When making the decision to commit to marriage, think with your head and not only with your heart. Before committing to marriage, THINK about these aspects of your relationship. And substantiate with examples and anecdotes.
What to think about
❒ Have I shared all the important parts of myself? Withholding important aspects of yourself can lead to feelings of betrayal and can really backfire on the relationship. It may be hard or uncomfortable to bring up difficult topics, but hiding them is not in your best interest.
❒ Do I know she accepts and is comfortable with the whole me? Have you had discussions about the more complex sides of you? How has she understood what those mean to you and to a life together with you?
❒ Do I want to commit my time, energy, finances, space etc. to her? Marriage is about sharing a life together.
❒ Do we have compatible values and life goals? While you do not have to be exactly the same, you should know that your visions for life are aligned.
❒ Do I want to spend a lifetime with her – even if she didn’t have some of the more external trappings? Are you somewhat enthralled by her looks or financial status? Or excited to be joining that family?
❒ Does she bring out the best in me? Do you like the person you are when you are with her?
❒ Am I afraid of her in any way? You should not feel you need to monitor what you say because you are afraid of how she will view it. If you’re afraid to express your feelings and opinions openly, there’s a problem with the relationship.
❒ Do I want to be more like her? Do I want to have a child with her? Would I like my child to turn out like her? You will be spending a lot of time together, you will learn from each other. Think of your friends and neighbors. How have they influenced your thinking, your choices, your way of being?
❒ Do I feel that she has good character and that she cares about my concerns? Is she respectful even when we don’t see eye to eye? What is communication like when you don’t agree? Does she listen to your perspective, or does she try to bring you to her side?
❒ Do I feel comfortable being vulnerable with her? Can I fully be myself and express myself with her? Does she make me feel good about myself? Do you have a really close friend who does make you feel this way? Make sure the person you marry makes you feel the same way! Never be afraid to let her know what bothers you. This is also a way for you to test how vulnerable you can be with her. (If you can’t be vulnerable, then you can’t be intimate. The two go hand in hand.)
❒ Do I feel that she is being authentic and transparent, or does she answer what she thinks I want to hear? Does she say different things at different times?
❒ Am I comfortable with her baggage and human flaws? Everyone has baggage and flaws that they bring into the marriage. What is her baggage; you will have to deal with it with her.
❒ Am I comfortable with this decision? Are you making this decision with your head and with your heart, and not because you are flattered, infatuated, feeling desperate to get married? While some anxiety about making a lifetime decision is normal, don’t get pressured into making a decision. Speak to someone who has lots of experience in this area.