A lot of people think about discerning marriage in terms of getting to know the other person — but what about getting to know yourself? It’s really important to be confident in who you are before you make the decision to spend the rest of your life with someone else. Your personality has countless aspects to it, but some are more identifiable and affect your relationships more than others. Here are some things you don’t want left unknown by the time you tie the knot (and you should probably know about your partner, too).
5 Love Languages
Which means more to you: your S.O. doing the dishes or giving you a massage? Writing you a note or listening to how your day was?
Happy marriage genius Dr. Gary Chapman discovered some decades ago that there are five main ways people communicate love: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.
Even more interesting is how rare it is that partners share the same love language — and that can translate to a lot of communication problems. The best thing you can do is learn your own and your partner’s so that you know the best way to make them feel loved.
Recommended reading: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts
No relationship is perfect — even the most loving couple will have to apologize to each other for hurtful mistakes. A successful relationship isn’t defined by how much you stick together “for better,” but often how you are able to make up and bounce back from “for worse.”
A good apology is essential to helping things get back to normal. Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, also wrote about the five ways to apologize. Your apology language is often completely different from your love language, but it holds that couples rarely share the same one (opposites attract, right?).
Before you head down the road to happily ever after, be sure to learn the best way to let your spouse know you’re sorry.
Recommended reading: The 5 Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships
One of the most common sources of conflict in marriage is money — how to spend it and how to save it. Tough talks about finances are inevitable in a relationship, but you can get in front of your differences by identifying the unique ways you and your partner handle money.
If you’re a saver and your S.O. is a risk taker, you’re bound to run into some disagreements. Instead of letting these differences wear down your relationship like they have for so many couples, learn and grow together as a financial team by respecting the other’s money personality.
Recommended reading: The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking the Same Love and Money Language
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Most people have heard of the Myers-Briggs personality test — you’re likely able at the very least to identify yourself as an introvert or extrovert. But do you know your full personality type?
Understanding your partner’s personality type can give you incredible insights into what makes them tick — from how they handle stress to how much they like to go out. Many pre-marital counselors use MBTI to help establish a non-judgmental ground from which couples can discuss differences and disagreements.
Learning your MBTI is invaluable to a successful relationship. As Carl Jung put it, “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” You’ll learn to embrace unique personality traits — in both you and your partner — as strengths, not weaknesses.
Recommended reading: Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type