80+ Signs You’re Ready for Marriage (According to Experts)

Marrying someone is a huge decision—probably one of the biggest you’ll ever make. It’s important to be clearheaded and prepared for all that comes with it.

Many people get married without giving it enough thought and later realize they weren’t ready after all.

So, how do you know you’re ready for marriage? According to experts, here are the signs to look out for:

Krista Jordan, PhD

Krista Jordan

Board Certified Clinical Psychologist | Writer, Choosing Therapy

You’ve known each other for a reasonable period of time, ideally more than a year or two

Courtship changes our brain chemistry, increasing dopamine and oxytocin and dropping serotonin. Some researchers call this the “limerencephase, and it usually lasts 12-18 months.

During this time, you are not able to adequately see your partner’s flaws due to the brain cocktail that you are on. You will overestimate their good qualities and underestimate the challenging ones—not good if you plan to spend the rest of your life with that person.

You get along with their friends and family, and they get along with yours

When you ask your friends and family about your partner, they say they feel it’s a good choice for you. This is important because of those crazy chemicals flooding your brain in the first 12-18 months of dating.

You need people who know you and know who would be a good long-term match for you to set you straight. Also, when you marry a person, you marry their social circle as well, especially their family. So if they don’t like your mate, it can make things a lot harder going forward.

The rules of partnership usually dictate that you take your partner’s side, but if this means alienating longstanding friends or family, it will not be an easy choice or one you can do without some possible resentment.

You fight well—conflict ends in a clear resolution that feels fair to both parties

No one ever hits below the belt, meaning there is no physical violence, no name-calling, and no saying things simply to hurt the other person. Both of you either keep your cool or stop and take a break if you are getting too escalated.

If you take a break, you come back and finish the discussion, again making sure that you reach a resolution that works for both of you. If there is nothing to resolve, then you make sure that you understand each other’s points of view and respect them.

Many people seem to think that the point of an argument is to “win.” While this is true in debate club, it’s not true in marriage.

In a romantic partnership, the goal of arguing is to fully understand the other person’s perspective, including their feelings, and reach a reasonable compromise.

If one of you succeeds in forcing their view on the other, then you have both lost in the long run.

You do not leave things unrepaired, ever

You repair well, which is to say that if one of you hurts the other, you always circle back, hopefully within an hour or less, and apologize in a way that makes the other person feel “whole.” You do not leave things unrepaired, ever.

Couples that fail to clean up their messes properly start accumulating resentments and hurts. Over a 50+ year relationship, that can poison the relationship and quite possibly end it.

Ideally, you both can say you are sorry for upsetting the other, regardless of whose “fault” you think it was, and reassure each other that you still love and care for each other.

You can agree to disagree, but you have to be back to being friends before you move on with your day. Otherwise, you signal to your partner that it’s OK with you to leave the relationship in poor health because you have more important things to attend to.

Signaling to your partner that the relationship is unimportant is never a good idea.

It only takes a few minutes to:

  • Get calm.
  • Say you are sorry for your part.
  • Give each other a hug.

That time will pay back immensely over the lifetime of your relationship.

Your top priorities do not conflict

You have both been clear on what your top priorities are in life, and they do not conflict.

For example, if your top priority is having children, your partner’s top priority cannot be to live a life of few responsibilities and never-ending travel.

Due to the brain chemistry problem during courtship, many people avoid hashing out real “deal-breakers” early on. They hope their partner will somehow come to their point of view.

Unfortunately, the deeper into a commitment you get, the harder it will be for you to stand your ground, even on things that are important to you.

The time to let your partner know that you never want to live in their hometown, or you have always wanted to retire by 50, or that you hate to travel is early in the relationship.

If you have gotten past the first year and think there still may be deal-breakers lurking about, you may want to get help from a couples therapist to assist you both in facing them squarely and making sure you have a reasonable plan to address them.

You feel you could rely on your partner without any hesitation

You have gotten through at least one hard thing in your relationship so far and felt that you could rely on your partner without any hesitation.

You know that they will always have your back and are willing, if push comes to shove, to put you first. That means, if necessary, you come before friends, family, career, etc. And you do not abuse this power, and try not to put your partner in the position of having to choose.

While we all want to support our partners, and indeed it is our job to do that, it can be hard when we have to choose between something they need and something we want.

A successful long-term partnership means knowing when you can set aside your own agenda to make sure that your partner’s essential needs are met and when it’s OK to negotiate for your own needs, even if your partner needs to step aside.

This dance can be very tricky, but it will come up eventually in every partnership, and usually more than once.

If you have gone through at least one difficult time with your partner before you walk down the aisle, you can feel much more confident that they can deliver when you really need them to be there.

Related: 10 Signs of a Good and Healthy Relationship

Joni Ogle, LCSW, CSAT

Joni Ogle

Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist | CEO, The Heights Treatment

Marriage is a big decision. It takes commitment, hard work, and compromise, but if you’re ready for it, it can be the best decision you ever make.

Here are some signs that show you’re ready to get married:

You have a strong and healthy relationship with yourself

Before you can have a strong and healthy relationship with someone else, you need to have one with yourself. Giving love is much easier when you’re already overflowing with it.

