Category: Engagement

Navigating the Next Step: 80+ Essential Questions to Ask Before Moving In Together

Questions To Ask Before Moving In Together

Moving in together is a significant milestone in any relationship. To ensure a smooth transition and a harmonious living arrangement, it's crucial to ask the right questions.

I moved in with my husband a few years before we actually got engaged; it's taboo, I know. But it worked out really well for us, and I think it's because we asked other great couples we know for advice, and we asked each other some or most of the questions below.

Here's a comprehensive guide to help you explore various aspects of your partnership before taking the plunge. While these are great questions, you also want to make sure there is 100% honesty in your answers. Hopefully, your partner will do the same!

House Questions

a. General Living Arrangements:

  1. How do you envision dividing household chores?
  2. Are you a neat freak, or do you lean towards a more relaxed approach to cleanliness?
  3. What is your stance on having pets in the house?
  4. How do you handle daily tasks like grocery shopping and cooking?

b. Home Decor and Personal Space:

  1. How will we decorate our shared living spaces?
  2. Do you prefer having separate personal spaces within our home?
  3. How do you handle disagreements about the appearance of our home?
  4. What are your thoughts on hosting gatherings and guests at our home?

c. Tech and Lifestyle Compatibility:

  1. What are your thoughts on screen time and technology use at home?
  2. How do you manage guests and entertaining at home?
  3. What is your stance on having a dedicated workspace at home?
  4. How do you feel about setting boundaries for personal time and space?

d. Shared vs. Individual Expenses:

  1. How will we split the costs of household items and shared expenses?
  2. What approach do you prefer for managing joint finances — equal contributions or percentage-based?
  3. How will we handle unexpected expenses that arise in our shared living space?

Finance Questions 

a. Income and Financial Goals:

  1. What is your current financial situation, including income, savings, and debts?
  2. How do you approach budgeting and saving money?
  3. What are your short-term and long-term financial goals?
  4. Do you have any outstanding financial commitments or obligations?

b. Shared Expenses and Budgeting:

  1. How will we split rent and utility bills?
  2. Are you comfortable combining finances, or do you prefer separate accounts?
  3. How do you feel about creating a joint budget and financial plan?
  4. What is your philosophy on spending money on non-essential items?

c. Emergency Planning:

  1. What are your thoughts on emergency funds and financial preparedness?
  2. How will we handle unexpected expenses or financial setbacks?
  3. Do you have any insurance policies or plans in place for unforeseen circumstances?
  4. How do you feel about financially supporting family members if the need arises?

d. Future Financial Planning:

  1. How do you envision managing finances in the event of significant life changes, such as job loss or career shifts?
  2. What is your perspective on saving for major life events like buying a house or retirement?
  3. How do you feel about joint investments and financial risks?

Future Of Union Questions

a. Relationship Goals and Milestones:

  1. What are your long-term goals for our relationship?
  2. How do you see our relationship evolving over time?
  3. What milestones would you like to achieve together?
  4. How do you envision celebrating important anniversaries and achievements?

b. Career and Location Preferences:

  1. Are you open to relocating for career opportunities?
  2. How do you balance individual career aspirations with our relationship goals?
  3. What is your perspective on work-life balance?
  4. How do you handle the possibility of one partner having to travel frequently for work?

c. Marriage and Commitment:

  1. How do you feel about marriage, and is it something you envision for our future?
  2. What are your views on commitment and monogamy?
  3. How would you handle challenges or conflicts within our relationship?
  4. Do you believe in seeking couples therapy or counseling if needed?

d. Family Planning:

  1. Do you see children in our future, and if so, how many and when?
  2. How do you feel about adopting children or alternative family-building methods?
  3. What role would each of us play in parenting, and how would responsibilities be divided?
  4. How do you envision balancing career and family life?

Spiritual Questions 

a. Beliefs and Values:

  1. What role does spirituality or religion play in your life?
  2. How do your spiritual or moral beliefs influence your decision-making?
  3. Are there specific traditions or practices you would like to incorporate into our home life?
  4. How open are you to exploring and embracing each other's spiritual beliefs?

b. Compatibility of Beliefs:

  1. How do you handle differing beliefs or values within a relationship?
  2. Are there specific spiritual or religious practices you would like to share or celebrate together?
  3. How important is it for you that your partner shares similar spiritual beliefs?
  4. How do you plan to incorporate your spiritual beliefs into major life events?

c. Support and Understanding:

  1. How can we support each other in our individual spiritual or personal growth journeys?
  2. Are there particular events or rituals that hold significance for you?
  3. How do you envision incorporating spirituality into our shared life?
  4. How would you handle disagreements related to spiritual or moral beliefs?

d. Open Communication:

  1. How comfortable are you discussing spiritual matters, and how do you prefer to handle disagreements on these topics?
  2. How do you envision maintaining open communication about your evolving spiritual beliefs over time?

