Your friends are pairing off, and you feel like it’s time to settle down. Are you just giving in to peer pressure, or do you really want to marry your current partner? Check out these signs and see if you’re ready for marriage.
1. You know why you want to get married.
There are pictures of tuxedos and white dresses all over your Facebook feed—is that what you want? Do you just want to be able to say you’re married, or do you really want to spend your life with your partner? Think about why you want to get married. What benefits will you get from marrying your partner, as opposed to continuing your relationship as it is? Ask yourself the hard questions and make sure you’re ready for marriage.
2. You’re planning a marriage, not a wedding.
Weddings are fun parties, a chance to see all your friends and family in one place. But is this why you’re getting married? Do you just want to have a big party and be the center of attention? Weddings last several hours, but a marriage lasts forever. (Hopefully!) Don’t plan for one day—plan for the rest of your lives. Think about how your everyday life will be with your partner, even when you’re not the center of attention.
3. You’ve lived your own life.
It’s true—some high school sweethearts can marry and make it work. But that’s not common. Studies show it’s best to wait until you’re 25 or older to get married. You’re more mature, you’ve lived more of your life. It doesn’t mean you have to date everyone who crosses your path, but you’ve had a chance to meet different people and realize what you want and what you don’t want in your life. This will help you pick your perfect partner.
4. Your relationship is deep.
In the beginning, you and your partner flirted, went out a lot, stayed in bed a lot…But if you’re getting married, you need to have a deep relationship. Deeper than just having fun all the time, going out every night, being carefree. You need to be able to tackle tough issues together.
5. You know and trust your partner.
No matter how long you guys have been together, you need to know your partner completely. Don’t get married just because you’ve been dating for four years. Get married because you know your partner. You know their past and you know their hopes and dreams. You can imagine their reactions to certain things. You know all this and you still love them. Beyond that, you trust them. Trust is vital for a marriage, so make sure you can trust your partner completely.
6. You don’t want to change your partner.
Don’t marry your significant other and think they will change. Marry them because you love them as they are. Making a major commitment won’t change anyone—though it may make you have to work harder on your relationship. Don’t expect the marriage to change your relationship, either. A wedding is not going to heal a major rift between you.
7. You resolve conflicts together.
Don’t just gloss over your problems and think forgetting them will make them better. Work out any kinks in your relationship so they won’t blow up later. Don’t get married because you think it will solve a problem. Solve the problem first! If you can’t work out any issues, then you and your partner won’t be able to communicate effectively. Resolving conflicts and compromising in a relationship will make a strong foundation for a healthy marriage.
8. You make long-term plans together.
In a new relationship, it’s OK to fly by the seat of your pants. You can change things at the last minute and don’t have to plan beyond your next Saturday night date. Once you get serious and decide to commit to each other, you need to make plans together. What if your partner wants to travel the world? Are you OK with staying home alone, or would you go with your partner? Know what each of you want, and make sure you’re OK with working through these goals and plans together.
9. Your family and friends like your partner.
When you’re newly in love, you might feel like that nothing else matters. Once you’re committed, you realize that everything matters. Initially, you might not care that your dad doesn’t approve of your partner. What does it matter when you’re the one dating them? But over time, this small rift will affect your life and your relationship. If your family and friends don’t like your partner, where is your support system? Will you be alienated from your friends and not invited to family events? Also remember that your family and friends know you best, and if they think there’s a problem with your relationship, maybe you should listen.
10. You can’t imagine your life without your partner.
Overall, you’re in love with your partner. You can’t see yourself with anyone else. You can’t see yourself without your partner. If you know you can’t be happy with another person, and you’d be incredibly unhappy without your current partner, then let it go and enjoy your loving relationship and marriage!