How Do You Know You’re Ready to Get Married?
If you’re asking yourself this question, I congratulate you. That means that you’re taking this seriously and have enough common sense not to jump into a marriage on a whim.
We live in a society where getting married before your 30s is becoming increasingly rare. In fact, the titles “husband” and “wife” are increasingly being pushed to the sidelines by alternative labels like “live-in boyfriend/girlfriend” or “long-term partner.” In a society where marriage seems to be the biggest milestone you could ever take in life, trumping even deciding your career path and whether or not to buy a house, it’s understandable that many of us have trouble committing.
At some point, many of us will ask ourselves:
“Do I love him or her enough?”
“What does it mean to love someone?”
“Is this relationship the real deal?”
“Am I ready to get married?"
To help you answer a few of these questions, here are a few signs and red flags to help you decide whether or not you’re ready for marriage.
Poll: Marriage and You
What does marriage mean to you?
7 Signs You're Ready to Get Married
1. You feel secure
A little jealousy is normal in any relationship. But if you trust your partner, jealousy becomes a thing of the past. A healthy relationship will make you feel secure, and should never make you feel like you have reason to be suspicious or to second guess your partner. When you’re ready for marriage, you’ll be secure within yourself and the relationship.
2. You feel ready for "till death do us part" and not just the wedding
It’s easy to get caught up with the idea of a big, fancy, fairytale wedding. You want the dress, the cake, the extravagant venue, the flowers, etc. But that’s not what a marriage is. The wedding is the beginning of a life-long relationship that will go through ups and downs, and not an end to the struggle. When you’re ready for marriage, the wedding itself falls into the background. It’s the marriage that matters and the thought of spending the rest of your lives together is much more exciting than fulfilling your dream of walking down the aisle in a million-dollar dress.
3. You know that your partner is not responsible for making you feel complete, fulfilled, and happy.
Marriage is not the answer to all your problems. If you’re unhappy now, getting married will not make you happy. A healthy marriage is when two, whole, and healthy people join together to grow, learn and support each other through life. If you’re hoping that marriage will solve your problems, it’s best if you solve those problems first before walking down the aisle.
4. You know how to deal with conflict in the relationship
Successful relationships require good communication and openness on both sides. It’s normal to have disagreements, but if every tiny disagreement turns into a full-blown fight, then you may need to reassess the way you communicate in the relationship. If you can talk through disagreements respectfully and arrive at a satisfactory compromise, then you can be relatively sure that you have a good foundation for a healthy marriage.
5. You have the same core values
It’s okay if you don’t have the same interests, hobbies, and likes to have a strong marriage, but there are a few core values that you have to agree on. These core values are religion, children and parenting, money, and time spent with family. You don’t have to share the same views on these (though that wouldn’t be a bad thing), but you do need to know how to handle these issues when they come up in the future. Before you get married, it’s best to have a serious talk with your partner to make sure you come to an agreement or understanding in regards to these values, if you haven’t done so already.
6. You don’t miss being single
Being in a relationship will limit your options in some respects. Whenever you make a decision, you will have to take your partner into consideration. Going out on first dates will never happen again either, and you may never experience the same heart-thumping puppy love again. This is what it means to commit to one person for the rest of your life. If you’re fine with that and don’t miss the dating scene and enjoy including someone else in your decision-making process, then you’re ready for the long haul.
7. You understand that being "in love" is very different from "infatuation."
Infatuation is when you feel in love all the time, are blind to your partner’s flaws, and you expect this feeling to last forever. Unfortunately, no one is perfect, and that rosy “in love” feeling won’t last. When you’re in “love” with someone, you love your partner for who they are with full awareness of their imperfections.
Poll: Are You Ready?
Do you think you’re ready for marriage?
3 Major Signs You’re NOT Ready for Marriage
1. Divorce is no big deal
Divorce should never be a Plan B - something to fall back on if the marriage doesn’t work out. While divorce is a legitimate solution to serious marital problems, you shouldn’t resort to divorce over every hiccup. If you’re thinking that you could just get a divorce if you don’t end up enjoying being married, take that as a big red flag indicating that you’re not ready to get married in the first place.
2. You have the same arguments over and over again
If you can’t come to a healthy compromise and work through conflicts, that’s a sign that you’re not ready for the big commitment yet - especially when the same argument or problem comes up over and over again without any sign of resolution. Since respectful, open communication where both parties are heard and understood is crucial to a healthy marriage, it’s a good idea to hold off on marriage if neither of you can do that yet.
3. You’re getting married for someone else
Sometimes people get married because they think that it’s their only chance at love or that what they have is as good as it’s going to get. Some may even get married out of guilt or fear of hurting people’s feelings. If you realize that you’re getting married for any reason other than because you love your partner and want to spend the rest of your life with them, then you need to take that as a sign to take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. It’s never okay to make a significant commitment like getting married for anyone else but yourself.
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© 2017 KV Lo