You and your SO are totally in love, but is that enough for marriage? The commitment is a huge step, and no matter how compatible you and your partner are or how happy they make you, there are some ways to know if you should get married.
Oh I know. All you need is love, right? But a deeply committed, thriving, and healthy marriage needs more than just love. It needs respect, hard work, and compromise. Loving someone is not a big enough reason to marry them I'm afraid. What if the two of you want different things out of life? What if, no matter how much you care for them, they have flaws you can't let go? These are the types of things that keep people from marrying their SO, but these are also the things that come up two years later in a marriage when instead of checking boxes like love, honor, and faithfulness, you check 'irreconcilable differences.'
But if you're in a strong, loving relationship and you think you're ready to take the next step, listen to your gut and check these 19 things. A marriage needs more than great sex and a crush on your spouse (although those are important) — it needs two healthy, happy individuals to work hard together, for better or for worse.
1. You Don't Expect Your Partner To Change
You can hope your SO will eventually replace the toilet paper roll once it's gone, but that might not happen. And you need to be OK with it. If there's anything about your partner that you consider a major flaw, one that you hope they'll "grow out of", then you're not ready to be married to them. Not by a long shot.
2. You've Mastered Choosing Your Battles
Marriage is hard, but if you're not willing to choose your battles, it's even harder. Your partner forgetting to pick up milk on their way home is not worth a fight. Ghosting on you when they're out drinking with friends and not coming home all night? That's worth an explanation. Learn how to choose your battles before saying, "I do."
3. You Want The Same Things As Your Partner
If you want children, but your partner doesn't, then I don't see how marriage is going to work. You don't have to have identical dreams as individuals, but as a couple, you should want the same future.
4. You've Met Those Closest To Them
When your partner has family and friends that mean a lot to them, it's important that you at least meet those people. You don't have to be their BFFs, but knowing their closest friends and confidantes can show you a lot about their character.
5. You Don't Feel Like You're Missing Out
Marriage shouldn't be a sacrifice. You shouldn't feel like you're going to be missing out on something in life by marrying your partner. If you know you'll yearn for the dating lifestyle and random hookups, you're so not ready.
6. You're Willing To Compromise
Much like choosing your battles, you have to be willing to compromise. Marriage can't handle someone thinking everything has to go their way -- it will fall apart very quickly.
7. You Don't Set Ultimatums
Super childish. Talk maturely with your partner about why you want them to do something with you, don't try and guilt them into it or coerce them with ultimatums.
8. You Can Talk About Money
It doesn't matter how the two of you decide to take care of your finances in a marriage, but you have to be able to talk about money. If it's an uncomfortable subject for both of you, it's something you have to break through and figure out why.
9. You're Not Scared Of Your SO
Obviously if you're afraid of your SO in a physical sense, you need to get out of that relationship immediately, but this tip is more for those who have to walk on eggshells. You shouldn't be afraid of anything regarding your SO — their temperament, their reaction to something you've done, or their bad attitudes. You want to marry this person? Then you need to be comfortable around them, no matter the circumstances.
10. You Feel Secure
You have no fears or insecurities in your relationship? That's a good sign for marriage. You shouldn't worry about trusting your partner or feeling inadequate or insecure with them.
11. Your Relationship Isn't All You Have
I knew my boyfriend and I were in a healthy, committed relationship when I realized he wasn't the only source of joy in my life. I have so many other wonderful things in my life that bring me happiness and fulfillment, which is so important. It doesn't mean your relationship is any less joyful, but it shows that you're not depending on a future marriage to get you through life.
12. You Two Can Talk About Anything
And I mean anything. You can tell your partner that their friends were rude to you without fear of what your SO will say. Likewise, your partner can tell you when your bad mood is ruining their day and you don't act like a crybaby about it.
13. You Support Your Partner
Your partner may have some really big aspirations, ones that you don't think may ever come to light, but you have to be supportive. Making fun of your SO's dreams or ambitions does not bode well for a marriage.
14. You Feel Like Yourself When You Are With Your Spouse
You're OK with telling your corny jokes in front of them, you can let your guard down, and you feel good when you're around your SO. All signs of a future healthy marriage.
15. You Know The Random Things About Them
You know they like hot sauce on their eggs and that Mariah Carey makes them cry. You know their little quirks and personality, which is just as important as knowing their plans for the future.
16. They Make You A Better Person
You can feel good about yourself without your spouse, but when you're around them, you feel more alive and even better than usual. They encourage you to do more, be more, and inspire you with their own personality. These feelings are so much more than the standard, "I just love being around you" dating stage.
17. You Can't Wait To Call Them Your Spouse
Wedding planning may be fun, but if the thought of actually having your partner as your spouse is the most exciting thing to you, you're more than ready for marriage.
18. You Don't Have Any Doubts
And I mean none. You can be nervous about the wedding, nervous about a huge change in your life, but you should be 100 percent confident that your partner is the one you want to be with forever. No doubts.