Children Questions 

a. Family Planning and Timing:

  1. When do you see yourself ready for parenthood?
  2. How many children would you ideally like to have?
  3. What are your thoughts on adoption or fertility treatments?
  4. How do you envision preparing for the arrival of a child in terms of space, finances, and emotional readiness?

b. Parenting Styles:

  1. How were you raised, and how does that influence your parenting style?
  2. What role do you believe each parent should play in a child's life?
  3. How do you feel about co-parenting responsibilities, including sharing household and childcare duties?
  4. How do you plan to handle differences in parenting styles between you and your partner?

c. Education and Upbringing:

  1. What values and principles do you want to instill in our children?
  2. How do you approach discipline and setting boundaries for children?
  3. What are your thoughts on homeschooling versus traditional education?
  4. How would you address challenges related to your child's education, such as learning disabilities or special needs?

Safety Questions 

a. Emergency Preparedness:

  1. How do you handle emergency situations, and what steps have you taken to be prepared?
  2. Are you trained in basic first aid and CPR?
  3. What security measures do you believe are necessary for our home?
  4. How do you plan to address natural disasters or other emergencies that may affect our living situation?

b. Conflict Resolution:

  1. How do you approach conflict, and what steps do you take to de-escalate a situation?
  2. Are there any past experiences or traumas that may impact our living situation?
  3. How can we establish a conflict resolution strategy for handling disagreements in our relationship?
  4. How do you ensure open communication during times of stress or tension?

c. Health and Wellness:

  1. What are your health habits, and how do you prioritize wellness in your life?
  2. Are there any health concerns or conditions that I should be aware of?
  3. How do you approach mental health and self-care?
  4. How can we support each other's physical and mental well-being in our shared living space?

d. Communication about Safety:

  1. How can we establish open communication about safety concerns and ensure a supportive environment for each other?
  2. What steps will you take to address and communicate potential safety hazards in our living space?
  3. How do you envision dividing responsibilities for maintaining a safe and secure home?
  4. How will you handle discussions about implementing safety measures, such as a home security system?

I know it may seem like overkill. Hopefully, some of these answers will be things you've already shared with each other, so you can breeze past some of them.

Some of the questions also overlap, but it's good to be thorough with someone you are considering living with! Especially if you are looking for them to be a permanent part of your life in the future! 

Posted in: Engagement
What Is Black Love? + 20 Of The Most Powerful Black Love Quotes

What Is Black Love?

"Black love" generally refers to the romantic relationships and connections between individuals who identify as Black or African American.

The term emphasizes the unique experiences, challenges, and cultural nuances that may shape these relationships within the Black community. It is often used to celebrate and promote positive images of Black couples, families, and love stories.

The concept of black love also extends beyond romantic relationships to encompass a broader sense of community and solidarity among Black individuals.

It can be seen as a form of resistance against negative stereotypes and challenges that Black communities may face.

Black Love Quotes

As a newlywed who is deep in some magnificent and powerful black love, I thought today would be a good day to go over some of my favorite quotes on the matter.

Black love isn't better or worse than any other love; it's just unique and brings me joy to see and witness on a daily basis. 

Let me kick it off with a couple of quotes of my own about the love of my life!

"I never felt I could ever be more than just me. But there is the magic we feel and others sense when we are together. It’s crazy. I love us completely different than how I love myself or love him. We are actually a presence that combines both of our strengths most epically."

"I grew up being told and shown all my life that fairy tale love is BS. THEY LIED TO ME. I’m literally in HEAVEN with this man. Our love is the most beautiful love I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen some FIRE love examples. But listen. God blessed us with something damn near impossible. Honestly. Truly. Our love is beautifully outrageous. And every second of it is a blessing beyond what anyone could deserve."

