There’s nothing more wonderful than being in love. At times, it simply feels like you and your partner are ready to take on the world together. After all, you’ve spent so much time in the dating game trying to look for Mr. or Mrs. “right”, and you’ve finally found the one.
Do you hear alarm bells instead of wedding bells when discussing marriage with family or friends? Do they try to fill you with doubts about whether or not you and your partner are ready?
The truth is it’s down to how you and your partner feel if you think you’re ready to get married, but it’s important to feel confident in your decision that your relationship is ready for the next step.
Keep reading for things to evaluate that’ll help you know for sure.
4 things to evaluate before getting married
1. Are you marrying to steady your relationship?
Think about your relationship for a few moments. Is your relationship smooth sailing with a few healthy arguments? If the answer is yes, then marriage may be perfect for you.
On the other hand, if you’re regularly arguing and there are more negatives than positives, then a marriage is not the solution. The same is is also true if you have trust issues with your partner. You need to clear and sort all these out before going into a marriage.
Marriage won’t magically make an unhealthy, toxic relationship into a healthy one. Many couples get married with the anticipation that things will change, which often leads to divorce after the first couple of years.
2. How well do you know your significant other?
People wear many masks and keep them on for different reasons and scenarios. A true relationship will hold no surprises, though, and allows you to see your partner for who they truly are.
You must know their opinion on politics, money, values, and more. The last thing you want is to be surprised by their views when the marriage occurs. You don’t want to have conflict and go into a marriage without truly knowing that person.
3. Have you lived or vacationed together?
It’s pretty essential nowadays that you’ve lived with your partner before marriage. By simply living with your partner, you get a better idea of who they are, their behaviors, and habits.
Similarly, it’ll be interesting to see if your partner dedicates less or more time to you when living together. This will help you remove any uncertainties or leave the relationship if you don’t like it before getting married.
The last thing you will want to do in a contemporary relationship is going into a marriage blind. You’ll want to have some experience of spending a lot of time together. If you’ve never lived together, it might be a good idea to go on vacation together – which will also give insight into how your other half behaves.
4. Why do you want to marry?
This is an essential question to ask yourself before entering any marriage. Do you want to marry simply for the big wedding?
Sometimes, we’re quick to latch onto the dream of the big day – and are often too quick when reviewing our relationship.
The truth is, if you’re thinking about getting married, the benefits should by far outweigh the current stage of your relationship. Remember, it’s not about the ring, dress, or day; marriage is a lifelong commitment.
Signs that Your Relationship Is Ready for Marriage
1. You have meaningful conversations.
What do you actually talk about in your existing relationship? Do you just talk about movies, books, or basic things? Or, do your conversations have more substance? Can you both hold an intellectual conversation.
You shouldn’t get married if you have a shallow relationship and have nothing to contribute. If you don’t hold any valuable conversations right now, imagine what it could be like spending an eternity with the other person.
2. There’s open communication.
You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have problems, struggles, or difficulties going on in your life. Just because you have difficulties, doesn’t mean you should face them on your own! When you go through tough times, you should be able to discuss them with your partner.
A sign that your relationship is ready for marriage is if you’re comfortable discussing your problems with your partner, and they’re ready to help you tackle them. If your partner is quick to brush away your problems, this is a major red flag.
It’s also essential that you feel comfortable arguing and voicing your opinion. Together as a couple, you should be able to work together to come up with a solution. Resolving conflict is key to any long-term and healthy marriage.
Need some help with communicating effectively? Check out our guide to 13 Tips for Communicating Effectively With your Partner.
3. You can’t imagine being with anyone else.
Yes, this sounds pretty basic, but it’s true. Have you fantasized about being with someone else while in your relationship? Things are not always great forever, and the honeymoon phase can die out.
But that does not mean you should lose interest in your other half. If you feel that you can’t live without them, then that alone is a great reason to marry them.
4. The people in your life approve of your significant other.
Your relationship is strictly between the both of you, but it sure does make it a lot easier if your families and friends are on board with your relationship.
This means they approve of them and don’t have any qualms about you getting married. If they don’t know them that well, schedule some meetups so they can become familiar with your partner.
5. You’ve both discussed long term plans.
Don’t become too excited by the topic of marriage. Marriage is a serious commitment, and is usually the gateway to more long-term commitments. You must have serious sit-down conversations with your partner before getting married.
Such topics you will want to discuss are about if they’re planning to have kids, where they want to settle, what age they want to start a family, and so forth. 12 Things to Talk About Before Getting Married will give you an idea to know if you are both on the same page.
6. Consider your age difference.
Age is just a number, but it can play a huge factor in marriage. When you’ve married your other half, and there’s a significant age difference, they may have different goals in mind.
For instance, they may want to have children earlier or not have children at all. They may wish to travel while you want to settle in your native country. Again, the age difference isn’t a huge problem, but you must discuss with your partner where you both are in your lives.
7. You’re both financially stable.
If you plan to marry and start a family, you’ll need to be financially stable. Likewise, if one of you becomes unwell, you’ll have to look after the other and financially support one another.
It’s important to sit down and discuss how you handle your finances and how your partner does. Your partner might be a shopaholic, while you might be a saver – which is quite a difference in approaches. A lot of marriages fall apart due to financial difficulties and bad management, so you’ll want to discuss this before anything gets serious.
8. You’re both satisfied in the bedroom.
It’s important to enter your marriage with sexual satisfaction. If you aren’t satisfied now, then there are serious problems. You’ll want to reflect upon this, and if you’re not happy with it but love your partner, speak to them. If you feel it won’t improve, then you should consider leaving.
9. You don’t want to change each other.
Are there some things about your partner that you wish to change? If so, then marriage is not for you. You shouldn’t want to change your partner, and you should know that they won’t change.
After all, you wouldn’t want your significant other trying to change you or saying things to you they wish you would change. You’d want them to accept you for you. So accept your significant other for who they are, and if you’re happy with them, then go into the marriage together.
How Long Should You Wait Before Getting Married?
When wanting to marry your partner, there’s no specific rule book. It’s up to you when you feel the time is right. In fact, time shouldn’t be an issue; rather, you should be reviewing the quality of the time you both spend together. If the time you spend together brings out the best of both of you, then why wait?
Remember, no couple is the same as each other. Many people are different, and there are many secrets to a long, happy marriage. It’s not a one size fits all approach either. Focus less on the number and more on what feels right for the both of you.
The important thing isn’t how much time you’ve been in a relationship. Discuss important topics like life values, finance handling, and openness before making that commitment. It’s also recommended to try to living or going on a vacation together to have a real idea of what your partner is like before settling down forever.
Make sure you want to marry your partner for the right reasons – and not just for that specific day.