If you’re not happy and content with who you are, it will most likely affect your relationship with your partner. So before taking the plunge, make sure you’re at a good place in your life.

Related: How to Love and Accept Yourself as You Are

You’re able to communicate with each other effectively

Communication is key in any relationship, but it’s especially crucial in marriage. If you can’t communicate your needs and wants to your partner, you’re not ready for marriage.

Marriage is about compromise and understanding, so you need to be able to have difficult conversations without resorting to yelling or fighting.

If you’re able to communicate effectively, you’re more likely to be able to work through any problems that come up.

Related: Three Keys to a Successful Relationship

You’re honest with yourself about your relationship

Marriage is a lifelong commitment, so you need to make sure you’re in it for the long haul. This means being honest with yourself about your relationship.

If issues need to be addressed, don’t ignore them. Work on them now before they become bigger problems later on.

You’re financially stable

Money is one of the leading causes of arguments and stress in relationships. If you’re not in a good place financially, it can put a lot of strain on your relationship.

Before getting married, make sure you’re on the same page with your finances. You should both be working towards financial stability and be able to support yourselves financially.

You’re emotionally mature

This one is important. Being emotionally mature means being able to handle difficult situations in a level-headed way. It means being able to communicate effectively, process your feelings, and deal with conflict in a healthy way.

You know how to express yourself without being hurtful, and you can listen to your partner without getting defensive. If you can do all these things, you’re ready for marriage.

Related: How to Be More Mature in a Relationship, According to 15 Experts

You have a shared vision for the future

When planning your wedding, it’s crucial to have a shared vision for the future:

  • What kind of life do you want to build together?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • Do you want to buy a house, start a family, or travel the world?

It’s important to be on the same page about these things before taking the next step. Otherwise, you might find yourself heading in different directions down the road.

Related: 80+ Important Questions to Ask Before Getting Married (According to Experts)

Colleen Wenner-Foy​, MA. LCMHC-S, LPC, MCAP​

Colleen Wenner-Foy

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor | Founder and Clinical Director, New Heights Counseling and Consulting LLC

You have complete trust in each other

The ability to trust one another is the foundation of a healthy marriage. Trusting your soon-to-be spouse makes life easier because you don’t have to worry about their thoughts or actions.

It should be noted that a marriage based solely on the affection of love, having no depth of trust, will be rife with tension.

Trust, therefore, must be present for a relationship to flourish truly.

Mutual trust will see a couple through both good times and bad. It’s not just enough to say that you trust your partner; you must show them by being honest, open, and trustworthy leading up to your wedding day.

Related: Trust Building Exercises for Couples (According to 9 Experts)

You’re psychologically mature and ready for change

Marriage is all about change! It’s one of the few times you must alter your life completely. You can no longer be self-absorbed; you must also keep your significant other’s needs in mind.

Are you ready to make this commitment? Can you support your new spouse even if you disagree with them? If so, then congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

You accept conflict and do so constructively

Conflict is inevitable in relationships. How you and your partner handle conflict can lead you down a relationship filled with hardships or help you grow stronger together.

Before marriage, you and your partner should know how to resolve disputes without destroying and hurting each other. Disagreements can quickly spiral out of control when they become heated.

Related: What to Do After a Fight With Your Partner (According to 10+ Experts)

Couples looking to get married should learn to communicate effectively and respectfully. Be sure you and your future spouse can work things out before walking down the aisle.

Your values align together on what matters most

It’s perfectly normal for couples to argue and debate over particular topics. However, suppose you find yourself arguing about core values such as money, career, faith, and politics.

In that case, you’re likely not on the same page and may want to reconsider getting married until you’ve worked out these differences. Shared core values and marriage should go hand in hand.

A strong marriage requires two people who share similar beliefs and values.

You’re ready to give up the “single” life

Marriage is a big step toward adulthood. And while there’s no doubt that singlehood has its perks, freedom and independence are some of the reasons why many choose to remain unmarried. But once you tie the knot, you’ll realize there’s more to life than partying alone.

You’ll also discover that having someone to share your life with opens doors to experiences you never thought possible.

Single life is fun, yet married life is better for many. So if you’re ready to take the plunge into matrimony, start planning now.

Related: Why Do People Get Married, According to 13 Experts

Susanne M. Alexander

Susanne M. Alexander

Relationship and Marriage Coach & Character Specialist, CharacterYAQ | Author, “Couple Vitality

If you are committed to getting married, it’s wise to begin way before you have a partner. This includes self-preparation and exploring aspects about someone who might be a good fit for you.


Your character is well-developed

One of the foundation elements of a healthy marriage is two partners who have many well-developed character strengths.

This equips them to interact in a positive way with each other with qualities like:

  • Truthfulness
  • Kindness
  • Flexibility
  • Compassion
  • Patience

Having strengths like these also equips a couple to be effective with parenting.

Each day, you can observe your words and behaviors to assess your character and determine where you need to focus and grow. As you do this and study the topic of character, you become skilled at observing character-based words and behaviors in others.

When you date or have a serious partner, you will be skillful in observing their behavior and seeing whether they have the character strengths that are important to you.

