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10 Signs That You’re Ready For Marriage: Identifying Key Milestones

Is your partner the right one for you?

When you get to that point in your relationship where you are considering marriage, you start to wonder if your partner is the right person for you, and that you want to spend the rest of your life with them.

Marriage is a big step, and you need to know if you both are ready for it and are actually compatible for long-term cohabitation and possibly building a family together.

For some couples, they have that feeling they have met the ‘one’ after a short period of being together. For others, it can take a few years of learning and living with each other to get to that point. However, before you take the plunge you both need to acknowledge several aspects that can affect your wedded bliss and address them before you make a commitment to each other.

In this article, we look at possible signs that can help you know that you are indeed ready for that next big step in your relationship.

You genuinely like each other and can’t imagine a life without the other

In certain relationships, love and attachment can sometimes get confused with each other. What they believe is love may actually be their sense of attachment to the person. This attachment may have you believing that you cannot live without your partner, but this is the part where you may have to take a step back and look at whether you actually like your partner.

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Marriage is a commitment that you both need to be ready for. You need to like each other from the bottom of your heart. Their presence needs to bring you joy and you need to want to share small details from your day with them. When you think of a future together you need to envision fulfillment, warmth, and happiness in abundance. There should be no presence of doubt or anxiety in your mind.

You can talk about difficult topics together

Despite the love and happiness you will experience together, it is a natural fact that relationships are not always sunshine and roses. There will be miscommunications and disagreements that will take place – and you both will have to work through them together.

However, there will be instances where there might be difficult conversations that need to be had in order for the relationship to progress. These important conversations can include serious topics like troubled pasts, trauma, and even issues with boundaries that you need to establish in the relationship.

When you have these difficult conversations, it is important that they don’t easily dissolve into chaos and are dealt with respectfully and with sensitivity. You both will also bring up conversations tactfully and be clear in your communication with each other. The way you handle disagreements and difficult topics will set the standard for any hiccups you may encounter down the road.

Your plans for the future are aligned

People are fundamentally different from each other, and these differences can sometimes bring two people together, but when you are planning for a future, you and your partner’s view of the future needs to be on the same page.

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You both would have discussed life-changing topics and agreed on an outcome together. One of the most important topics for couples to discuss before marriage is wanting children and if you do what are the plans and roles each parent will take when they come about? Some people tend to hold more traditional values, whereas others prefer a modern approach.

Other topics that should be discussed with couples include work expectations such as desires to start a business or hoping to move abroad to work; as well as plans for traveling. It would also be helpful if you both have spoken about potential changes like retirement plans and the like.

Knowing where you stand with your respective families

Having both your families fully support your relationship and give you both their blessings is an ideal outcome for couples, but for some, this is far from the reality.

A lot of people hold their family in high regard, and if their parents don’t like their partnter, it can be a deal breaker. Some families are discriminative against religion, gender, and other socio-economic factors. While this is unjust criticism, your partner needs to be placed above these. Outcomes for this may include having to cut off non-supportive family members or going low contact with them. Ultimately it needs to be an action that both you and your partner need to be fully on board with in order to maintain your peace.

Sometimes families and friends may just be concerned for you, but discussions need to be held with all parties involved to maintain transparency and acceptance.

Some couples have instances where they are estranged from their family before or during the course of the relationship. If these boundaries are in place for a reason, there needs to be understanding and respect from the partner.

While these are both extreme situations, they need to be worked out, in order for a relationship between the two of you to flourish.

You trust your partner and feel safe with them

Trust and safety are factors that are fundamental in relationships. Without these, there may be trouble for your long-term relationship.

While trust is earned, once it is lost, you will constantly be asking questions and causing yourself inner turmoil.

Trust can be broken for many reasons, these can include a build-up of many white lies, pathological lies, unfaithfulness, minor thievery, and placing importance over you.

While it is important to rely on your intuition, it can be easy to assume the worst in a situation. The key is to work on assuming the best, if you are unable to, it will cause discord in your heart.

Mistrust is overcome by expressing your feelings, listening to your partner without judgment, and further expressing your feelings after hearing them out.