Inspirational Black Love Quotes

"Y’all can convince y’all selves otherwise but I want the marriage, the black love, the family, the house, the holiday traditions, all of that!" - Dyamond Ahmoni

"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope." - Maya Angelou

"I found God in myself, and I loved her, I loved her fiercely." - Ntozake Shange

"Black love means resilience in the world that is not always kind to black and Brown mean and women. Black Love is courageous, resilient and inspiring." - Brandon And Erica 

"Single or in a relationship it’s beautiful to witness. Especially black love. So when a day like this comes around it’s always nice to see couples appreciating each other." - Call Me Kada

"Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place." - Zora Neale Hurston

"Celebrating and embracing Black on Black Love is the key for us to achieve greatness as a Black/African People. We are Beautiful. We are Black Gold." - Black History Studies

"Black love is black wealth." - Nikki Giovanni

"For me black love is the ability to love your mate and be unapologetically black while celebrating black excellence." - Anthony And Sheena

"In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine." - Maya Angelou

Thought-Provoking Black Love Quotes

"Put the phones down and to step into the real world. Black love is thriving & beautiful." - J. Mulholland

"We need a new genre of Hip Hop that promotes reparations, Black love and Black businesses." - Spirit Logical

"My Black love does not make me believe in American democracy. My Black love leads me to organize for the complete destruction of this settler colonial state and towards the freedom of Black people globally."  SoulRevision

"I'm in love with my work and I'm in love with the people I get to do it with." - Ava DuVernay

"Black love is too complicated to be televised." - Jayroshanee

"Paradise is one’s own place, One’s own people, One’s own world, Knowing and known, Perhaps even Loving and loved." - Octavia Butler

"Black love is lineage. It’s an infinite display of admiration for the black woman and her love for the black man." - Unknown

"I want that healthy black love! not this sneaky, toxic stuff y’all like.." - Monty J Black men need Black women. Black women need Black men. Black families need Black love." - FTRilliams 

Keeping Black Love Alive

Cultivating Black love, like any other form of love, involves intentional efforts, communication, and mutual support. Here are some tips for nurturing and strengthening Black love.

Communication is Key: Foster open and honest communication to build a foundation of trust and understanding. Share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with each other. Be active listeners, seeking to comprehend each other's perspectives without judgment.

Celebrate Your Heritage: Embrace and celebrate your cultural heritage as a couple. Share traditions, stories, and experiences that hold significance to both of you. Participate in cultural events and activities together to strengthen your connection.

Build a Strong Foundation: Establish a foundation of trust, respect, and mutual understanding. Work together to create shared values and goals for your relationship. This solid base will provide stability during challenging times.

Support Each Other's Dreams: Encourage and support each other's personal and professional aspirations. Be each other's cheerleader, celebrating successes, no matter how big or small. Creating a supportive environment for individual growth contributes to the overall health of the relationship.

Cultivate Friendship: Nurture a deep friendship in your relationship by enjoying shared interests and spending quality time together. Build a foundation of companionship that extends beyond the romantic aspect of your relationship, creating a lasting connection.

Navigate Challenges Together: Understand that challenges are a natural part of any relationship. Approach problems as a team, supporting each other through difficulties. Collaboratively seek solutions to strengthen your bond.

Express Love and Affection: Regularly express love and affection through words, gestures, and actions. Small acts of kindness and appreciation can go a long way in maintaining a strong emotional connection.

Prioritize Self-Care: Recognize the importance of self-care for both individuals in the relationship. Take care of your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Encourage and support each other in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Celebrate Milestones: Acknowledge and celebrate important milestones in your relationship, such as anniversaries, achievements, or personal growth. Create memorable experiences that deepen your connection and appreciation for each other.

Learn and Grow Together: Embrace a mindset of continuous learning and growth. Be open to evolving individually and as a couple. Attend workshops, read books, or engage in activities that contribute to the enrichment of your relationship. Approach your relationship with love, patience, and a commitment to mutual growth.

Posted in: Engagement
Why Don't Guys Wear Engagement Rings? History + Myths

Why Don't Guys Wear Engagement Rings?

After my hubby proposed to me a couple of years back, I had a burning desire to return the favor with something that matched his taste and preferences that he would cherish. I planned out a whole thing with a dance and a song, and I proposed to him a few weeks after he proposed to me.

But as I was doing my research to find the perfect ring for him, I realized there aren't really that many options out there when it comes to engagement rings for men. Wedding bands and engagements kind of blend into one product when it comes to shopping for guys, and the market seems to be very small. 

As I was planning to propose to my boo, people were making faces when I told them my plans and saying things like, "Oh, aren't you modern." I really didn't think about how engagement rings were seemingly only for women until I got proposed to.

