How do you know if you’re actually ready to get married?
My answer is that you don’t know you’re ready to get married until you’re actually married.
Whether you’ve been with your significant other for several years or several months, getting married is a huge deal.
In addition to all the excitement surrounding your engagement, you might be wondering if you see signs that you’re ready for marriage. But the idea of “being ready for marriage” can mean different things for different people, experts explain. “From a counseling perspective, being ready for marriage means that two people have the ability to, at important times, put their individual preferences aside for the sake of the relationship,” says Julienne Derichs, licensed clinical social worker. What’s important to you and to your partner might be different than the couple sitting at the table next to you when you’re out to dinner, but the key is that you and your partner are happy with who each of you is on an individual level, as well as you each of you are in your relationship.
You Love Yourself
You can’t be happy with somebody else until you’re happy with yourself. You can ask for your partner’s support when you’re upset, but being married is about joining two lives together, not giving up one. Being content in your own skin means you won’t be looking to your partner to fill voids in your life.
You are motivated by love — not circumstances or agendas
As time progresses and “biological time clocks” start to tick, many couples — or even singles — will make decisions for the wrong reasons. But doing that though can — and most likely will — set you up for a huge disappointment. A marriage based upon circumstances rather than love is likely to fail. Getting married for the wrong reasons is almost as bad as marrying the wrong person.
You’re the best version of yourself when you’re with your partner
It’s incredible how often you put the focus on the other person — what he or she is offering. You know you’re ready to be in a long-term partnership when you can honestly say “This person is bringing out my best. I’m a good version of myself with this person.” That’s a perfect litmus test. You don’t marry a piece of paper. So get off the paper checklist and paying attention to how you’re showing up. If your relationship is bringing out your best and making you feel comfortable and supported and respected, that’s important.
Photo credits: The Quiet Wolf Photography
You’re not hoping your partner will change
No one is perfect, and if you’ve already lived with your significant other pre-marriage, you’re probably well aware of this. So, before you walk down the aisle, it’s essential to fully understand that along with the happy times, and the moments where your partner will exceed your expectations, there will be moments when he or she will disappoint you. You have to pause and truly investigate the lingering doubts that come with marrying this particular person and know the trade-offs you are making in taking these features and characteristics on.
You have shared values and goals
Hopefully, you’re not getting married or thinking about long-term commitment before you’ve talked about future goals. Discussion topics should include kids, religion, and finances. If you feel that you’ve talked through important future goals together and you’re aligned, that’s also a good sign.
Photo credits: The Quiet Wolf Photography
You can disagree with your partner without the fear of ruining your relationship
If you’re able to have disagreements and disputes with your partner without worrying about harming your relationship. In reality, conflict in a relationship can actually bring the two of you closer together, as it can help you to understand your partner on a deeper level as well as give you the opportunity to problem solve as a couple. However, if you’re unable or unwilling to disagree with your partner because you’re worried about losing him, have a fear of retribution, or you don’t have the desire or means to express your real thoughts adequately, your lack of conflict resolution skills as a couple will greatly impair your chances of a long-lasting marriage.
You know what commitment truly means
If you’re thinking about getting married, another tell-tale sign that you’re ready for your fairy-tale ending is that you understand what commitment really means. While it’s easy to say that you’re going to spend the rest of your life with your significant other, it’s essential that you’ve been with this person long enough to transition past the honeymoon phase and have experienced the ups and downs of everyday life together.
Being truly ready for marriage means that you’ve been with your partner long enough to have faced good times as well as bad as a couple. In other words, when you’re still eager and excited to commit to your partner after weathering storms together, this is a good indicator that an upcoming marriage will be full of blue skies.