So, you’re at that place where you’ve been dating a special person for a while. You are beyond the ‘honeymoon phase’ and you know this person inside and out, but for some reason, you’re still scared of the ‘big question’. Marriage is a huge step in your life, so you want to be sure this relationship is real. But how do you really know if you’re actually ready for this big milestone? Of course, these are not all of them, but here are 6 important questions to ask yourself to know if you are truly ready for marriage.
1. Do you think about the wedding or your actual marriage?
Ah, in your head you are going to have the most beautiful wedding ever. Everyone will be smiling, laughing, the photos will be amazing. You deserve it. But you also deserve a marriage that is as beautiful as your wedding day. Look, the wedding is extremely important, but your lifelong partnership is the most important piece of the puzzle. Don’t fall into the trap of wanting a gorgeous wedding, and stopping there. A healthy marriage takes work and commitment. When you are thinking about that wedding day, it’s important to think about the struggles that may happen along the way as well. Believe it or not, your marriage is just getting started after you say ‘I do”. There will be some bumps in the road and mishaps that occur along the way. Embrace those ideas as well as your amazing wedding. Dream of the ups and prepare for the downs, but understand that your wedding day is just day one of your lifelong journeys.
2. Have you and you and your partner had the serious talk? (religion, children, finances etc.)
There are some conversations that just cannot be avoided if you want to be fully prepared for marriage. How your partner feels about children, faith, and finances are important elements that go into a successful marriage. If your partner wants kids, how many? What is on that credit report? Yes, these can be tough conversations to have, but if you are going to spend the rest of your life with someone it’s imperative to know the answers. It’s vital, to be honest during these conversations as well. Saying only what your partner wants to hear will create bigger problems down the line. Not interested in having children? Say so. If you have mountains of debt, be honest. If you care about your partner and your potential marriage, don’t sell yourself short throughout this process.
3. Do you and your partner completely trust each other?
Without trust, you don’t have anything when it comes to relationships. And I don’t only mean trust when it comes to the opposite sex or what’s in their DM’s, although that is important as well. The type of trust I am mentioning is deeper than the surface. Do you trust this person with your life? If you were to be diagnosed with a terminal illness, can you count on this person to make a decision that is in the best interest of you and your family? Scary, right? I know, but that is what marriage is. Remember, there isn’t anything that your marriage can’t encounter so you need to be fully aware of the possibilities. Personally, I tell my wife often that everything I do, I am attempting to prepare her for life without me, because anything can happen at any given moment. We trust each other to make smart financial decisions, take care of our mental and physical health, and to take calculated risks. I know that if/when the time comes for her to change my adult diapers, she will be there for me and vice versa. Trusting a person beyond infidelity is extremely important in your preparation for marriage.
4. Do you and your significant other ‘fight fair’?
This is a relationship, there will be fights and disagreements. Prior to making the commitment to marriage, pay attention to your arguments and take note of whether your partner is ‘fighting fair’ or not. If you want to see someone’s true colors, pay attention while having a major argument and don’t ignore the signs. Is your partner purposely hurting you with words? Can they control their anger and articulate their issue in a respectable manner? It is essential to know these things as your marriage will encounter some difficult times. You should also know how your partner prefers to settle debates. Us millennials were born in a technology-driven world and text arguments are actually a thing. But is that your partner’s style? Or would they prefer to speak over the phone or in person? For me, I had to learn that Monica often needed some time to discuss a disagreement rather than jumping right into it. If there was something on her mind or we didn’t agree on something, we often talk things out a few hours later or even the next day.
5. Are you over all of your past relationships?
Have you completely moved on? When asking this question it is important to dig deep and be honest with yourself. Unfortunately, there are some things that you subconsciously think about from your last relationship; even when you’ve physically moved on. This is a major issue to settle within yourself prior to a commitment to marriage. Your past can indeed stall your future, especially if you are comparing habits from an old relationship to the one you’re in. You should always close the door to a relationship before you open a new one. No matter how bad of a break-up you’ve gone through, that pain needs to be completely healed prior to moving on. If you are truly ready to build with this person, you must leave your past relationships behind you for the betterment of your future together. This could mean fully disconnecting yourself from your ex’s family or unfollowing your ex on all social media. Whatever it is, in order to be fully committed to your current relationship, you must cut ties with the past.
6. Are you and your partner’s life goals aligned?
Life goals are important to have, both individually and together. Prior to you and your partner saying “I Do”, you must make sure those goals are aligned. Is living a healthy lifestyle important to you both? How important is homeownership? Even something as small as the city or state you want to be in could make a huge difference. We all have different expectations on what our partners should be and how we will grow together. Marriage is a huge commitment and you don’t want to be 3-5 years into your union, only to find out the person you’re with is perfectly content with their lifestyle and does not meet your life goals or expectations. Lay these goals out to your partner, the sooner the better.
Just because you have time with someone, doesn’t mean you are ready for marriage. There’s much more that goes into the formula for positive results. It’s important to be prepared for the long run, and these 6 questions should help prepare for this monumental moment in your life. Also, it is perfectly understandable if you are not ready. There is no blueprint or deadline for your marriage, the most important part is to take that step when you are 100% ready.