You’re showing signs of maturity

Contrary to current trends, it’s unnecessary to have many major life tasks completed before marrying, such as your education, buying a home, and traveling.

What is wise, however, are some serious signs of maturity:

  • Can you handle your finances responsibly?
  • Do you have the skills to manage domestic chores?
  • Do you know what your core values are, and are you engaged in behaviors that align with them?
  • Are you willing to learn together with your partner?

Couples can mature together as they establish a home, earn a living, and become parents. Do you have a foundation in place, however, that will start the two of you in a positive direction?

You have good friendship and relationship skills

Marriage includes the partners being good friends.

As you interact with your friends, you can practice important skills such as:

  • Loyalty
  • Listening well
  • Laughing
  • Sharing what’s important
  • Helping during difficult times

Do you have communication skills to gain or grow? Are you a good friend to others? Are you learning what makes a friendship work well, so you can apply it in a relationship?

Knowledge about marriage

There have now been decades of research about what makes a marriage work well. Many popular books are available to help you learn about positive marriage behaviors.

Related: 20 Best Marriage Books for Couples (to Read in 2022)

These websites are a rich trove of information as well:

Individuals and couples who are well-informed about marriage and who have practiced marriage skills during their relationship before marriage are far less likely to have serious marital difficulties.


You know what a good fit for you is

As you prepare for marriage, it’s wise to spend time reflecting on what is important to you to have in a partner. It’s also wise to know what doesn’t work well for you. It’s useful to write these elements down over time and keep refining your list as you reflect and interact with others.

As you reflect, you will determine the non-negotiable items to have on your list. You can look for the presence of these early on in a relationship and end it if they are not there.

For example:

  • Are there values you must have in common?
  • Are there activities important to you that a partner must also appreciate?
  • Are there couple practices such as mutual decision-making or praying together that are vital?

It is wise to also reflect on items that are flexible, and you are fine with whether they are present or not. In addition, it is good to identify the deal-breakers. These might include addictions, criminal activity, or controlling or abusive behaviors.

You’re focused on more than just appearance

At times you may think that certain aspects of someone’s appearance are very important. These aspects could include height, weight, hair color, or ways of dressing. Aspects like these change throughout everyone’s life, and being attached to them could eliminate an excellent partner unnecessarily.

You have clear and realistic expectations

It can be easy to pick up ideas of what marriage could include from media or novels. You may also have gained a mix of ideas from family members or friends.

It is good to write down your expectations of what you want in a marriage and assess the items over time for whether they are realistic. You might talk about them with married couples to see if you are in magical thinking or well grounded in reality.

When you are in a relationship, it’s wise to consult with each other about your expectations and determine together which ones you are committed to fulfilling.

Support network

Good relationship with parents/family

Married life tends to function better when couples have a good and supportive relationship with their families.

As couples maintain unity and harmony with family members, conflict about these relationships does not disrupt their relationship. Often families can be supportive with money, household help, and grandparenting.

Part of being ready for marriage can include establishing positive, adult relationships with parents and siblings. Is there a cleanup of previous challenges to do? Forgiveness to extend? Time together needed?

You have friends outside your relationship with healthy boundaries

It’s healthy for people to have friendships outside of their partner relationship, provided boundaries are in place to protect the faithfulness and well-being of the relationship.

Friendships, though, do evolve when there are major life changes, such as marriage. Often non-marriage friendships are not as close. However, friends can be part of the success network for marriage. Social time together, helping with children, and a listening ear can be beneficial.

You look up learning sources about marriage

Before and after marriage, it’s wise to be in learning-in-action mode.

You may not have had learning opportunities or training in being a good spouse or parent, but you can learn together. Workshops, courses, books, podcasts, articles, and more can keep you growing and improving.

Being ready to marry is important to take seriously, so you can have a wonderful, healthy, and happy marriage.

Candice Harper, CHT, MFA

Candice Harper 1

 Relationship Coach | Licensed Hypnotherapist | Certified EFT practitioner

Readiness to be married is a bit of a myth. Like “trained for heart surgery” or “primed for motherhood.” It’s one of those things in life that we can only truly become prepared for by doing it. And if we sit around waiting for signs of “readiness,” we’ll likely stave it off, intentionally or not.

Sure, we can pretend that having our financial ducks in a row, possessing the sexual desirability of youth, and finding someone of our same faith are readiness indicators.

Sadly, if below the surface they truly were, the divorce rate would be much lower.

Related: Why Is The Divorce Rate So High? (According to 10+ Experts)

So, here are some questions we can ask ourselves as matrimonial litmus:

  • What about you indicates that you can prioritize another in your life the way most ideas of marriage require?
  • How might you handle possibly playing second fiddle in your own existence without one day resenting your partner?
  • Can you fully fathom the amount of compassion it may take to inevitably look at the person you once fell passionately in love with and wonder what would have happened in your life if you hadn’t?
  • How will you continue to stay committed, whether dutifully or willingly?

If you’re struggling to come up with answers, you’re not alone. Paradoxically, the most accurate research you’ll find is within the bonds of matrimony. Googling it will only bring up other people’s experiences.

