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Am I Ready to Get Married?

Discussing your relationship with your partner can gauge if the two of you are ready for marriage.
If you feel ready to make a life-long commitment to another person, you may be ready for marriage.
A couple should learn how to weather relationship troubles before getting married.
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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 August 2014
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It is never easy to gauge how prepared you'll be for any life-altering event: the loss of a parent, moving away from home or even getting married. Some people may feel completely prepared to marry at age 18, only to discover how much trust, sacrifice and maturity is actually involved in a successful marriage. Others may not feel ready at age 35, only to be surprised at their innate skill at making a lifetime partnership work. What often matters more than chronological age is a combination of emotional maturity, self-actualization and a desire to move into a new stage of adult-level responsibility.

Some people put off getting married until they have accomplished a number of personal goals, such as pursuing a higher education, landing an entry-level job or establishing an independent lifestyle. Getting married before having the opportunity to establish your own adult identity can lead to an atmosphere of resentment or frustration during the marriage's early years. It is important to ask yourself if you are satisfied with your accomplishments as a single adult and are prepared to share your life with another person on a similar journey of self-discovery. Marriage doesn't have to mean abandoning your individual goals or aspirations, but it can mean learning how to play a supportive role instead of the lead.

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Living together without the legal benefits of marriage may seem like an appealing option, but it often creates more problems than it solves. A legal union offers couples a number of protective measures not available to couples simply living together. If you have been in a harmonious and exclusive relationship for a number of years, you should have developed the level of intimacy necessary for marriage. On the other hand, if you have only been involved in a serious relationship for several months and you have not developed a certain level of trust, you may want to hold off until you've weathered a few storms as a couple. A wedding will not magically save a troubled relationship, so be realistic if your current relationship continues to run very hot and cold.

Couples who have reached a certain level of intimacy and trust may be able to discuss getting married in a very straightforward way. They can openly discuss the pros and cons of marriage, and even agree that they may not be ready to take that step yet. If you and your partner find it difficult to broach the subject rationally, then you may want to hold off on taking your relationship to that level. Many couples who enter into successful marriages feel that it was a natural progression of a deepening relationship. No one should get married as the result of familial or peer pressure.

If you believe that you have found someone who is in sync with your true personality and is capable of maintaining a long-term commitment, then you are most likely as ready to become married as anyone else you know. As long as you realize that it requires a lot of hard work, some compromises and a deep sense of trust, then there should little reason to put off enjoying the benefits of legal marriage.

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Discuss this Article

anon328859
Post 19

This is for post 12 and anyone who can relate. I met my husband at 16 and became engaged. We married when I was 17 and a half. I knew my own mind and it was what I wanted --then. I did know who I was back then, I had a good grasp on the reality of relationships, but what I didn't know or expect was the changes we all go through in our twenties. We grow and develop ourselves into much more complex adults and the surety of youth evaporates.

We are no longer the people we once were. It is now my belief that I was too young and my husband, who was 21 at the time, was too immature to have made such a permanent decision. It was ultimately a bad decision, one where if you knew the outcome from the start, you would never have made.

Know your partner. Ask all the hard questions and wait. Test your relationship over time to see whether your fiance is truly being his authentic self. Save yourself from some heartbreak now. I couldn't be told either. I believed my circumstances were the exception. He is now my ex.

anon310727
Post 17

To me, the marriage readiness question is more about logistical and economic issues than relationship issues. All relationships are going to have their ups and downs, including temporary breakups and jealousies and trust issues. Two people who care about each other instinctively and don't feel tempted by other opportunities are capable of getting married. The romantic component of a committed relationship is not always the question when contemplating marriage.

The real question is why you'd want to get married at this particular time. Is it to solve some other problem like living uncomfortably under a parent's roof or competition with others who have already gotten married? People have all sorts of selfish or immature reasons for hurrying the adulthood process along, so the question remains why this person and why now? If you can come up with a satisfactory answer, then you're more than likely ready for marriage. If you don't know why marriage seems like a logical next step, then perhaps you and your partner are not quite ready to take it.

anon263431
Post 15

My fiance and I were together for three and a half years until four days ago he proposed to me. The craziest part of my story is that before that four days, we had been broken up for almost a week. The break up was spontaneous. I did it, because I was hurting for my reasons. Then, while we were apart, and both hurting because of it, he realized that the way he felt without me was so indescribable. He knew that he loved me after that one week apart, that I am his and he doesn't want anyone else.

Now I have this beautiful ring on my finger and am breaking the news slowly to friends and family, because I am only 19 and he is 21 and we are young and have been through so many ups and downs, but we are in love. I can even say that after everything, it's been worth it.

It was worth it to see him that rainy night and talk about how much we cared about one another, how weird life is without each other, and discuss our trust and our goals and our lives. Merging them is a goal now, and even though I don't want to be married until I am at least 21 (who doesn't want to drink at their own wedding?) we are going to establish a safe ground for one another. We are each other's backbones and I look forward to being in love with him for years to come. I know this is what I want right now, no matter what anyone says.

anon193652
Post 14

I believe there is no set way to know whether or not you are "ready". It's a long thought-out (though sometimes impulsive) decision that affects the rest of your life. Some people say years, some say months, but no one really knows.

