You have met the love of your life. She’s perfect and she’s everything you have always wanted (or at least mostly). You don’t even think about other women anymore. These are signs a man is ready for marriage, right?
Not so fast.
Marriage is a big step and knowing when you’re ready is more complicated than simply being swept up in love. The fact is that marriage is about a lot more than just two people who love each other. Yes, that’s what is needed to start with in most cases, but love alone isn’t what creates a strong and lasting marriage.
So, how does a man know when it’s time to pop the question and make a life-long commitment? Take a look at the list below for guidance in determining your level of readiness, to know the signs a man is ready for marriage.
She’s not perfect and you know it
This seems a bit counterintuitive, but it’s actually not. No one is perfect, including your potential wife. It’s important to recognize this ahead of time because her flaws will show at some point.
There’s nothing wrong with being flawed by the way — you are as flawed as she is. But if you over-romanticize her level of perfection and go into a lifetime commitment with blinders on, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Before you truly think about taking that step, be sure you see her as a real person and know her faults, issues, and strengths. Knowing all of these things and still being compatible and in love is a good sign.
You’re okay with monogamy
This can be an issue for many men. At the beginning of a relationship, it may not seem like a no-brainer. You don’t need anyone but her. But being realistic about the fact that there are natural ebbs and flows to a relationship, both emotionally and physically, is crucial.
There will be times when, especially if you start a family, the intimacy can wane and take effort to keep alive. Yet even in these circumstances, dry spell and all, you need to be okay with staying faithful (as does she). The dry spells typically come to an end and the love and respect that you have for each other should be what inspires you to keep the romance alive.
And make no mistake — there will be work at some point.
You each have a financial plan
As romantic as marriage sounds, it’s also a contract between two people. You are agreeing to share your lives, your happiness, your sadness and yes – your finances.
Money is one of the primary causes for couples to argue. It’s a huge source of conflict for some. Although discussing finances ahead of time and ensuring that you are individually ready to contribute to a financially stable partnership may not keep you from ever arguing about money, it’s a crucial step.
And too often, because it’s uncomfortable for many, it’s the most avoided step.
You trust her
When you think about your life and the years you are intending to spend with your spouse, it should be obvious that trust is crucial. You need to be confident that she will be there for you under any circumstances. And more importantly, you need to make sure that she’s the kind of person you want to be there for you.
Is she the one you would trust with medical, financial, and parenting decisions? Are you confident that she won’t break your heart?
If the answer to any of these questions is no or maybe, there are potential problems ahead.
You are satisfied with your own life
Marriage isn’t a life plan in and of itself, a remedy for boredom in your own life or a cure for personal dissatisfaction. Before you think about combining lives with someone else, make sure you’re happily standing on your own two feet.
If you are hoping that getting married will fill a void or fix a problem, then you aren’t being fair to yourself or to your potential spouse. You won’t find happiness this way. More likely, it will be the opposite.
Meeting the criteria of the points above doesn’t entirely make wedded bliss a given or ensure that you are completely ready to get married. Ultimately, that is a decision that comes from within. There is a certain amount of soul searching required before you can truly make it.
However, if you are comfortable with the points above and genuinely excited about your future together, you are off to a good start. They are signs a man is ready to get married.
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Author: Dr. Kurt Smith
Dr. Kurt Smith is the Clinical Director of Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching, a Northern California counseling practice that specializes in helping men and the women who love them. His expertise is in understanding men, their partners, and the unique relationship challenges couples face today. Dr. Kurt is a lover of dogs, sarcasm, everything outdoors, and helping those seeking to make their relationships better.