Don’t worry—here is some level of guidance. Take it with a grain of salt, and let your gut be your main guide.

You’re cultivating your emotional intelligence

You understand that healthy marriage is born of choice, not obligation, tradition, or expectation.

So, whether you are being arranged by your village matchmaker or you’ve sunk your stinger into “the one” on Bumble, you’ve accepted your willingness to take responsibility for this co-evolution is paramount.

Related: 50+ Signs You’ve Found “The One”

You’ve learned how to fill your own C.U.P.

You can choose whichever acronym works for you (you can even invent your own):

  • Compassionate, Understanding, Patient
  • Communicative, Unconditional, Passionate
  • Core-Valued, Upstanding, Personable

You keep filling to overflow.

In other words, once you know how to generously give the above to yourself—there. You have enough to pour onto a spouse or whatever other kind of connection you want to engage in healthfully.

You’re learning how to make a fresh start without abandonment

Whether it’s a relationship, a job, or a favorite Meetup club, when things start to sour or conflicts arise, you like to clear things up and start all over again.

Gone are the days of ghosting, emotionally killing off, or tossing the whole situation. You are willing to communicate and resolve things to move forward. You’re a peacemaker. You clean your plates and your slates.

Most importantly, if your gut is screaming “No” or you don’t have a willing partner, keep repeating the three steps above. Even if you never marry anyone, your life will benefit exponentially from getting prepared, just in case.

Cheri Timko, M.S., LPC

Cheri Timko 1

Couples Relationship Coach, Synergy Coaching

Deciding to get married is one of the biggest decisions that you will make in your life. It’s bigger than choosing a career or buying a house. Those choices can be changed.

For most of us, we plan to get married once. You are searching for the reassurance and information to make a good decision.

There are two parts to the question of when you are ready to get married. First is the decision that you are personally ready to get married. The second part of this decision is whether the person you are considering is a good match for you.

You are “personally mature” to get married

Let’s look at the first part of the decision. Marriage takes personal maturity to make it work.

You have to be prepared to work as a team with another person, even when you have different viewpoints. You could meet the perfect person at the wrong time, which would still mean that you’re not ready.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you accomplished the things you want to do as a single person?
  • Have you had the experiences and personal growth necessary to take this next step?
  • Are you prepared to consider another person’s needs, concerns, and opinions as equal to your own?
  • Are you able to make promises and keep them?

They are a good match for you—the right person at the right time

Once you are personally ready to marry, the next question is about who and when to marry.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you and your partner bring out the best in one another?

It’s important to support one another’s efforts and struggles. Over time, you want to help each other grow as people.

  • Do you know your partner deeply?

Can you predict how they will react in a wide variety of situations? You want to feel confident that you know how they will deal with problems when they are at their lowest point.

  • Are you prepared to treat your partner’s opinion equally important to your own?

Even with a partner who shares most of your opinions and goals, you will have a lot to work through for a lifetime.

  • Do you agree on the most important things, such as goals, lifestyle, and values?

Are you on the same page about how many kids to have, where to live, and how to handle money? How you each think might change over the years, but most people don’t make huge changes in the core of who they are.

  • Do you and your partner know how to fight fairly?

Conflict is inevitable. There have to be lines that you won’t cross when you disagree.

  • Are you ready for a lifetime of figuring things out with another person?

In a lot of ways, it’s easier to work through problems on your own. You can ask for help, but you can also solve the problem any way you want.

Being married means that you will always need to consider someone else’s needs in the equation.

The decision to get married is highly personal

You need to want to be married to be ready to make the sacrifices that come with the joy.

Take the decision seriously. Choose the right time and the right person. It will save you a lot of heartache in the future.

If you are having difficulty making this decision alone, seek the help of a trusted friend, mentor, coach, or therapist. They will have objective insight that is hard to find alone.

Michelle Segismundo-Reeves, LMHC, NCC

Michelle Segismundo-Reeves

Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Vitae Life Counseling, PLLC

You know what you want in life

You are ready for marriage when there is a feeling of confidence and security in who you are and know what you want in life.

You are confident enough to know you are not only completely in love with one person, but you are confident in taking care of someone else and are willing to do so for a lifetime.

When you know what you want and who you love without any doubt and understand that marriage is a lifetime, then you are most likely ready for marriage.

It is when you know in your heart there is no other interest from the past, present, or any thought of having any possibility of being with someone else and can be committed before marriage.

You are responsible for yourself first

Furthermore, you are ready for marriage when you are financially stable and responsible for yourself first. When you are able to care for yourself first, you are able to care for someone else in a lifelong relationship.

You have worked through your emotional struggles and past

Others signs you are ready for marriage may be that you have worked through your emotional struggles and past, which may be helpful in preparing you for marriage.

Though not everyone does this or has the opportunity to, it may be beneficial to being ready for marriage for a lifetime. As you enter the marriage phase, you will have relational dynamics that come into play with your partner.

You are healthy enough emotionally in a relational context

Having an understanding of what you bring into the marriage is beneficial to communication, problem-solving, present and future goals, and family planning with your partner.

