Almost every serious relationship eventually reaches a stage wherein the couple decides on whether to move toward marriage or call it quits. The decision to get married often comes in stages; you don't typically wake up with an urge to get married and act on it. Furthermore, sometimes the best relationships happen at the most inconvenient times. Regardless of where you are in life, there are still countless factors you can consider when you are trying to figure out if you and your significant other are ready to get married.
Here are a few questions to consider before saying "I do":
Are you financially independent?
Whether you are a young couple or a pair of older adults considering marriage, you should take a look at your financial stability. You do not have to be living the high life financially to be ready for marriage, but you should be capable of paying your basic bills on time each month. You and your possible future spouse should expressly discuss your financial expectations after marriage and children. Create a plan together and do your best to stick with it.
Have you truly let go of previous relationships?
Nothing can dampen the flame of a new marriage quite like discovering you or your partner still have feelings for an ex. It is normal to hold fond memories of previous relationships, but you cannot marry another person until you believe your future memories with will be better than your past. If you are still in contact with an ex that you think you may have unresolved feelings for, but you want to marry your new partner, you need to cut your ex out of your life completely.
There is no need to be dramatic or tell your ex what is occurring; you can easily block them on social media, block their phone number or even change your phone number if necessary.
Have you and your significant other had any disagreements yet?
It is vital to understand that even the best couples will have disagreements.
If you and your partner have already experienced a disagreement or two and successfully navigated past it, you will stand a much greater chance of succeeding in marriage. Learning how your significant other argues can give you insight into how you can better relate to them during tumultuous times.
Have you requested input on your relationship from close friends or family members?
You can gain a lot of perspective from the people in your life who love you without expectations. If they have an issue with your partner, you should privately ask them to put into words what their exact concerns are. Friends and family members may even see both negative and positive qualities in your relationship that you have not yet considered.
Do your career and life goals match?
You do not need to want the exact same things in life, but it is important to make sure you aren't running in opposite directions. For example, someone who aspires to teach English as a second language in Japan for the rest of their life may not be the best match for someone who dreams of opening and running their own bed and breakfast in Charleston. Compromise is part of every relationship so you may be able to find a creative solution to your differences.
The time to determine that is before you get married, not after. It is also critical to feel aligned with the person you are considering marriage with on major issues involving children. For example, how many children you want, who will stay home vs. work and what religion you will raise them.
Getting married to someone you love is a privilege that many individuals look forward to experiencing in life. With just a little planning before you say your vows, you can create a more stable foundation on which to build a beautiful future together.
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