What's so bad about getting a guy a ring, and why aren't jewelers capitalizing on the prospect of selling more with two rings instead of one when it comes to this very special moment in a couple's lives?

I almost took offense to the whole idea that I would be the only one getting a ring for the engagement because I felt like I wasn't the only one entering the agreement, so it didn't make a lick of sense to me. Just as much as Julian saw me as the prize, I wanted to see him as the prize as well. 

History Behind Engagement Rings

One of the known reasons behind this lacking of male bling is because of the history of how engagement rings work. Before 1945, this ring was tied to a woman's virginity and used as a type of collateral. Very old-timey and a hot mess, I know. 

Back in the day, giving a girl an engagement ring allowed a man to give her a test drive, so to speak. But if he backed out of the engagement, she would be able to keep the ring that was given as a sort of insurance. And this was needed because in the olden days if you were deflowered and not wed, you would be damaged goods. 

If you were damaged goods, then you would not be able to find a husband, which would put your financial situation in grave danger as a woman in those times. But for a man, purity or virginity didn't have the same weight, so it wasn't necessary for them to get these rings. 

In more modern times, where women are more sexually liberated and able to provide for themselves financially, the rules don't really need to apply the same way that they did back in the day, but old habits stick.

This is not to say that I am a super unique case when it comes to getting an engagement ring for my man. Many other ladies have chosen to do the same shortly after being proposed to, and more modern ladies out there have decided to be the first ones to get down on one knee and propose to their man!

Should You Get Your Man A Ring?

Giving your man an engagement ring would rarely be a bad idea. It's a great way to show your man that you appreciate and cherish him as much as he does you and a good way to signify that you are entering into a partnership where both of you can shine.

If your guy is one that already into wearing jewelry and likes to be a bit flashy, getting a ring for him is a definite yes. If one of his top love languages is receiving gifts, he will absolutely cherish the ring you give him.

If you have a guy that really doesn't like to wear jewelry or a ring, in particular, you may want to try showing your appreciation for him in the form of a different gift that fits his preferences better.

Should you feel compelled like you absolutely have to get your man a ring just because he gave one to you? Absolutely not! If that's not your style, then don't try to force something that isn't natural for you. You can have a perfectly healthy engagement and marriage without giving him an engagement ring. 

It's a myth that wearing an engagement ring will make your guy less of a man, so don't subscribe to that nonsense if you hear someone spouting it around you or him. There also won't be any bad luck of you put a ring on him before the wedding. 

Where To Find Good Engagement Rings For Men

Now here's the tricky part: where to find a good ring to buy! As I previously stated, when you're shopping for an engagement ring for men, you'll likely just run across a bunch of wedding bands since the market isn't really large enough. 

You'll also run into a ton of cheap rings. The price for a guy's ring will be around 1/10th of the rings you'll see for women. While it may seem like a bad idea, a cheap ring can really come in handy for a guy that enjoys simple things and doesn't need anything that will break the bank. 

For rings on the cheaper side that are more of a token of love and great for young couples, you can find some pretty nice choices on a site like Amazon that will give you a bit of variety when it comes to sellers and designs. 

If you're looking for more premium products with rings that are designed to last for a long time, try a brand like Manly Bands, which has tons of lovely-looking rings that men are very proud to rock wherever they go. 

To avoid getting your fiance basically two bands, consider getting him a less expensive ring for the engagement and replacing that with a fancier band for the wedding. The wedding bands look just like engagement rings for men, and it's not likely that you'll find a man who will want to wear two bands.

Posted in: Engagement
18 Signs That He's Bought An Engagement Ring For You (Or Is About To)

Signs He's About To Propose To You

Men often suck at trying to hide the surprises that they have for you. The more in love with you and excited they are, the clumsier they can get. This is where you can take advantage and get the inside scoop on whether or not he's about to propose!

My husband was particularly sloppy around the month that he planned to propose, and it was hilariously adorable how he thought he was slick. He made up some story about his grandma needing to get her ring size and the fact that our fingers looked about the same. Super sloppy, sir. 

There are at two reasons you'll be able to tell that he's got something up his sleeve. First off, a lot of boyfriends can be terrible planners. This can cause them to take drastic and overly-obvious measures to get to that 'will you marry me' moment.

Another thing to consider is that he'll be super nervous about the whole ordeal. Chances are, you know how he acts in general when he's nervous or bubbly about something that's coming up, and his emotional energy will be a dead giveaway.

