Thinking of leaving the dating world behind in favor of wedded bliss? Think you might want some advice about that? More and more couples are seeking professional help before heading to the altar. So what are singles' biggest fears about entering into an "official" relationship and how can we overcome them?

For Monica, who's marrying her college sweetheart later this month, the fears are myriad. "I think it's the little fears that are the scariest," she says. "Fear of getting fat. Fear of having a dirty house for the rest of my life because I'm too busy to clean it. Fear that I'll have to spend every minute of my vacation time with his family. Fear that I'll blink, and I'll be 50 with three kids in high school wondering where my life has gone. Fear that I'll lose my sense of adventure. Fear that I will never get enough sleep ever again. Oh, and money, in-laws, lack of communication and having only one bathroom."

Nili Sachs, Ph.D., an author and marriage psychotherapist based in Minneapolis, offers tips for coping with these and other common pre-marital concerns:

  • Recognizing The One. When you are with the same person for over a year and they feel precious to you, you know you are with the right one. Ask yourself: How will I feel caring for this person and being cared for by them? How would I feel if I lost them?

  • Financial freedom and other money matters. It is a good idea to be open about all financial activities within a marriage. When married couples fight about money, they usually fight over power issues — who'll make the decisions, whose needs are more pressing or who's the boss. Some successful couples take turns managing their check book and bookkeeping. Others have a day a month when they set aside time to discuss all plans, bills and past purchases.

  • Private time and losing your identity. Marital commitment is not a social 'prison.' There is room to keep old friends and spend time with them. Friendships and interests should energize the relationship, not drain from it. Each of you should continue to pursue activities that make you happy without detracting from your marriage.

  • Family interaction. One does not marry the relatives in every day life. However, during holidays, family gatherings and festive occasions there should be a comfortable 'zone' for family members to get along. If there's conflict, establish rules of engagement and enforce them. And be sure to take private time for the two of you during extended visits.