Depending on who you ask, I got married at the relatively young age of 24. When I look back in retrospect I don’t think I ever asked myself if I was ready, it just felt right, so my wife and I smiled, said a prayer, and went for it.

Now, 6 years and two little boys later we have never really looked back, until someone asked me how I knew she was right one. The fact is I didn’t, but there were a few things that stood out to each other that brought us together then, have seen us through the hard times, and continue to keep us strong today. So here are the five questions based on those characteristics that you should ask yourself before getting into a serious relationship.

1. “CAN WE TALK TOGETHER?

This is probably one of the most critical parts of any relationship, communication. Now I am not talking about simply saying how your day went, or discussing what you want for dinner, but to talk about anything and everything beyond your current relationship, your dreams, your thoughts on the world. The goal here is to get lost in each others words, where time flies, and you feel stimulated by the others opinions on matters beyond your direct world. If you can talk together about anything, good or bad, the rest usually falls into place.

2. “CAN WE LAUGH TOGETHER?”

You don’t need to be a stand up comedian to bring laughter into someone’s life, but making the person you love laugh is probably the quickest way to their heart, and a constant reminder to each other of how much you love spending time together. Another great part of laughter is how easy it is to make a bad situation, better. If you can look at yourselves during an arguement and laugh about it then you know at that very moment you will work through it. On a more scientific note laughter has been said to extend life, so that just means all the more time together to create beautiful memories and unforgettable moments.

3. “CAN WE PRAY TOGETHER?”

Faith is an important part of my life, which is why this was important for me to ask as I believe a person’s faith is the gateway to their soul and a true expression of their heart. Now I am not saying you need to be of the same religion, or even religious at all, but that you are both willing to talk about it, learn from each other, and find a sense of peace and serenity through the combination of your spirits.

4. “WILL WE SUPPORT EACH OTHER?”

The answer to this question is pretty simple, Lord only knows what hardships this world may bring, their are too many to name, but as humans these hardships are beyond none of us. The only thing that we can hope for is that if we fall the person we love will be there with open arms, ready to lift us back up again.

5. “DO WE BRING OUT THE BEST IN EACH OTHER?”

A marriage is not only a commitment to stand by the person you love, but to lift them up to their true potential, and help them grow in every aspect of their lives. Through their actions, whether it is physical, spiritual, or emotional they make you strive to become better everyday. Nobody is born perfect, but everyone is born with unique strengths, and certain weaknesses, the key is to be with someone who doesn’t make your weakness weaker, and who shares their strengths to build a stronger, more meaningful relationship.

When I look back at my marriage it is far from perfect, we have our problems and hardships, but the fact of the matter is the answer to the questions above have not changed since the day we go married, and to me that is all that counts. These may or may not be the questions that matter the most to you, but all I would advise is to ask the critical questions that once answered will allow you to put your heart in the hands of another. And if those answers never change then, God willing, your hearts will be held in each other’s hands forever.

This post is dedicated to my wife, my answer.