Knowing you are healthy enough emotionally in a relational context is a sign that you are ready for marriage.

Dr. Jaclyn Gulotta, PhD, LMHC

Jaclyn Gulotta

Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Choosing Therapy

Signs that you and your partner are ready for marriage include:

  • Trusting each other.
  • Feeling confident in your relationship.
  • Having healthy communication.
  • You are both emotionally and physically available.
  • Wanting to be around your partner and feeling excited about your future together.

Trusting each other

When you feel you can trust your partner, you will feel secure and stable in your relationship. Having trust is something that you have the ability to control and can show your partner that you believe in them.

Having confidence

When you feel confident, you are open to being vulnerable and expressing yourself to your partner. Being confident shows your partner that you feel ready to go on this journey with them.

You observe healthy communication

Having healthy communication means you and your partner have mutual respect for one another and are able to listen and understand before blaming or yelling. This helps to establish a strong foundation.

Being emotionally and physically available

You are ready to be emotionally and physically present in your relationship and can express yourself and be there for your partner.

Having the excitement and wanting to be around your partner

This is a sign that you make an effort each day to put the work into your relationship because you want to and because you are excited to be here with your partner.

This is a comfortable and positive feeling to have as you know you are ready for marriage as you look forward to the different phases of life with your partner.

Jordyn Mastrodomenico, LCADC, LAC, CTP

Jordyn Mastrodomenico

Clinical Director, ChoicePoint

You know when to say sorry

This statement may seem weird to you. But it is a fact that one lives happily ever after getting married only if one dares to accept their flaws and apologize to their partner.

Because apologies are sweet—they mend your relationship from the gold thread. A relationship mended from different sides transforms into pure gold over time. Ask yourself whether I prioritize my ego or the precious relationship of marriage.

After saying sorry, a cute and awkward smile is like the glue that joins our hearts. With that said, you must also have enough place in your heart to accept sorry and let things go.

You understand the difference between a wedding and a marriage

This may sound harsh, but marriage is not related to dressing up in pretty outfits and wearing makeup. Alternatively, marriage is defined as the companionship of years that include hard and easy times.

You cannot ignore the frustration and pain hard times bring to you. You must have trust that you and your partner will bypass that time like a breeze.

You and your spouse must believe that the marriage is a long-term commitment. This is not a movie show that will end after 2 hours. Instead, take it as a show that has multiple exciting seasons. And then, you won’t feel the responsibility of getting as a burden.

You know the importance of boundaries

Boundaries are an essential part of a relationship. So you should know how much to interfere in your spouse’s life.

You must not object to their choice of clothing, friends, and hobbies. And your spouse must also do the same, as long as your choices are not hurting you or anyone mentally. But, of course, friendly banter never hurts anyone.

Keep things lighthearted, easy, and open, and your life will become the same. This task will become simpler for you if you aren’t judgmental. You are only sometimes in scan mode, and you can ignore petty issues.

Erin Pritchard, MA, LPCC-S

 Erin Pritchard

Certified EMDR Therapist | Owner and Clinical Counselor, Sea Glass Counseling and Consultation

You’re seeking couples counseling as a preventative measure

Going to therapy is a great way to prepare for marriage—either individually or as a couple. Individually, healing from any past trauma and learning about your attachment style is going to benefit any relationship you have, whether personal or professional.

Many people don’t know that therapists can provide premarital counseling, not just clergy. A licensed therapist can facilitate evidence-based premarital counseling curriculums for engaged couples.

Couples don’t have to be engaged, married, or in crisis to go to therapy.

Statistically, couples wait an average of 6 years before seeking couples counseling. You can avoid a lot of unnecessary pain and heartbreak in your relationship by seeking couples counseling as a preventative measure, not a crisis solution.

In couples therapy, you can learn healthier ways of communication, resolving conflict, increasing intimacy, and strategies for ensuring each partner’s needs are heard and met.

Related: What to Talk About in Therapy (60+ Examples from Therapists)

You’re taking responsibility for your own wellbeing

The signs that someone is ready for marriage include a demonstrated history of working on themselves in therapy and the ability to take responsibility for their own wellbeing. Having personal insight into your own intra and interpersonal functioning is crucial for a healthy marriage.

Caring well for yourself as an individual outside of marriage translates well into marriage, like:

  • Going to the doctor.
  • Preventative health screenings.
  • Moving your body.
  • Having a healthy social life, etc.

If someone isn’t caring well for themselves outside of marriage, it’s not likely to start once they get married.

Sophy Singer

Sophy Singer

Co-Founder and Executive Matchmaker, Sophy Love

You learned how each of you tends to handle things when life gets unsteady

Marriage is an entirely different beast than dating. It’s about more than just liking someone—or even loving them—you have to be ready to face the world together. Who you are and how you feel when you’re around them are important to consider.

If you bring out the good things in one another, you’re off to a good start. From there, take a look at your relationship and really dive into what life will look like together.

A great place to start is by considering these questions:

  • Can you imagine life without them?

A strong marriage is more than just friendship; that should be a part of it.

Your life partner should be the first person you want to tell when something incredibly amazing happens, the person you want to confide in when something horrible happens, and your source of comfort when you are absolutely scared.

