Love with your heart, but think with your mind and keep your eyes open. Love should never be blind and stupid. Let’s get to the top 9 questions you need to ask before walking down the aisle.

1. What does marriage mean to you and your fiancé? This question will help you understand the basic concept you and your fiancé have of marriage. Being a wife or husband is like being a partner in a start-up. If both partners have very different views on what this means, the marriage will never be effective.

2. What is marriage like for you and your fiancé? You are deeply in love and have a picture of what marriage will be like in 5, 10 and 25 years from now. Your fiancé also expects what the marriage will be like and how it will work. These expectations can vary widely, so make them clear early on.

3. Why did you fall in love? This needs to be clear too, especially when the storms and challenges come. You always need to have this lovely story to reflect on and refocus your feelings.

4. What is your purpose in marriage? Getting married is more about what you bring to the relationship than what you can make of it. There are a number of reasons that make you the best person for your spouse. You need to know how you and fulfilling your potential are adding tremendous value to your spouse.

5. What is your spouse’s purpose as a partner? No matter how well you believe together, your spouse also has value that makes you a better person.

6. Who are you as a unique person? People lose themselves in relationships because they lose sight of who they are. You need to take the time to find out who you are before trying to become one with someone else.

7. Who is your fiance as another unique person? In addition to knowing who you are as a unique person, you must also appreciate the uniqueness of your fiancé.

8. What problems have you already noticed? Love is not blind; Love sees the best and minimizes the worst. Love lets you know that the problems didn’t stop you from falling in love. You still have to acknowledge the problems and bring them to light.

9. What are the expectations you have for your life? Frustration arises when expectations are not met. In marriage, you are likely to blame your spouse for failure to meet them. Your life expectancies must be measured by what you and your fiancé agree to get married.

Taking the time to answer these 9 simple questions can protect yourself from the pitfalls that have ruined many couples. Reduce the risk of divorce by spending more time on questions like these and less on questions about the color of bridesmaid dresses, menus, and flowers.

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