You're in love, and you've been together for a while. You're thinking about taking the next step, but you're not sure if marriage is for you. How can you tell if this is the right step?
Not everyone wants to get married, and you shouldn’t feel the need to take this step just to fit in. Plenty of couples stay together for a long time without ever getting married. And plenty of couples get married for practical reasons without placing any romantic notions on the act.
If you’re on the fence about marriage and want to know if you should take this next step, try answering the following questions.
What are your expectations for marriage?
The first step is to determine what you think marriage is, and if this matches your partner’s expectations for marriage. Marriage means something different to everyone as we all have different priorities and values.
Before you decide if marriage is right for you, you have to determine what marriage is, and if this matches your partner’s expectations. It is through open dialogue and discussing different perspectives that a successful marriage is built.
Are you ready for the commitment?
Getting married is a huge commitment that requires a lot of thought beforehand. While it can be exciting to think about a future with your significant other, it's important to take the time to consider whether you're both ready for such a large commitment.
Think about where you are in life and if you're prepared for all the legal and financial aspects of marriage. Don't rush into anything – marriage ought not to be taken lightly, but rather consciously and patiently.
Take your relationship one step at a time as you decide when and if it’s right for both of you to make that ultimate commitment. You don’t have to rush into the next step just to feel like you are moving forward, you can enjoy also just enjoy the journey.
Do you know why you want to get married?
Marriage is a big decision, so it's important to think about why you want to get married in the first place. It's certainly an exciting and joyful experience, but it also takes two people who are ready for the commitment that being married entails.
For some people, the biggest reason for wanting to get married would be the companionship and lifelong bond between them and their spouse. Others might see marriage as a way to solidify their relationship or take the leap from being in a long-term relationship into an even stronger union.
Not only does marriage show your dedication and commitment to your partner, but it can help foster better communication as well. Marriage shouldn’t be used as a tool to strengthen a struggling relationship. Instead, it should be
Do you have any concerns about marriage?
It's important to discuss any concerns you have about marriage with your partner before deciding to tie the knot. This provides you with a chance to reflect on what you each want out of this lifelong commitment and make sure that both of your ideas are compatible.
Some things to consider may be financial goals, how many children you want, and how you envision the division of labour in your relationship.
The more honest and transparent conversations that occur about these issues beforehand can help provide an understanding of how issues will be addressed as a married couple. Ultimately, talking through these topics can help create a successful foundation for marriage down the road.
Do you have religious reasons for wanting to get married?
Making decisions can be difficult, especially when the choices you have before you appear to all be viable options. However, there is one age-old method for providing direction in this type of situation – praying or meditating on the decision.
Taking a step back from your thoughts and allowing yourself to explore a spiritual connection may give you insight that you would not otherwise experience. Even if the answer is not immediately clear after making your inquiry, it's worth taking a few moments out of each day to focus on this decision.
If you have religious reasons for wanting to get married, then your faith should play an important role in the decision-making process.
Can you trust your gut?
It's important to take some time and really consider if marriage is something that is right for you. Although each situation is different, the key to making a great decision is to listen carefully to your gut instinct.
While some hesitation is normal, if you have an overwhelming feeling that marriage isn’t right for you, then it’s important to listen to this instinct. Every individual has their own unique set of thoughts, dreams and wants so trust yourself when making any big decisions such as beginning a lifelong partnership.
Follow your heart and don't be swayed by what others might think or say is best for you. Keep open communication with your partner and make sure that both of your paths are aligned before deciding if marriage is the right step for you both.