  • Have you gotten through hard things together?

No matter how strong your partnership is, life will always bring challenges. What matters is how you navigate through them.

One sign that you’re ready for marriage is that you’ve spent time together through a difficult period and really learned how each of you tends to handle things when life gets unsteady (which it always does).

Conflicts will arise, but how you deal with them will determine the success of your relationship. This means you’ll need to have difficult conversations.

Talking about money, finances, spending habits, long-term financial goals, etc., can be tough, but it shouldn’t end in massive fights.

  • Are your values and goals aligned?

While the adage “opposites attract” may hold some truth, that isn’t often the case when it comes to your core beliefs. Make sure you’re aligned on the things that matter to you, whether it be money, religion, family planning, or lifestyle.

Someone with a lacking mentality may not mesh well with an abundance mentality in the long term.

This isn’t to say you need to share the exact same values—you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who does—but even if you aren’t totally aligned, it’s essential that you can respect and support one another’s core values and what each person sees as important.

  • Are you willing to put in the work?

All committed relationships require work; there’s no way around it.

Make sure you and your partner are committed to putting in the time/energy/emotional openness that will inevitably be needed to sustain a loving and fulfilling relationship.

In many cases, part of this work will involve doing some self-discovery, inner work, and soul-searching. The more you and your partner know and understand about yourselves on a conscious and subconscious level, the healthier and stronger the relationship will be.

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

Senior Editor, Tandem

Though my marriage began 15 years ago in 2007, I still remember what it was like to be a bride. The picking of the reception hall, the trying on of wedding dresses, the tasting of the cake.

I remember those and all the beautiful things that go into a wedding. But before you even begin planning a wedding, you have to prepare for marriage.

Some people may wonder, however, what are the signs that you’re ready for marriage?

Your friends and family approve of your partner

First and foremost, it’s vital that your family and friends have met your mate and that they approve of the person.

Ultimately it’s how you feel that truly matters, but our friends and families can often see those things that we’re too close to see.

These are things like:

  • If your partner demeans you.
  • If your partner is passive-aggressive.
  • If your partner exhibits other unhealthy traits.

You have lived with your mate long enough to know that you “work”

Being married to someone is more than just saying vows and putting on rings. You need to know that you can comfortably live with the other person.

What if you are a neat freak and they are much more laid back? Are you going to be okay when they leave their shoes in the middle of the living room floor? Living with someone can give you great insight into how it will be once you are married.

You and your significant other have the same goals and dreams

From having kids to being successful at work to owning a house with a white picket fence—you and your partner have the same ideas about what makes a good life.

It’s challenging to be married to someone who has different ideas about what should happen in the future.

When you think of the future, your significant other is in it

Speaking of the future, you might be ready for marriage if you think about the future and see your partner in it.

Alternatively, if you think about things that don’t include your mate, there might be a reason for that. Deep down inside, do you know this is just a temporary relationship, not one intended for the long haul?

You’ve had a long talk

Probably, the most essential thing that can help you determine if you are ready for marriage is if you and your partner have talked about marriage, money, and minors.

You’ll want to know what you expect of each other.

This includes:

  • General responsibilities (such as house upkeep).
  • How bills will be paid.
  • What you are both looking for when it comes to wanting kids.

You don’t just like each other—you love each other

As Frank Sinatra sang, “Love and marriage… You can’t have one without the other.” Though this statement might be a song in a play, the sentiment holds merit.

When it comes to marriage, you shouldn’t have one without the other. Just make sure that you don’t just like things about the person you are with but that you genuinely love them.

Once you and your partner have spoken and you feel like the stars are aligned—you are in love, you have the same visions for the future, and more—you are probably ready for marriage. But remember, as Henry Youngman said, “The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.”

Related: How to Have a Happy Marriage (3 Secrets of Happily Married Couples)

Daniel Ploof

Daniel Ploof

Author, Wilderness Survival | Founder, Wilderness Survival Training

Marriage can be difficult. However, for those who take the plunge and commit their lives to one another till death do they part, marriage can be the greatest blessing and most rewarding decision they will ever make.

The challenge is how you know whether you’re ready to make that level of commitment.

Consider the following six areas to evaluate your perspective on marriage and readiness for future commitment:

Contentment: You are content with being “single”

You’re ready for marriage when you are content with being single. It sounds counter-intuitive, but if you’re choosing to get married because you’re afraid of being alone for the rest of your life, your chances of being truly content are slim to none.

Contentment is your accountability against settling for less than you desire.

Character: It is your top requirement

You’re ready for marriage when personal character is your #1 requirement. If you’re getting married based on physical attraction or common interests, you’ll be sorely disappointed as time progresses.

Personal character, integrity, and morality are the only attributes that will stand the test of time and prove whether you made a wise decision or not in who you chose to marry.

Acceptance: Abandon your “fix it” project

You’re ready for marriage when you can accept who your spouse is today. Far too many people get married with the illusion of fixing their spouse’s imperfections, only to become frustrated and bitter when they do not change.

Save yourself the heartache, abandon your “fix it” project, and be willing to accept who they are today versus who you hope they will be in the future.

