In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, weddings are on the rise. Experts estimate that we’ll see around 2.5 billion weddings in the U.S. this year, the most on record since 1984.
As canceled ceremonies get back on track and friends start popping the question, you might look at your partner and wonder, “Are we ready for marriage?”
Tying the knot is a major commitment, and it’s not always easy to tell when it’s the right time. If you’re not sure whether you and your significant other are ready, here are a few telltale signs to look out for.
1. You Know You’re Ready to Commit
Committing to marriage is a lifelong promise. Sometimes, it can be hard to know when you’re ready.
However, knowing you’ve learned to commit in other areas of life—such as keeping your promises, working toward your goals, and being disciplined—can help you decide that you’d also be ready to commit to your significant other.
2. You’re Focused on Your Marriage, Not Your Wedding
It’s unfortunate but true: countless new spouses get lured in by the temptation of having a huge celebration with all of their family and friends present. Wedding ceremonies, receptions, and honeymoons can be great fun, but they shouldn’t be your primary reason for getting married. Don’t forget, your wedding will last a few hours, but your marriage will last the rest of your life!
Here’s one of the best marriage tips we can offer: if you can’t see past the party planning and guest list, it’s probably better to put off your marriage for now. Instead, wait until you’re envisioning spending every day with your partner, even when the two of you aren’t at the center of a crowd.
The same is true if you’re feeling pressured—in your own mind or in conversations with others—to get married simply because you’re the “right age.” There’s no rush to marry, and tying the knot with the wrong person to keep up with your peers is a recipe for disaster.
3. You Love Who You Are
We’ve all heard the common relationship advice, “Work on yourself first.” When it comes to getting married, this is especially true!
Don’t misunderstand: it’s great for you to love every aspect of life with your partner, including who you become when you’re around them. However, it’s just as important to love yourself for who you are. The saying “You complete me” is a popular one, but it shouldn’t be the truth: your significant other should add to your existing happiness, not create it for you.
A marriage in which you rely on your partner for your self-worth and self-esteem, day in and day out, is doomed to failure. If you don’t feel comfortable with who you are, maybe it’s a good idea to spend a little time getting to know—and love—yourself first!
4. You’ve Lived a Life of Your Own
In a similar vein, it’s important that you’ve spent time living your own life, independent of your partner.
This isn’t necessary for every marriage, of course. Some couples walk down the aisle right after high school or college, spending the rest of their lives together in a loving relationship.
However, experts agree that the “right” time to tie the knot—with the best chances of a happy, long-term—is after the age of 25. At this age, both partners are more likely to have the experience, romantic and otherwise, to know what they’re looking for in life.
5. Your Love Runs Deep
In the early stages of a relationship, you’re more likely to be feeling infatuation than true love. Often, this is a time when it’s easy to confuse “being in love” with “being in love with the idea of being in love.”
No one’s saying that flirtation and great sexual chemistry shouldn’t be part of your relationship for the long term. However, your love should run far deeper than that. You and your partner should feel comfortable having deep conversations and sticking with each other through difficult challenges.
6. You’ve Discussed the Idea of Marriage
When the time is right, during those deep conversations we’ve mentioned above, the two of you may begin discussing the possibility of marriage. Maybe the two of you are even linking your bank accounts or shopping for wedding rings on etrnlrings.com. While it’s always good to know you’re on the same page about joining your futures together, it’s crucial to talk about your deal breakers and your needs.
If the two of you are on the same page about what you want—including huge considerations like having kids, your shared faith, and your career or financial expectations—the time may be right!
Alternatively, you may want to pull on the reins if you find yourself hoping your partner will change. This is true of everything from having kids to wanting to move out of the city. While disagreeing on major decisions like these isn’t always a dealbreaker, it is a sign to slow down, negotiate, and discuss.
Talk With Your Partner to Get Ready for Marriage
If you feel like you and your significant other check all the boxes above, you might be ready for marriage! Taking the leap can be an intimidating prospect, but making sure the two of you are in it together promises a rewarding and satisfying marriage.
As you consider your future together, don’t forget to check out our other relationship and advice posts for additional insights!