My husband and I met when he was only 17 and I was 24. The age difference was taxing on us and it was hard, but we were (and still are) so in love. I asked him to marry me after four and a half months of meeting him, and we got married four years later the day after he graduated. We have been happily married for 31 years and just finished putting our oldest daughter through college. So I think love isn't something to measure. You'll know when you're ready. (yes I know this is a discussion not an advice column haha, simply saying that one would know)

anon122435
Post 13

I've been involved in a relationship for about three years. We started dating in high school and are still in a relationship as of now. Even though the relationship has been going well, of course we've had our ups and downs.

One thing is that we both are very jealous people, and this is coming because we both have our insecurities. That does cause conflict at times, but it's not like we rip and tear at each other when it occurs. One thing that he tells me is that, "it's not you I don't trust, but it's the people around you." There are times where we fight quite often, but we always talk it out and solve it. We feel as though we need to solve things instead of pushing it aside.

I honestly have not met anyone who has been so supporting of me and helpful in my life. I can also say that whenever I need help, it seems that only he can calm me down and make things clear for me. So I think of him not only as my boyfriend, but my best friend as well.

One thing I love is that I can actually be myself and basically I don't have to be embarrassed about doing anything around him.

I really want to get married, but he tells me he wants to be financially able to support us before we commit (this is being that we are both 19 and still live with our parents). If we were more financially prepared, would we be ready to get married?

anon120355
Post 12

Well I am engaged and i am 17 years old but i will be married next year and lack about two months of being 18. My fiance and I have been fighting a lot and it is so hard to stop. I am also a very jealous person, and well its just that i see him staring at other girls and it really bothers me. He admitted there was a time where he did do that but that now he is not doing that and to forgive him.

I try, but it is so hard not to think he checking out another girl when he is staring at her. do you think this is all normal? what advice do you have for me?

anon73599
Post 10

I'm sorry to say this, but if you have any ounce of doubt in your mind you should not marry him! I have met a man that is now my best friend and soul mate! I have never had such a connection with anyone!

When I first met him I felt as though I had been searching for him my whole life, and now that I had found him I would never let him go! And what is totally wonderful is that he feels the exact same way! We both feel as though we have been together before, like we were destined to find each other!

Love comes in many different forms, but what I feel for my partner and what he feels for me has no word to describe it. Love just can't do it justice! I know for a fact that there is no other man in the universe for me! I have found my life partner and know that we will not become a statistic of divorce!

anon61214
Post 9

it's normal. You two are just stressed out about not being able to see each other and it causes fights. bddt.

anon55516
Post 8

I am involved in a long distance relationship. we are planning to get married but the problem is that, when we are together we are happy and so in love but when we are further apart we fight a lot, and we are too jealous of each other.

is this a normal act or might it create any problems for us when we are married?

anon54813
Post 7

Seems like it is a common human experience to question how real love and if moving towards more commitment is the right thing.

it probably stems from the fact that making yourself completely vulnerable to someone, and changing your life in order to include them (and sometimes put them first!) is against what comes naturally to us as humans; it's against our rational will to survive.

at the same time, i think that's what makes love such an incredible experience-one that cannot be compared to any other in its ability to show you sides of yourself and the world, that you didn't know existed.

any such experience will come with some risk and some doubts are natural if you are rational personal who balances mind and heart, but elementally, you should just know you love the person and that they complete some missing pieces in you. Whether or not that makes you ready to get married depends on many outside factors (family, career, social circumstances), because, hey, elementally marriage is a social construct and must work within that realm.

I'm feeling the same doubts and fears, but they are gliding on top of a deep feeling of contentment, excitement, and adoration of someone -- give it time. and eventually, you will know when you are willing to take that final risk.

i think it's rare that people are ever 100 percent sure. if they are, then they are deluding themselves to some truths.

anon53205
Post 6

I wonder if the girl in post number 5 is still with that guy. Her post actually intrigued me until I saw that she had only dated him for a few weeks and "already knows it's love." I had to laugh at her. Of course he is perfect! She is infatuated! Love is not a feeling, it's an action.

anon11489
Post 5

I think there IS one person for you. I've been in love twice had my heart broken and all of a sudden met a guy that makes me feel like I never even knew what love was. It's insane how much we connect. We have the same idea, views, lifestyle, likes and dislikes, even strange infatuations. We can't keep our eyes off each other and when I speak to him the best answers in the world come flowing out of his mouth. He makes me feel so good about us being together and including my daughter into our lives. We've only been dating several weeks and I already know its love. I'm the type of girl too who never wanted to be in a relationship, always had a guard up around her heart, and now this is sending me on the most amazing journey.

anon4202
Post 4

I agree it is a choice; HOWEVER, if you have any doubts about it maybe you need to take a step back and reposition yourself. Believe me I was in your shoes just a few months ago! I was wondering the exact same thing: What if someone else better comes along? But deep down inside I was waiting & anticipating someone better to come. I felt scared, nervous & skeptical. I still love him yes & he is a great guy but I asked myself would I truly be happy with him & if I marry him will I still have the "what if" mindset. I had to make a choice and it wasn't easy to end the relationship but I am SOOOO glad I did. All I can tell you is DON'T SETTLE. If you have any doubts just take your time, re-assess the relationship & go from there. Best of luck to you.

anon3355
Post 3

I think it's a choice and there's not "one right person" for you. You have to choose to make it work and it will, but maybe with a lot of hard work.

anon320
Post 1

Is it normal to feel like, if I get married now what if I meet someone else later who might make me happier? But if I don't marry him, what if he was the only one who could make me happy and I lost him?

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