Forgiveness: You’re willing to accept their faults and not hold a grudge

You’re ready for marriage when you can forgive and forget. You must be willing to forgive one another’s mistakes and not hold a grudge or funnel current mistakes through past failures.

You wouldn’t want to be identified today based upon your past failures, so ensure you’re willing to accept their faults and not hold their past against them as well.

Foundation: You share the same faith and values

You’re ready for marriage when you share the same faith foundation. It serves no benefit to marry someone who does not share the same foundation of truth as you do.

Your values are based on what you believe, which will impact every area of your marriage, for better or worse, and determine how much disagreements and conflict you have at home on every issue imaginable.

Love and respect: Feelings are mutual and unconditional

You’re ready for marriage when you can unconditionally love and mutually respect one another. How can you love someone you don’t respect, and how can you respect someone you don’t love till death do you part?

Without love and respect in the home, your children will never know what it means to have a healthy marriage.

Therefore, ensure mutual love and respect are intentionally promoted in your home to divorce-proof your marriage.

Ian Lang

Ian Lang

Relationship Expert | Published Author, PeopleLooker

You trust and know your partner

It does not matter how long you have been together; you must completely understand and trust each other. On the other hand, being together for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready.

You should know your partner’s history, their hopes, their dreams, and you can imagine their reactions to certain things. Knowing all this, you still love them. Besides that, you trust them.

Trust is crucial in a marriage, so be sure your partner is someone you can completely rely on.

You’re looking forward to a marriage, not a wedding

Weddings are fun parties where everyone gets together, but don’t let this become the reason you’re getting married. A wedding lasts only a few hours, but a marriage (ideally) lasts a lifetime.

Don’t just plan for one day; plan for the rest of your lives. Imagine how your everyday life with your spouse will be when you aren’t in the spotlight.

Your goals are aligned

Most of our lives aren’t straightforward—they can always take twists and turns. You should know where you’re heading and talk to your partner about it. Being on the same page about where you’re headed, especially when in different directions, can be challenging.

It doesn’t matter if you have the same goals, but if you can support one another to benefit the relationship, you are on the right track. Being open and honest about this can help you avoid a lot of frustration.

Related: What Are the Benefits of Being in a Relationship?

You have lived your own life

While some high school sweethearts get married and make their marriage work, it isn’t all that common.

Marriage is best left until you are a bit older because you are mature and you have experienced more of life and of the world—gaining new perspectives and learning new things.

This does not mean you must date everyone in your path, but it means you have met a number of different people and have a better understanding of what you’re looking for in a partner.

You both put effort into the relationship

Make sure you are not playing a one-sided game of table tennis. If you are putting all the time and effort into something and receiving little in return, you might want to reconsider.

The success of a marriage does not depend solely on one party. If both parties are willing to work together, then you may be ready to get married.

You can’t imagine your future without your partner

Let go of the worries and enjoy your relationship if:

  • You can’t see yourself without your partner.
  • You know that you can’t be happy with another person.
  • You can’t imagine yourself with anyone else.

William Rivers

William Rivers

Founder and Chief Editor, Seniorstrong

Getting married is a major turning point in anyone’s life, and it’s one of the most important decisions you must make. So it’s crucial you know the signs that can help you determine whether you are ready.

The following signs can provide you with a better understanding:

Mutual trust with your partner

Any successful relationship begins with trust. The lack of it will lead to tensions in your marriage, no matter how much love you have.

The significance of this cannot be overstated. Trust is central for any relationship to succeed, whether it’s a personal relationship or a business partnership.

You feel good about yourself around them

Take note of your feelings and behavior when you’re with your partner. Do you like this image of yourself?

You will discover a better, more refined version of yourself with the right partner. They will push you to do your best and encourage you to think positively.

You can easily discuss your finances

It’s always challenging to deal with money. There is probably nothing romantic about this point, but it is certainly one of the most crucial aspects.

A budget should be discussed and agreed upon by both of you, not only for the wedding but also for your future together.

Doing so demonstrates your ability to manage both the marriage and the household. Talk about this right away, even if it is uncomfortable for you.

Your motives are sound

Be honest with yourself before proposing. How did this decision come about? Unfortunately, the most common and obvious reasons don’t exactly have the nicest motives.

Does it have to do with money and wealth? Perhaps an unplanned pregnancy? Perhaps you are facing immigration issues, or you’re trying to justify some commitment you made due to a bad decision.

David Helfand, PsyD

David Helfand

Licensed Psychologist | Owner, LifeWise, PLLC

You can identify and regulate your emotions in a healthy way

The success rates and overall happiness reported by married couples increase significantly when both partners have higher emotional intelligence. Therefore, you are probably ready for marriage if you can identify, label, express, and healthily regulate your emotions.

Some people make the mistake of thinking they are ready to get married because they never fight.

Fighting with each other in a healthy way can actually strengthen the relationship. And on the opposite side, many couples who don’t fight avoid conflict, which will eventually come back around to hurt their relationship.

Having successful disagreements in a loving and healthy way earlier in a relationship is a good sign that you can both handle future storms.

