Identity understands that many people often get married after being in a relationship with someone for some time. But what does it really take to know that you are ready for that type of commitment? We've taken the time to ask both real married women and professional marriage gurus on how you will be able to know if it's time to walk down that isle.
By Allison Shadel, Editor-in-Chief
All of the emotions that accompany a wedding proposal can be overwhelming. We asked professionals and real women how to understand and assess your needs and desires within your relationship before tying the knot.
Christine Hammond, M.S., has been a marriage preparation counselor in Florida for 10 years. She gave us five ways to tell if you are ready to make the commitment.
- You have to be comfortable with yourself.
- Do not use the relationship to fix yourself or the other person.
- Any major issues such as abuse should be resolved.
- You have a strong desire to share your life with someone.
- Your family and friends agree that this person is a good fit for you.
Janice Christopher, C.F.P., C.P.C, is a relationship attraction alchemist. Below, she shares what she thinks are the most important factors to consider before getting married.
- You have fully experienced all aspects of being single and you are completely satisfied that you completed that exploration process.
- You and your partner have discussed anything and everything about your lives together and you are really comfortable with his/her shared values and ideas for the future.
- You are completely confident that you can maintain your independence and sense of self while allowing yourself to be cared for by your partner.
- Even though your life is fabulous right now, you know it will be even better when you are sharing it with this person.
- If you already have children, make sure they accept and support the relationship.
President of Strive 2 Succeed Coaching Services, Keith Dent, runs a personalized marriage education program for couples. Here are his tips on what you should do and know before entering into marriage.
- Be aware of each other’s credit status and create a mutual financial plan.
- Understand each other’s communication styles and how you handle conflicts together.
- Have a clearly stated and understandable Family Vision statement.
- Establish concrete goals on the type of marriage you and your partner want.
- You have reconciled any past issues that caused you to question your relationship in the past.
Married women share their advice on what to know before getting married.
Marriage can bring unexpected blessings like children that can change your priorities. Make sure you've done at least one thing on your "wish list" before you say "I do." –Shilonda, Illinois
I had to reach a certain level of healing from a previous marriage and divorce before I felt it was wise to step into a new marriage. -Susanne, Ohio
I have been married for 10 years. I knew I was ready because I couldn't stand the thought of being without him; even through our mistakes, we've been able to forgive each other and persevere. -Toneal, Illinois
Walk on this earth, on your own two feet, before you start carrying the footwork for both of you. LIVE and experience life independently before you have to really nail into the responsibilities. A home is a lot to care for, as is a family, and husbands often forget you're not their mom. -Stacey, California
I knew I was ready for marriage when I met a man who shared my same values. He was the only guy I ever dated, who encouraged me to pursue my dreams. -Lorneth, Tennessee
Remember, communication is key in every relationship. Refer to Communicating Through Conflict for advice from an expert.