Marriage is a huge step, and it’s definitely not something to rush into. How can you tell if the relationship you are in is marriage material?
“Going to Fiji is not marriage, going to Costco is marriage” – Kelly Ripa.
You know you’re ready to marry someone if you are willing to endure the Hell on Earth that is shopping at Costco with that person. Seeing your significant other at Costco means seeing them at their worst: they will be angry, cranky, hungry, sleepy, annoyed, childish, and pissed off. They will try and convince you that you “need” to by industrial size quantities of some food that they know you hate (which they of course love), and you will be subjected to the sight of humanity at its fear based worst.
If you can make it out of there alive (without spending yourself stupid or killing each other), then you should probably get married. If you can go there and be so in love that you forget you’re in Hell (and by Hell I mean Costco) and not be bothered by this, then by all means run like hell to the altar.
Do You Like Them With Their Clothes On?
Sure, everyone’s tons of fun when they’re naked and doing naughty things you. And lots of sex happens when you are dating, often because you two have different homes and can get the hell away from the other. A relationship is one thing, marriage is different, because you’re always there with each other. Generally speaking, your spouse should be as much fun with their clothes on as they are with them off.
How Lucky Do You Feel?
When you’re around this person do you feel like you hit the lottery? Do they make you giddy like a school girl? Get lots of goosebumps? Then marriage is definitely in order. If you don’t, you may not want to walk down the aisle. Romance ebbs and flows but if you’re not feeling super lucky to be with them, then it’s a red flag.
How Easy Is It?
They say relationships are hard work. That’s not true. BAD relationships are work. Good relationships aren’t. If your relationship is easy like Sunday morning, then it’s time to start thinking about walking down the aisle. People love to say relationships take work. They don’t. Relationships are like a car. The vast majority of people reading this don’t know anything about brakes, shocks, struts and all the other car parts you can’t pronounce. Does that stop you from owning and operating a car? No. You don’t need to do work on your car. You just need to do maintenance.
All you really need to do is get it washed regularly, get the oil changed, and get tires every so often. That’s not doing work on your car. You put gas in the tank and turn the key. It goes or it doesn’t. If you don’t do maintenance, you’re an idiot, but you’re going under the hood either. The best marriages in my estimation are the easiest. The more work you’re doing the more problems you have by default. Sure there will be ups and downs, but too much time under the hood usually means it’s time to trade in for a different make and model.
Are You On The Same Page?
Opposites attract, but they don’t marry. If you are super frugal and your partner spends like a drunken sailor, do you really expect it to work long term? Movies always love to talk about the uptight, type A girl and the slacker/hippie type who steals her heart. That works in movies, but in real live they hook up or date but they don’t marry. Or if they do, they’re miserable. Why? Because she is who she is and he is who he is.
The more alike you are, the more you’re going to stay together, because common ground is required to build the foundation upon which the house that is your marriage is built on. The house is built on the foundation and the foundation is designed to fit the house exactly. They don’t say “well, it kind of fits, but we’ll work around it.” No construction foreman has ever looked at a foundation and said “well, I know that’s how it is now, but I’m sure it’ll change down the road.”
You’re two different people with different experiences and view points, so disagreements are inevitable, but you should be arguing because you both want to do the same thing, you just differ on how to do it. If you have the opposite problem, maybe you should just keep dating.