April Maccario

April Maccario

Founder, AskApril

The following details below are some signs you are ready for marriage:

You avoid constant partying

Your friends are important, but they are no longer the number one on your list, and if they invite you, you know how to say no.

This sign is included since you know your priorities and have limitations with your lavish lifestyle, which you need for your marriage future. You are marriage ready if you are financially ready, and you must take that note.

You are open to everything

Married life is not just about your own decision. Your spouse must have the involvement that everyone needs for their communication and relationship in both families.

You get everyone’s blessing

It helps you lessen your worries and fears, and you confirmed that everyone supports you with that chapter.

It is more fulfilling to get married if everyone is happy around you, and you can tell yourself that you are ready for it because of this sign.

 Ty Wilson

Ty Wilson

 Co-Founder, CustomMade

Age, occupation, and relationship status are no longer the only things that dictate whether you’re ready for marriage.

Here are some signs that you may be ready to take the plunge into wedded bliss:

You’re comfortable with change

From the moment you say “I do,” your life will be full of change. You’ll move in together, combine finances, and start making big decisions as a team.

If you’re someone who welcomes change and enjoys embracing new experiences, marriage won’t leave you feeling uncomfortable or out of your element. Still, this criterion alone is not enough to determine whether you’re truly ready for marriage.

Sometimes, people who are uncomfortable with change can also make great spouses—it just depends on how well you’re able to communicate and compromise with one another.

You’re able to compromise

In any relationship, there will be times when you’ll have to compromise on things. Whether it’s deciding where to live or what kind of car to buy, being able to compromise is an essential skill in marriage.

If you’re looking for a sign to marry your partner, see if you can understand your partner’s point of view and find a middle ground that works for both of you.

Most importantly, remember that marriage is a partnership, and you’ll need to be able to work together as a team to make it work.

You’re comfortable discussing your financial goals and expectations

Money issues are one of the leading causes of divorce, so it’s important to make sure you’re on the same page about finances before getting married.

What you consider to be financially stable may differ from what your partner considers to be stable, so it’s important to discuss your financial goals and expectations.

Once you’re married, you’ll need to combine your finances and make joint decisions about how to spend and save money. If you’re uncomfortable with this level of financial intimacy, then marriage may not be right for you.

A two-income household can also help ease the financial burden. If you’re both working and bringing in a steady income, this is another good sign that you’re ready to get married.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you consider before getting married?

Before getting married, it’s important to consider the following:

• Are you getting married because you want to or because you feel pressured by society, family, or friends?
• Have you taken the time to get to know your partner and their family?
• Are there major differences in values or goals that could lead to conflict later?
• Are you on the same page about important topics like children, finances, and religion?
• Have you talked about how you’ll handle conflicts and disagreements?
• Are you willing to make sacrifices and compromises for your relationship?
• Are you financially stable and able to provide for yourselves and your future children?
• Have you discussed how you’ll divide household responsibilities?

Can therapy help me prepare for marriage?

Absolutely! Premarital counseling or therapy can be a valuable tool for couples considering marriage. Here are some benefits of premarital counseling:

• It can help you identify and address potential areas of conflict or misunderstanding before they become major problems in your marriage.
• It can provide a safe space where you can discuss sensitive or difficult issues with your partner under the guidance of a licensed therapist.
• It can teach you communication and conflict resolution skills that will be useful throughout your married life.
• It can help you develop a shared vision for your future together, including goals, values, and priorities.

Many couples find that premarital counseling strengthens their relationship and helps them feel more confident and prepared for marriage. You can ask your doctor for recommendations or search online for therapists and counseling services in your area.

What if I’m not ready for marriage?

That’s okay, too! Marriage is a big commitment, and it’s important to take your time and make sure it’s the right decision for you. If you’re not ready for marriage, there are some things you can do instead:

• Focus on building a strong relationship with your partner without feeling pressured to get engaged or married.
• Enjoy your independence and pursue your own goals and interests, but still make time for your partner and maintain a healthy relationship.
• Communicate openly and honestly with your partner about your feelings and concerns, and ensure you agree about the future of your relationship.

Remember that there is no “right” or “wrong” timeline for getting engaged or married. Everyone moves at their own pace, and it’s important that you make decisions that are consistent with your values, beliefs, and feelings.

Is there a perfect age to get married?

There is no perfect age to get married. The decision to get married should be based on a variety of factors, including emotional readiness, financial stability, and the strength of the relationship. Some people choose to get married in their early 20s, while others wait until they’re in their 30s or later. 

Ultimately, the right time to get married is when you feel ready and confident in your ability to form a lifelong commitment with another person.

What are some red flags to look out for when considering marriage?

Here are some red flags to watch out for when considering marriage:

• Your partner is unwilling or unable to talk about important issues like finances or children.
• Your partner isn’t emotionally available or responsive to your needs.
• Your partner constantly violates your boundaries or ignores your concerns.
• Your partner is abusive or exhibits controlling behavior.
• Your partner has been unfaithful or cheated on you in the past.
• Your partner constantly puts their needs above the needs of the relationship.
• Your partner is unwilling to compromise or make sacrifices for the good of the relationship.

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