You need to have an understanding of each other

How well do you know your partner? While you may know their goals and aspirations, these things can change. Assumptions tend to have people wrongfully predict behavior. Your idea of what they want, think, or feel, disregards the facts and undermines your partner’s actual reaction to the changes that occurred.

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It is important to understand that not everything will unfold as you plan. If you see changes in your partner, it is important to make a mental note check in with them, and offer support and sympathy. Being open to learning and understanding each other as you go is not a bad thing, but will encourage growth and love in your relationship.

Putting in equal effort in the relationship

A marriage consists of two people and is a partnership between them. When you get married, you are making a commitment to treat each other as equals with respect. But this balance needs to start before the marriage.

Gender roles play a big role in society, but these are being broken down due to the imbalances that have been established since households require two incomes to be sustainable.

Modern couples both bring in an income and thus divide the household requirements equally. This includes finances, chores and care for each other. As we mentioned previously, many couples uphold traditional beliefs, but this too requires an equal transaction and division of household requirements.

The values held by couples are naturally discussed before marriage, but it is also important that the expectations surrounding the homestead are discussed too. Imbalances can cause trouble in the relationship that will see one half of the couple pouring more into sustaining their home than the other. Down the road, this can breed contempt in the relationship, which is why it needs to be addressed beforehand.

Other than matters of the household, there are other ways couples need to make equal efforts in. This includes being supportive of each other, performing acts of kindness, being affectionate, listening to each other, and being a loving and respectful partner.

Do you have good finances?

This is a two-fold question that deals with your finances as a couple and whether you are financially prepared for a wedding.

  1. Relationship finances

You need to ask yourself if you both are financially capable of establishing a life together and are open with each other regarding finances and making contributions to a singular household that you will share. This will help you both avoid uncomfortable questions in the future surrounding each other’s finances. Topics that will come into play are how to split bills, how much you earn, whether you will be pooling money into a joint account for household necessities, and whether your partner has a say in how you spend your money. This topic can segue into conversations about career goals, children, savings, debts being brought into the marriage, and if either of you has a bad relationship with money. A prenup agreement may come into play.

2. Funding the wedding

Other finance discussions should be related to funding the wedding of your dreams. Weddings are expensive, according to a study by Forbes, the average wedding can amount to $33,000. The topic of if you both have savings to put towards your wedding will come about, as well as other aspects like if other people helping you financially, or if you are willing to take out a loan towards the wedding.

Individuality and acceptance

While relationships require two people in order to work, having a sense of individuality in this relationship is also important.

By being your own person, you can help strengthen the relationships and aid with longevity. It reduces codependency which can end up being increasingly toxic for both of you. It is important to have your own interests, hobbies, and friend groups – it is completely okay if some overlap as well.

Part of individuality is accepting that your partner is their own person as well. But what if your partner follows a lifestyle that doesn’t exactly align with yours? For example, what if your partner is part of an alternative sub-culture where their hair is dyed or they have tattoos and other body modifications like piercings? Or what if they lean to more conservative values and perhaps do not eat meat or drink alcohol?

Being at odds with your partner on these levels can cause clashes to occur down the line. This requires you and your partner to talk about these matters at length and find a common ground that you both can accept is important for a relationship to work.

Your expectations and deal breakers

There is a stark difference between having realistic expectations of your relationship and partner as opposed to being accepting of the bare minimum.

You and your partner will have discussed topics relating to realistic expectations such as trust, affection, having empathy for each other, respecting each other’s differences, and spending quality time with each other.

You will have also discussed potential dealbreakers that consist of unfaithfulness, lies, abuse, clinginess, disrespect, and poor communication.

These are things that can be worked on versus what you and your partner know can spell the end of the relationship and are in agreement on these topics.

Final Thoughts

Getting married is a leap for people who are ready to commit to the person they love. There are several ways to know that the person you are with is the right one for you. It is not the grand gestures of love, but rather the small things that will make living a life together flow warmly and filled with love.

You will know that your partner is the one, by their acceptance of you, by putting in the effort with you, understanding you, and by actively planning out their future with you in it.

About the author: Lia Huynh is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist serving San Jose, Milpitas, and online. She specializes in couples therapy, marriage therapy and pre-marital counseling. You can learn more about her here.