Marriage: you either love it, hate it or it scares the sh*t out of you. I fall into the last category.
I like to think this is because marriage is something I take extremely seriously and not so much my dad's choice words of, "your life will be over," echoing in my head.
I've never been one to rush or jump into something as life altering as marriage. Although my dad's warning may be dramatic, he does have a point.
Marriage is life-changing. Now, not having been married... ever, it's hard for me to tell you exactly how it changes, but this is something friends and family who are married (or have been married) can all agree on.
When speaking about or deciding to get married, I often wonder why people aren't more diplomatic about the choice.
Sure, love is wonderful and fulfilling, but it can also be an illogical emotion that sometimes leads us to make decisions we wouldn't necessarily make on our own accord.
If marriage is viewed as a business deal, might it be easier to fully examine your relationship and its potential?
Love is a tricky and complicated business, so it should be treated like one.
Here are my reasons why marriage should be seen as a business deal:
1. MARRIAGE IS A MERGER
Essentially, when considering marriage, you are considering a merger between two people.
In any business merger, it's expected to fully examine the other business' history, direction and any other influencing factors that may affect the both companies before they agree to anything. When speaking of relationships, the same principle can be applied.
Marriage is often expensive and can be loaded with potential problems if everything isn't taken into account: families, careers, kids, future goals, money — the list could go on and on.
It's important to know exactly why you want to get married and what you expect from it.
Everyone's vision of "happily ever after" is different and finding someone who shares your vision will only strengthen the merger.
There is such a thing as going overboard with the list of wants and expectations and becoming way too focused on details, especially with relationships.
What I'm suggesting is determining your most curial, must-haves in order to make a marriage work. Remember, no one is absolutely perfect.
2. LAYING EVERYTHING OUT ON THE TABLE
Clear and concise communication is a huge factor in any business deal and in a marriage. This is where both parties make their wants and expectations known to each other.
In doing so, both parties become fully aware of what they are getting into if they decide to go through with the merger.
I think when considering marriage, this is the part where things can get hazy. Lets face it: Not all of us are great at communicating and some of us are too afraid of what may happen or what our significant others will think after everything is put out there.
If the latter part of that sentence plays a part in your reasoning for not being completely open... well, I would really think hard about whether you're ready for marriage.
For the most part, a lot communication fails fall into the category of, "well I thought you knew." Never assume.
Be brutally honest; know what you want and make it known. If everything is out in the open, there is less room for miscommunication.
Now that both parties are aware of what the other wants, it's time to reflect on what is being offered to you and if it matches what you are offering.
I know this sounds completely harsh and practical, but who wants to be in a marriage where there is only one person bending over backward to make it work.
When this happens, it's a serious recipe for disaster. The weight of the relationship falls on one person, which often leads to feeling taken for granted or unappreciated.
In a marriage, you want to have an equal partnership, not someone who doesn't pull his or her weight.
When negotiating, weighing your pros and cons and voicing your concerns are the only ways to reach a compromise.
Knowing what you want only makes things easier when it comes to determining what you are willing to compromise on and what you can't.
However, don't become solely focused on just yourself instead trying to find a way to satisfy both of your needs together.
4. SIGNING THE CONTRACT
This is when all terms are agreed upon, all concerns have been addressed and compromises have been reached.
In other words, you get to say, "I do," during which cheerful couples refer to as the happiest day of their lives.
There is absolutely no foolproof plan for a successful marriage. Everyone is different, as is every relationship. But, knowing each other's expectations of a marriage from the very beginning can only help.
Love of course plays a big part in all of this - no one wants a loveless marriage. What I'm saying is that if you treat or view marriage as a business deal you can put your love aside for a second and be matter of fact and honest about everything else.
Article initially appeared on Elite Daily written by Heather Young.