What signs and signals should you look out for before saying “I do?”
Whether you’re single and daydreaming or coupled and caught up in romance, we all ask the same questions when it comes to marriage. How will I know when I’m ready to tie the knot? Is my partner the person I should marry? Will I “just know” that it’s right?
You might. But you that you cannot rely on those feelings alone. How many times have your feelings deceived you? I’m guessing you can’t even count. Rather, make your feelings part of an overall checklist, so here are the other things you need to examine.
Marriage is a big step and a huge responsibility so it’s no wonder we take the leap with caution. After all, it’s ’til death do us part. But how do you know if your significant other is “The One?”
If you’re wondering whether your partner is the person you should marry, ask yourself these 4 questions.
1. How well do you work together?
I am in no way proposing you connect your careers. Some couples can, some can’t, and some would never want to regardless.
What I’m asking about here is the division of labor and responsibilities, first of all, and second, your ability to accomplish tasks together. Does one of you do all of the chores, despite both of you working? When shopping for a new piece of furniture or an appliance, are you opposing each other at every turn? If you don’t find a way to balance that give and take, or can never agree on everyday matters, you’re in for a post-honeymoon nightmare.
2. How established and healthy is your communication?
Not all couples talk through every occurrence of every day, and that’s OK. Some do, and that’s perfectly fine, too. Here’s what matters: whenever you are engaged in conversation, both of you should be respectful but honest. One without the other compromises the entire interaction.
There’s another aspect of communication that few people are told to consider or discuss: which one of you will defer to the other, when, and about what? For instance, if you will not jointly be managing finances, but rather one of you will be responsible for them, should budget or other monetary matters be directed to that person? This all depends on your relationship, but your relationship depends on that communication.
3. Do you have enough in common?
Actually, this isn’t quite the right question. Look, it doesn’t matter how much you have in common; it’s what you share, and that your differences enhance your relationship. So, consider these questions instead:
Do you share the same overall values and moral codes? Do your skills sets complement each other, such that when one of you is unable the other is able to step in? What is your relationship with your differences?
As long as you share the most important ideas and prioritize your partner, you don’t need to worry. If something is important to your partner, you ought to make it important simply because it’s what they care about. Frankly, I would probably never give a second thought to household decorations or interior design as a whole if I weren’t married. I couldn’t care less if I tried. But, my spouse loves it and so I make an effort to understand why he likes it and show appreciation for how beautiful he makes our home.
4. Finally, do you help each other grow?
There’s a reason the term “better half” came about and it’s not because true love encourages stagnation. Someone who truly loves you won’t be afraid to call you out, but won’t try to hurt you when they do it, either.
Have you helped each other become more responsible? Have you helped each other develop empathy? You aren’t just going to physically age together. You’re going to mature together, too, and it’s important to know that your significant other will encourage your potential, not prevent you from fulfilling it.
Danielle Martin-Jensen is a writer from the Central Coast of California. She covers zodiac and astrology topics along with writing on love and relationships. Her interests include research and technology, cultural studies, psychology, and demography.