Is there ever really a right time to get married? Do you have to have a certain amount of money saved before you walk down the aisle? Do you need to date your fiancé for a certain number of years before you tie the knot? As you may already expect, there is no right or wrong answer to these questions.
Everyone has a reason for wanting to get married. For some, it’s because they want to start a family. Others are more concerned about taking their relationships to the next level. And for others, they feel that marriage is just something you need to do at a certain age.
Whether the reasons above fit in with your views of what marriage is all about or not, you have to realize that it’s a huge step that shouldn’t be taken lightly. So no matter how many times you see wedding photos on your newsfeed or how often you see wedding DIYs on Pinterest, don’t let the pressure to marry get to you!
Why you should wait before marrying
With people, posts, and ads around you telling you all the wonderful reasons why you should marry your partner, let us be the voice of reason that tells you to wait it out, until you’ve got the following issues covered.
#1 How are your finances? No matter how cynical it sounds, you have to understand that money still matters a lot. Your spending habits will affect your partner’s and vice versa. If you both have your financial game down pat, then you’re off the hook. But if you’re struggling with your finances because of an unstable job, dismal spending habits, or accumulated debts, it may be a good idea to wait until you’ve resolved a majority of your financial issues first. [Read: How to stop fighting over money in a relationship]
#2 What’s the status of your relationship? Unlike the myth, marriage isn’t the goal. Marriage is the beginning of a new chapter, one with intensified versions of your current issues. For instance, if you’re having trouble trusting your partner now, it won’t get miraculously better with marriage.
It’s crucial to reach that point in the relationship with minimal strain, if any at all, and then get married. Think of it as a transition wherein the problems of the dating phase are over, so it’s time to focus on those that arise during marriage. [Read: 10 big relationship problems and how to fix them]
#3 Can you stand to live with each other? So many couples get married without moving in first or at least, spending several nights together. In serious relationships, if you spend the night, you’ll be doing more than just having sex. You’ll be spending time with your partner, relaxing, seeing how they behave at 4am, seeing how messy they are, etc.
Spending two or three days straight with them, day and night, or flat out moving in allows you to see all their habits, so you can get an idea of what they might be like when they’re in the comfort of their home. This is actually very important because although you may think their habits are cute now, imagine dealing with them every single day for the rest of your life. [Read: 8 big cons of moving in that no one wants to talk about]
#4 What’s going on in your respective careers? If you have a stable job that you see yourself keeping in the foreseeable future, then this wouldn’t be an issue. However, if either of you are still on a rocky career path, then this will definitely affect your marriage. Employment shifts or slumps will affect not only you, but your partner as well, because they’ll be the one to pick up the slack when you find yourself struggling to find a job.
Aside from this, you may also be at that point in your life where you’re not sure what you want in life. Working on your marriage may not give you ample time to truly find out what your calling is, and that’s why it’s best to postpone the wedding bells until you’re more secure in your current career path.
#5 Do you know yourself? Here’s another one that totally depends on the person. Do you really know who you are, and what you’re all about? We’re not talking about your favorite color or your music preferences, we’re talking who you are in the face of turmoil, success, and everything in between. Anyone can be smart, but wisdom, how you use that intelligence, comes with age. The point here is that unless you’re completely OK with who you are as a person, and you truly know yourself, you may end up putting your partner through a lot of growing pains.
#6 Have you let it all out of your system? The whole “grass is greener” mentality may pop up when you think of marriage. In that case, do you have it in you to settle down and say goodbye to the dating game once you get married? That means you’ll never have another first date, another first kiss, another first romp between the sheets. You’ll never enter that giddy get-to-know-you flirtation stage again. You’re basically saying goodbye to all the people you could have dated.
Now if those thoughts didn’t faze you in the least, then it means being with your partner is worth letting go of all the things you’ll never get to experience again. In that case, marriage may actually be a good idea at this point.
#7 What’s the rush? Don’t jump into marriage just because everyone else is getting married. Don’t do something you’re not ready for, just because you don’t know if the opportunity will arise again later. Marriage is serious, and hopefully, it will last for the rest of your life, and in order to do that, it’s important to be ready for it and all the responsibilities it entails.
#8 How is your social circle? Unless you work in a field where you go to conventions, meetings in far places, or collaborate with different teams of people, you won’t be meeting as many people as you did before marriage. Before marriage, especially while single, people tend to go out more, hit the bars, and go to big social events for the purpose of meeting new people.
Once you’re married, your life revolves around work and quality time with your partner, and your kids, if you have any. You do go out, see friends, have fun, and attend social gatherings, but you won’t put yourself out there like you did while you were single. [Read: 12 quick tips to add more people to your social circle]
#9 Are you sure this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with? You may love your partner to bits, but are you 100% sure you can stand by them through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, till death do you part? There are so many couples out there who think that marriage is all about the wedding, having kids, and living happily ever after. But what some of them forget is that it’s not all fun and games.
You need to know the ins and outs of your partner, their good side and their bad side. You need to know what they’re like when they face success and failure. You need to be sure *at least, as sure as you can be* that you can entrust your life and your future in this person’s hands. Remember that whatever little things about your partner that annoy you can escalate and grow into huge issues that you can’t escape from in a marriage. [Read: 18 undeniable signs you’ve found “the one”]
Diving into a marriage is never a good idea. It’s a commitment that requires careful consideration of the life you’ll be living once you’re man and wife. Are you ready for that sort of commitment?
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