Whether your partner has popped the question or you’re thinking of asking them, there may come a time in your relationship when you start to think about marriage. For some, this is an easy decision; it’s the next step, and it makes sense – where else would the relationship go? For others, however, it’s not so easy. They like things just the way they are, or perhaps they never thought that marriage was for them.
The truth is that some people suit being married and some do not, and it’s certainly worth considering which camp you fall into. If it’s the former, then there is another big question to ask yourself; are you ready to get married? It might be that being a husband or wife would be the ideal thing for you, but at a later stage in your life. Or maybe you truly are ready right now. To determine this – and it’s crucial to know because getting married when you’re not ready, even if you’re completely in love with your partner, can spell disaster – there are a number of different things to consider. Read on to find out what they are.
You Love Yourself
It may be something of a cliché, but the fact is that you won’t be happy in a marriage if you don’t love yourself first. You need to be completely happy with your own life and your own self before you can genuinely and honestly commit to someone else.
Why is this so important? If you don’t completely love yourself and if you’re not happy in your own life, then marrying someone is less an act of love and more something that will help you to fill in the missing pieces in your own life. This is not fair on you, and it’s certainly not fair on them; they want to marry you because they love you as you are, and once you understand that and feel the same way, the partnership will be a much longer-lasting and content one. If you don’t love yourself, it’s unlikely you will ever fully believe that your partner loves you too, and this will lead to mistrust and arguments.
Love Songs Mean Something to You
We all enjoy a love song once in a while, but for many of us, they are more a guilty pleasure than something we would seriously choose to listen to. However, one of the more fun signs that you’re ready to get married is that the lyrics of love songs really start to speak to you. You finally understand exactly what the meaning is and what the singer is saying, and you can relate to the situation and their feelings completely.
Although this might sound silly, it should be seen as something serious. If you are able to link your own life and experiences to a song about love, then this is how you are feeling. It’s not lust, it’s not infatuation, it’s love, and that’s an excellent basis for getting married.
You’re Not Still Searching
When you’re ready to get married, and when you have found the person you want to get married to (sometimes knowing you are ready to settle down doesn’t coincide with being in a relationship), you will stop searching for someone else. Sometimes you can be in a relationship and just know that it’s not quite right. However, leaving that relationship can be scary, and you might not want to run the risk of being alone, so you stay, but you continue to look around for someone else. Perhaps you’re using dating apps, or you’re actively asking other people out.
If this is the case and you’re still searching for love, then you’re clearly not in the right place to get married. If your partner asked you, you would have to say no. If you said yes, it would only lead to more heartbreak down the road, whether you went through with the marriage or not. If you’re truly ready to get married, you won’t still be looking for someone else (someone better), and you’ll be totally happy with the person you have by your side.
Listen to Friends and Family
This point is a difficult one and certainly not something most people will consider – nor will they often want to think about it – but it’s important nonetheless. It may not sway your final decision, but it should help to give you a clearer idea of what the situation is.
When you’re in love, you won’t be objective. Everything your partner does will be wonderful, and you won’t be able to see any bad in them; even if they do something wrong, you’ll stick up for them and see past it. Over time, these feelings will fade. After a few years – sometimes months – of marriage, the shine will wear slightly, and you’ll see your spouse for who they really are. This can sometimes be a turning point, and not in a good way.
This is why it’s important to listen to your friends and family. You don’t have to follow their advice, but listening to what they have to say is crucial and could help you put things in perspective, which your chemically changed brain may not be able to do on its own. In other words, if your loved ones think there is a problem with your intended, if they see any red flags or have any doubts, listen when they tell you. They’re not doing it for fun; they want to help you. You can still go ahead if you want to, but bearing these thoughts in mind, particularly if you hear them from more than one person independently, might help you make a difficult decision. At the very least, it will give you a chance to address their concerns.
You Work Well Together
Some couples just work together like the ultimate team, and if this is the case for you, marriage probably won’t be far behind. No matter what it is you’re doing, you’ll find there is unspoken communication that means you can get the job done no matter what. This is definitely a good sign when it comes to discovering whether you’re ready to get married.
Working in harmony in this way means you are entirely in sync with one another, not just physically but emotionally and even mentally too. If you feel as though you could take on the world and deal with anything that came your way, good or bad, then you’ve found the right person, and you should at least consider getting married. It makes sense for you in your special kind of relationship.
