Married life is a lot to handle, and you don’t usually realize this when you’re still dating your partner, not even on the day he pops the ring and the question, the day you shop at a wedding dress store or the day you march the aisle. And, since you never can know the implications until you start living together in your married home, it is only right to assess your readiness by asking yourself the following questions:
Have I lived independently enough?
As much as we do not want to make marriage sound like lifelong captivity, there are many things you can no longer do once you decide to tie the knot. And so, it is only right to live the most out of your singlehood. Thinking about all the things you want to do could be overwhelming, especially if you’re counting down to the day of your wedding, which is why it is important to maintain a bucket list as early in life as possible.
Your goals could be as superficial as going out on movie nights with no one with yourself or stargazing somewhere far from the blinding city lights to more character-building-oriented ones such as training to become a certified barista, volunteering annually in your local pet shelter or orphanage. Take this time to see the world for its beauty as well as not-so-beautiful sides and ponder on what change you can make in it. Also, think of this period as a chance to mature, so you can take on more roles besides being a family member, a law-abiding citizen, and a church member.
Of course, do your future family a favor and learn the ropes of managing home matters such as cleaning and cooking chores. Having a good grasp of personal budgeting will be helpful in the long haul, too, once you’re in a position to make ends meet not only for yourself but for your family.
There is nothing more fulfilling than feeling you did all you wanted as a single person before marrying your best friend. Having earned yourself ample practical knowledge, life experience, and meeting people rich in wisdom, you are more or less equipped to contribute in a two-way relationship consistently. Besides, not having done what you could have will only breed insecurity in the marriage, and it can turn ugly if you project these regrets to your partner.
Do I cater to his/her needs the same way he/she does?
Entering a relationship entails living outside of yourself and offering all you can to keep your partner happy. Before getting married, you should have gauged yourself on how well you are able to provide his needs. As the Holy Bible says, love should be selfless.
If you see yourself unwilling to yield to your partner’s needs over yours most of the time, then it is good enough a signal that you may just not be ready for marriage yet. You can eventually wrap your mind around this idea more easily if you take this relationship as a reciprocal one. But, always remember that vowing that you will love this person through thick or thin before God is equivalent to unconditionally offering yourself to him.
Do I accept him/her for who he/she is?
This question could be tricky as all of us go through unpredictable life-changing events. Although we could wish only for the best, we sometimes change for the worse after unfortunate events. It is rather true when they say you have to practically marry your partner several times in your life because what he is today may not necessarily be him in the future.
The challenge is to not force him to be the way you want him to be. Similarly, do not marry him only because you think he will change for the better after it. Thinking of marriage as an end-all is wrong. Rather, it is only the beginning of putting effort, from both ends, to make things work and settling your differences no matter what headwinds hit your relationship.
Cohabitation before marriage is only one of the many ways you can discover your partner’s personality and lifestyle. It is the best time to build tolerance on his habits or ways you did not particularly like initially. Likewise, it is a time for both of you to cave into each other’s requests to adjust
Do our family goals align?
You should already have discussed grander goals you will work on together to decide on getting married. Do you plan on saving up to own a house? Do both of you want to have children? And, if so, do you have at least a rough plan on how many and how you are going to support them?
If you haven’t thought of these important matters yet, it is best to put off tying the knot first. Starting a family is a big responsibility, especially financially speaking.
Marriage opens you to a whole new world of opportunities as well as problems. And, thinking the decision through almost ultimately improves your chances of preserving your bond.