MANILA -- Experts advised couples to be well-grounded and be complete individually before embarking on a journey to "happily ever after."
In an interview on ANC's "Headstart" on Friday, psychologist and marriage counselor Dr. Julian Montano and life coach Pia Acevedo explained some of the important things that couples should consider before deciding to get married.
Acevedo and Montano are part of the council for ABS-CBN's new reality show "I Do," wherein 9 couples will go through challenges that will test their relationships.
When asked what they noticed regarding the contestants in the show, both counselors said that the length of time spent in the relationship did not determine a person's readiness for marriage.
In order to be ready, Acevedo said it is important for a person to know himself or herself well.
However, its more important for the person to know how to communicate with others.
"Kilala mo man ng sarili mo, pero ikaw lang ang nakakaalam kung sino ka. You know what I mean? You have to be able to communicate, to barter, to negotiate, with your partner. Kasi if you don't have that skill, then a life-long commitment will be so challenging," Acevedo added.
The counselors also warned couples on bad habits that they do not know they have.
"Really bad habits in the relationship, na unless we shed light on it, akala nila okay lang yung ginagawa nila to each other and to the relationship, without knowing that they are compromising themselves individually kasi akala nila sa pagmamahal ko sayo, ikokompromiso ko ang sarili ko kasi mahal kita," Acevedo said.
Montano added that couples should get rid of the wrong belief that they should let their partner do whatever they want out of love.
Montano and Acevedo also noticed that many couples had problems when it comes to the issue of finances and in-laws.
When asked what they think is the most important factor that keeps a relationship strong, Acevedo said honesty and knowledge of self are important.
"Honesty is always very important. Are you honest in your relationship, or are you always worried that you will hurt the other person? The whole relationship will be like walking on eggshells because you're scared that the other person will leave or reject you," Acevedo said.
For Montano, trust is the most important factor in a relationship.
Both Acevedo and Montano agreed that forgiveness is also a key factor in maintaining a happy relationship.
"It is certain that you will hurt each other, its 100% guaranteed. Now, how can you make love encompass it?" Acevedo said.
The counselors also advised couples to be always emotionally connected to each other.
"It is a choice to be emotionally connected to your spouse," Acevedo said.
Both also said that it is up to the individual to know when they are ready for a life-long commitment.
"You'll know you're ready if you can love first, trust first, forgive first," Montano said.
"You have to be filled up as an individual before committing," Acevedo said.