Romantic relationships are always beautiful, and getting engaged is a big step for every couple. It is a decision that shows that both of you are headed in the same direction, and are much more committed to each other. That said, with more commitment also comes more expectations, which can cause unplanned hiccups in your happily ever after.

However, what better way is there to understand these expectations than having candid conversations about where both of you stand in regard to these values and goals? With that in mind, we have compiled five values that engaged couples should have deep and clear conversations about, and here they are.

Marriage, and What It Means To You

For most people, getting engaged is only a step away from saying I do, but there are others who may think otherwise. So if you are engaged, it is important that you talk with your partner about what marriage means to you individually, as well as together as partners. Having a conversation about marriage will put both of you on the same page, where you can set your hopes and expectations about it.

This conversation can also cover the type of wedding you want or expect, too. Are you looking for a fairytale wedding, or would you be fine with an intimate ceremony? When you do not reveal all you want about marriage to your partner, you may end up being disappointed or upset, as they may not have any idea what you want.

Budgets and Money

This is a topic that seems trivial, but can bring a lot of disagreement in the future. Finances are a huge issue for a lot of couples, and sorting yours out early enough can help in more ways than you can imagine. As a couple, you need to understand how both of you approach finances – i.e., are you a spender and she’s a saver? Do you clip coupons while he doesn’t bother checking the prices?

For instance, how would you handle individual income and investments? Would you prefer to keep separate accounts or pool money to sort out bills? How would you sort out future expenses as a couple? Having a budget template can help ensure you don’t fight about money. At the end of the day, you always want to make sure you’re on the same financial page.

Sex and Intimacy

You may be slightly surprised at your partner’s view on sex and intimacy now that you are finally engaged. Oftentimes, people have interesting views about how they want to approach sex and what intimacy means to them. If you are engaged, you may already be aware of your partner’s stand on this topic, but it never hurts to confirm.

Moreover, clearing the air about past intimacy history is usually good, as they may impact your relationship together. Know what intimacy means to your partner and how you want to love each other. If there are things you do not want or won’t object to, or you are willing to try out, let them know now so that you both would be on the same page when the time comes.

Having and Raising Children

While this topic may have come up previously in the relationship, you want to be certain about where both of you stand now. You need to be sure if you both want kids, because if only one person does, it can be an issue. Also, how and when do you want your kids, and how many? While the number of kids may change during marriage, it is always okay to have a general idea.

Raising kids is as important as having kids, as well. Understanding how your kids are going to be raised is a significant discussion. What values would you agree on for the kids, how and if they should be disciplined, and also how and what they should be educated on should also be discussed. The last thing you want is to not have an agreeable front when raising your kids.

Conflict and Dispute Resolution

No matter how perfect a relationship looks externally, there are always moments of argument and conflict within them. What is really important is how they resolve them. Move to the next stage in your relationship by understanding how you both will manage conflict. If you both get into a fight, how would you be comfortable dealing with the situation?

Understand what is acceptable in a fight, and what is off-limits. How do you both respond in heated situations publicly or privately? Would you like to hash it out immediately, or cool off to sort the issue later? Is it okay to raise your voice or use swear words? Conflicts can be tough, but they also strengthen your bond when resolved in the best way possible.