He Talks To Your Family More

This is a huge deal, especially if you see him getting really chatty with a father figure in your life. The traditional way to go with engagements is to get the approval of the father first. 

He Mentions The Bigger Picture 

If your man starts mentioning things about the future, what type of house you'll be living in, and the money he sees you both making a few years down the line, he has probably made up his mind that he'll be proposing to you pretty soon. 

He Becomes More Agreeable

All relationships can have friction from time to time, even if it seems so light that it's something you both can have fun with. But when your man is about to propose to you, he'll be extra careful to make sure that things are going as smoothly as possible with you. He needs you to say yes to his big question, so it may seem like he's saying yes to everything you as! 

He Does Something Odd Relating To Ring Sizing 

As I mentioned, my husband was not slick with the ring sizing secrecy. I'll admit that it was a tough question to crack since I didn't wear rings before we got married. Many guys will draw a blank when to comes to a slick way to get your ring size. 

He Seems To Be Saving Up Money 

Is your man being a bit more frugal than usual, and you don't know the reason? He may be saving up for something special, like an engagement ring. If he's saving for something else, you would likely be in on the details.

He's More Secretive Than Usual

This directly ties into my last point. If you notice he's secretive about his shopping and browsing habits, an upcoming engagement might be the reason. He may even start hiding his phone to make sure he doesn't slip up. This could be something else entirely, though, so make sure you're jumping to a likely conclusion. 

Personalized Ads Start Reading Your Mind

If you do come across his phone, or computer, or happen to share his wifi, personalized ads can really give stuff away. If he were shopping for engagement rings online, many advertisers would remind him of that with banner ads on all types of social sites and blogs. 

He's Planning Around A Special Day Or Trip

Is there a holiday coming up that he's being extra dramatic about this year for some reason? Is there a trip he's planning that's weirding you out because he's rarely the one to plan trips, especially if it seems particularly fancy for no specific reason? he may have gotten you a ring already. 

He Brings Up Your Past Good Times Together

People love to reminisce about the good times when they are at significant stages in their lives. Your man has probably spent some time going over all the ways your relationship makes him happy and wants to share some of those moments with you by default out of love.

He Starts To Act More Maturely

Now that he's looked back over his life and he's thinking things over, your boo will be in the mindset of getting himself together as a man to prepare for this crucial moment in his journey. He may make better financial choices, learn things around the house, and even improve communication. 

He Starts Looking Extra Good

A man that is planning to win you over and make you say yes to one of the most important questions he'll ever ask in his life is likely to try and look his absolute best around that time as well. Looking better will help him feel better, and make him a more attractive mate that you can agree to marry. 

He's More Touchy-Feely When You're Together

Men who are looking forward to getting married can often show their excitement in the form of mental touch and physical closeness. He wants to be your physical security and protector, and he thrives on the idea that you will be all his. 

He Gives You a Meaningful Stare Now More Than Ever

Not only can men get touch-feely when they are in love and about to give you an engagement ring, but they get a sort of twinkle in their eye that can be a bit transparent if you know how to read them well enough as a partner. You'll see the whirlwind of happiness and visions of your future together in his gaze back at you.  

He Gives Off Nervous Energy 

You'll probably see him being a little nervous and unlike himself, if he's near the time when he wants to propose to you. People give off nervous energy in a variety of different ways depending on their personality traits. He may be more chatty or less. He may be more chipper or more worried. 

He's Seemingly In Cahoots With Your Friend(s)

While guys like to go to the family members for approval, they also tend to go for the best friends when it comes to ring choices and plans for the day that they will propose. People in relationships have a general consensus that your friends will know more about what you want than your family would, but it's all case by case. 

He Talks About Family And Marriage, Seriously 

A lot of new couples get together and chat about having babies and getting married early on. Many of us have gone that far, even on the first date. But there's a subtle change in the marriage and family talk when they mean it. It's a little less cutest and more concrete with the plans.

Your Intuition Is Going Off

Intuition can be a crazy thing that some people don't believe exists at all. I've often found that intuition can be paranoia, which is all in your head, but I've also seen that it can be a response to genuine non-verbal communication signals. 

Your Relationship Is Going Really Well

If the natural progression of things seems like it is heading towards marriage based on all of your previous successful days together, then that may be enough of a sign in itself. As long as you both are on the same page in terms of communication, you can truly be like a mind-reader and know that the ring is coming!

Posted in: Engagement