As my wedding day continues to hurtle towards me at breakneck speed, it isn’t lost on me that this is my second engagement. 10 years ago, I had a ring on my finger with the promise to marry someone else. Of course, things are incredibly different this time around but I’ve started to think of the ways that make me ready for marriage now—vs. not being ready then.
I also unfortunately see people get married all the time that may not exactly be making the best decision. Some people are in love with the idea of marriage, others assume that since they’ve been with someone a certain length of time, they should be taking the plunge. So this list essentially, is how to tell that you (and your sig other) are truly ready for marriage.
Signs You’re Ready for Marriage
1. The Obvious
Things like trust and communication– because you have no business getting married if you don’t at least have those two things. Sure there will be times that one of you may do something stupid that causes you to be untrustworthy or you may suck at communicating for a spell, but it shouldn’t be a common theme in your relationship.
2. They’re Easy Company
Jeff and I spend the majority of our time together because we want to. It never feels forced and neither of us is wishing we were somewhere else. We talk, we laugh and we sit in comfortable silence. It doesn’t matter if we’re at the grocery store, at home lounging or having dinner—we’re both where we want to be and it’s easy.
If you’re having to beg your significant other to spend more time with you or if you find yourself wishing you were out with friends instead of him, you’re missing a key component to that whole marital bliss thing.
3. You Have Your Own Life
While spending a ton of time together is a given, you both absolutely must have your own lives. Friends, hobbies, goals—these should all be things you both have separately. For me, there’s nothing like getting in some ‘me time’ or going out with girlfriends, drinking some wine and having some laughs. Time apart (when done right) from your significant other can strengthen your bond.
4. You Support One Another
There’s nothing like getting a push to be the best version of yourself from someone who loves you. Kudos, pep talks and constructive criticism are all vital parts of this. Being different people you’re bound to have dreams and goals that may not align, but finding the magic in that is the important part. Jeff’s career is so different from mine, but because he’s so passionate about his work, I can’t help but support him.
In good times it’s easy to be the cheerleader, but there will be times where you each will stumble, and maybe even fall—and that’s where you have to be willing to stand by all those promises you made.
Times can get really shitty and you may not like them very much, but you have to commit to loving them at their best—and loving them harder at their worst.
5. You are a Team
They weren’t lying when they said teamwork makes the motherfucking dream work. Yes, I depend on my man. And guess what? My man depends on me. We have days where we’re both running around, he’s taking the dog to the vet, while I’m running to the grocery store, he’s tidying up the house and I’m lending him my car for work. Whatever it is, if I need help with something—he’s there. And vice versa. We are each other’s rocks and while it helps to get an outside perspective now and then, we wouldn’t dream of discussing our problems with outside parties before working on it internally first.
Even when we argue, there are points that we remind ourselves that we’re on the same team, and try to focus on the resolve being for the greater good—rather than for just the good for one of us.
Sometimes you need to put their needs and the needs of the overall team before yours. Sure, you need to take care of yourself, but when you consider the other person first, and they do the same for you—then everyone is being taken care of.
6. You Accept Each Other
When you accept someone else for who they are and love them for their flaws rather than despite them—magical things happen. Easiness is created. No one feels like they have to walk on eggshells or hide who they are because they fear not being liked, or loved.
There are things about Jeff that drive me crazy and I’m positive at times I annoy the shit out of him. But no one is bitter, and those feelings go away just as quickly as they come because we accept each other.
You can’t go into a marriage expecting the other person to change, hoping they’ll grow up or wanting them to be a better person. You have to love them unconditionally.
7. You Both Want to Work On It
A relationship doesn’t maintain itself and it certainly won’t grow without some TLC. That saying about watering your own grass? Yeah, that applies here. It’s not always going to be easy but if you both do your best to act out of love and communicate better, you’ll find that you’ll want to work harder on yourself, to be the best you can be for them and your marriage.
8. You Are Friends
Much like my point with the easy company, you need to have a solid friendship. When something great happens, he’s the first person I want to tell. We have our shows, our jokes, our sports teams and weird habits. Sometimes we have to say things to each other like a friend would. Having a friendship creates a level of respect that otherwise might not exist if you only have love.
9. You Have A Love Affair
I don’t just mean a solid sex life (you know the kind where both parties are happy with it) but the kind of love for each other that goes beyond lust—because we all know that fades. Not to say you won’t or shouldn’t feel lust for each other at times because you totally should.
But I’m talking about the kind of love that gives you butterflies when you hear his key in the lock on an otherwise ordinary day.
I’m talking about catching eyes across the room at a party and thinking, “Damn, I’m lucky he’s mine.” I’m talking about having passion for each other, telling the other how grateful you are for them regularly and believing in your soul that this is your person.
When you can come home to the same person day after day, year after year and feel just as much love, if not more than you did the day before— you’re doing it right. When that happens, you’re ready for marriage.
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