Every couple out there will tell you that love isn’t enough to keep a marriage alive. There are many other important things that need attention too.
It’s not just about whether you love him. It is a whole bunch of other stuff that determines whether he’s the one you should marry. This isn’t a simple matter of picking what to wear for a party. This is about picking your life partner, and contrary to what hopeless romantics out there may tell you, you must be extremely picky, extremely ready and never ever listen to your heart 100%. Your brain needs to play a role in this decision too, or you’ll end up like millions of women out there who get divorced within the first few years of marriage.
Most of the time, it’s not that they didn’t love their ex-husbands, it’s just that they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. So they were unprepared to handle the barrage of problems that got thrown their way.
No matter what you take away from this article, always keep in mind that marriage is a two-way street. What you expect from your husband should be exactly what you offer back to him. From loyalty to being healthy, and from being ambitious to having kids, be sure that you are always able to meet the expectations that you set, in order to not come off looking like a bloody hypocrite.
How can you tell if he’s marriage material?
Now that the aforementioned disclaimer has been drilled into your head, here are 12 practical signs that you need to pay attention to before tying the knot.
#1 Financial stability. This may be terribly unromantic, but with that being said, his finances are extremely important and is one of the most practical things to take note of when deciding if he’s the one you should marry. I’m not saying don’t marry him if he’s poor. I’m saying don’t marry him yet if his finances are an unholy mess. Debts are big no-nos. So is getting married to someone who doesn’t have a stable income and who has no intention of securing one.
You’re not in high school anymore, whereby a couple of hundred bucks that your boyfriend earned at his part time job can buy plenty of dates. This is real life that we’re talking about here. Do you really want to be financially insecure for the rest of your lives? Do you really want your husband to sit on his bum all day, while you slave away at work? It is to be hoped that you answered “no” to all of the above, because you need to make it clear that he needs to change his financial situation or risk losing you.
I’m not saying that he needs to have a million dollars in his account before marrying you. All I’m saying is that he should have a stable income and be fully ready to contribute to household expenses on a monthly basis. Remember that you want a responsible man to spend the rest of your life with, not a whimsical boy.
#2 He makes you smile. If he can turn that frown of yours upside down, then he’s certainly a keeper. You always want to be sure that the person you pledge your life to has a positive and happy spirit. This is important as life is filled with ups and downs. Having someone to keep you positive during life’s hardest challenges is important. If your man knows how to make you smile and lift you up, you know that he’s the one you should marry.
#3 You can’t imagine life without him. Another way to gauge if he’s the one you should marry is if you want to share all of life’s wonderful experiences with him. If you can’t imagine being happy or satisfied without him next to you, it’s a clear sign that he’s the one.
However, keep in mind that those in lust will also say the same thing. So as important as this point is, don’t take it as the sole indication that you should marry him. Think of this point as one of many that you need to check off your list before deciding that he’s the one.
#4 You’ve talked about the future. Another practical sign that he’s the one you should marry is if you’ve both talked about the future. If both of you want the same things and are working towards the same end goal, then it’s a good sign that you’re ready to settle down with him. From where you want to settle down to whether you want kids, discussing these things and agreeing on the same stuff is very important. The last thing you want is to get married and discover, too little too late, that he wants completely different things.
Also, is he even interested in getting married? More young people nowadays are turning their noses up at this conventional act of love. Although some end up changing their minds about it and end up walking down the aisle, many prefer not to have a piece of paper defining their relationship status.
There’s no point in you wanting to get hitched, if that’s the last thing on his mind. Start an open dialogue and discuss the future. If you’ve talked about it extensively and he has made no indication that he’s interested in settling down with you, plan your great escape sooner rather than later.
#5 Similar interests. It’s very important that you settle down with someone who shares similar interests as you. This will ensure that you don’t get into meaningless fights about what to do, where to go and how to get it done.
Say he’s someone who enjoys curling up to a good book and watching a slasher flick at home, and you’re someone who prefers being a homebody. You can be sure that you’ll both be on the same page when it comes down to what to do for the rest of your lives. You don’t both have to like the same activities. So long as you can respect each other’s interests and wholeheartedly support what your partner likes by doing it together, that is good enough.
#6 He still challenges you. As important as it is to have similar interests, it is also great if your man can still challenge you to do things that you never thought you could do. From facing your fears and bungee jumping off a bridge in New Zealand, to walking the night markets of Thailand and tasting crickets, to simply being more Zen and calm, if your man can push you to be a better person, you will know that he is the one for you.
He’ll complement you and ensure that your marriage will be an exciting and interesting one. Never settle for apathy or be okay with boredom, as that will probably be the death of your marriage.
#7 You live together. The old school way of getting married first before moving in should be kicked to the curb. Nothing will tell you more about your partner than moving in together. From his dirty little habits to likes and dislikes, nothing will give you a better idea of what the rest of your life is going to look like than living together. If you haven’t done this yet, then be sure to do so before even considering marriage.
#8 You’re incredibly comfortable with him. You know he’s great husband material if you’re totally comfortable with him, and you don’t have to hide the true you. Flaws are what make a person real. If you can bare yourself to him and still have him love you, then he’s a gem and definitely someone to consider getting married to.
#9 He’s an excellent communicator. Being able to communicate well is another indication that you’re ready to marry him. Forget about being tied down to a man who gives you the silent treatment or on the contrary, verbally abuses you when he’s upset.
You want someone who is open to dialogue and who isn’t afraid of telling you what’s on his mind in a calm and grown up manner. And since listening is just as important as speaking, so be sure to only marry someone who can handle your yapping.
#10 He’s kind to your family and friends. Loving you means loving the entire package, and that includes family and friends. He should not stop you from heading out on girls’ night, and he shouldn’t moan about what a pain it is to see your family. A man who doesn’t respect what’s important to you shouldn’t be in your life, no matter how much you love him. This point is even more important if you have kids from a previous relationship.
#11 He’s loyal to you. Nothing screams love more than fidelity, and if he can’t keep his bird in his pants, he certainly doesn’t deserve you. The same goes for emotional cheating. You have to be sure that you are the only one who can satisfy his emotional and physical needs.
#12 You’ve both accomplished what you’ve set out to do. Finally, be sure that you only marry a man who has accomplished, or is well on his way to accomplishing, his goals and dreams. Why do you think so many young marriages don’t last? It’s simply because they weren’t able to grow into the people they were meant to be, before getting tied down to each other.
What tends to happen is that one person takes on an accelerated pace when it comes to accomplishing goals, and the other takes a step back for the betterment of the relationship. That person will eventually feel resentment for being bogged down and eventually want to break free. Once a couple starts looking in different directions, that’s when their marriage falls apart.
Although it’s not impossible for both parties to work hard together to accomplish their professional goals, there will come a time when one person has to make a sacrifice and put aside what they were working hard on for the sake of the relationship. It could be pushing plans aside to make room for kids, moving to another country for their spouse’s career, or giving up their job to be a better homemaker.
No matter the reasons, it’s always better to get most of the major career stuff out of the way first, because when the time comes for one or both of you to choose between the relationship and career, it will be a far simpler choice to make. Neither will mind taking on the role of sacrificial lamb, as both are ready for something new.
Besides the 12 points listed above, there are plenty of other things that you need to pay attention to before deciding that he’s the one you want to marry. Every relationship is different, and the same can be said for every man.
What someone tells you may not apply to what you are going through, so at the end of the day, listen to your gut instinct and you will know deep down if he’s the one you should marry!