You’ve Talked About the Future
Marriage is about a lot more than just a great wedding and a wonderful honeymoon. A good marriage will need to weather all the ups and downs that will come in life and still keep going. Are you ready for that? Life is not going to be positive at all times, and there will be difficulties ahead, no matter how much you love your partner. Are they the person you know would help you through the worst times as well as be there for the best?
Ideally, you will have talked about the future together before even considering getting married. It’s easy to get carried away with the romance of the situation and ask the question or say yes when asked without considering anything else, but it’s crucial you discuss your plans for life up ahead. If you don’t, this could lead to disagreements, and in the worst cases, it could lead to breaking up entirely.
Something that all couples will definitely need to discuss is whether or not to have children. Of course, just because you agree right now, that doesn’t mean one or both of you won’t change your mind in the future, but a disagreement about this important point before you get married should ring alarm bells – it will be a discussion you keep arguing about, meaning your marriage will never be a harmonious one.
Another thing to talk about is your careers. Is your partner going to be happy for you to keep studying to get your Master’s of Science in Nursing Education and continue to progress in your career, even if it means sacrificing things at some point? Or would they prefer you to take a less demanding job either because they are insecure or because they don’t understand your ambitions? Or perhaps it’s you who aren’t interested in your partner’s career or would prefer they didn’t work such long hours to get ahead? This must all be discussed, along with anything else you might need to talk about. Even if you’re uncomfortable speaking about these and other important things, it’s far better to do it before you get married, or even before you start planning the wedding, because otherwise, it can cause big problems later on.
You’re Happy to Apologize
Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how you deal with those mistakes that really makes the difference. If you are uncomfortable apologizing, even if you were definitely in the wrong, and you continue to try to get out of the situation due to embarrassment or because you’re stubborn, this is not the basis for a good marriage.
As we’ve said, everyone makes mistakes, and if you do, you need to be able to apologize so you can move on, just as you would expect your partner to apologize if they made a mistake. If you find you have no problem when it comes to saying sorry, then you’re on the right track. Life isn’t about being right one hundred percent of the time; it’s about compromise and being happy. There is truly no point in doing anything that makes you miserable, so own up, apologize, and move on. If you really can’t do this, your marriage is going to be a difficult one for both of you to handle.
You Don’t Threaten to Leave
Just as everyone makes mistakes, so too does everyone have arguments, even the most solid of couples. No one can always be in agreement, and disagreements are just as much a part of life as anything else. Sometimes, these arguments can get fairly heated, and it’s what you do when this happens – as it is almost guaranteed to do – that shows whether or not you’re ready for marriage.
For example, if you threaten to leave and be done with the relationship during an argument, no matter what that argument is about, then it’s unlikely you’re ready to get married. Leaving a partnership is difficult in any circumstance, but when you’re married, there are even more issues, including legal ones. Leaving because of a small disagreement is a big overreaction and one that should set off plenty of alarm bells.
Saying that you’ll leave, essentially that you’ll run away from the argument just because you don’t agree with something, means you’re not emotionally mature enough to handle being married. You can’t simply run away from a marriage, so if this is your go-to response, you’ll need to think again. Marriage is about talking things through and dealing with issues together, not running away and hoping you don’t have to think about it.
Of course, there will be situations for some people when leaving the marriage is the best option for everyone involved, but if you’re arguing about what TV channel to watch or what to have for dinner or who’s paying for the groceries, then you really do need to take a step back and reassess.
There’s No Drama Around Exes
It’s unlikely that you’ll be having long, in-depth discussions about your ex or exes with your current partner all that often. They will probably rarely ever come up in conversation. However, if they do, what is the general reaction? Do you start to argue? Is there suddenly a lot of drama in your relationship? If so, this indicates that at least one of you, and possibly both of you, are not mature enough to get married; you don’t trust one another enough.
There are very few people who don’t have at least one ex in their lives before finding the person they actually want to settle down with, and this is something that you’ll need to live with. If you find it uncomfortable to think of your partner with someone else, that’s perfectly normal, and you won’t be on your own in this regard. However, if you aren’t able to get past the fact, or if your partner can’t get past the idea that you had an important person in your life before they came along, this is not a feeling that is going to go away; it’s something that will haunt your marriage.
If there is no drama or concern when an ex comes up in conversation, then you are both at a stage in your lives when marriage might be the right thing to do – you trust one another and feel secure in the relationship.