburbs of Philadelphia, which is where Vanguard is located, so we decided to stay close to Philly. Once we made that decision, the details began to emerge: a spacious room for families outside the city, access to the train for Rebecca’s trips to the city, and room for 2 children (although I think Rebecca secretly waiting for it 3). As for their careers, we both enjoy working and want to move forward in our careers, but we prioritize family time over the best salaries that require nights in the office and a lot of travel. We both want to be able to care for our parents if necessary. We even joked about building small houses in our garden, which my mom lovingly refers to as her future “Granny bein”.
It may seem like a lot of planning, but it’s easier than you think. I suggest you start by understanding what lifestyle you both want. Do you want children? If so, how many and when would you like to start your family? Will you prioritize professional ambitions or family time? Will you live in the city or in the suburbs? All of these decisions involve money, so it’s important to understand how much it takes to achieve your ideal lifestyle. If you want to live in a big house, start a family, drive luxury cars and have your passports stamped, you will need a lot of resources.
The future can be scary, I understand. And often, plans will change over time. For example, as you grow older, you may be more interested in raising children than maintaining a “double-income, childless” lifestyle. You could get a promotion or win the lottery or end up losing a job or an unexpected loved one. Whether it is an unexpected crisis or a crisis that is coming to you, you will make things appear in your life that force you to look to the future in a different way. In circumstances like these, especially those that are out of your control, flexibility and empathy are key.
Think about the past conversation, or even the present one, and the vulnerability you or your partner may have felt in having that conversation. You had to pull back the curtain and share your deepest feelings and thoughts. Has your partner been open, patient, friendly and willing to participate? Do they listen to you and recognize what you said? Did you do the same for them? It takes a while to master these conversations. But if you both take the time and effort to overcome the challenges that come your way, nothing can stop you.
As stressful as each talk may be, remember what’s most important – it’s the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with. Your goal is to share many wonderful years together and create many beautiful and lasting memories. Don’t think of these conversations as just ticking boxes. Take the time to dive deep and delve into the messy details. Thank you later: trust me. Marriage is one of the funniest, happiest, scariest, and biggest decisions of your lives. Adopt it!
“What do you have to do before you say ‘I’? The future”,
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