Have you ever wondered, How do I know if my boyfriend and I should get married—or if we’re even ready?
While I can’t answer that question for you, I hope that this article can help. I’ve put together seven questions that I believe every couple should ask before getting married. The answers can help you figure out if you and your boyfriend are a good fit.
I encourage you to discuss these questions with your boyfriend, and also with close friends and older mentors who can speak into your life. Ask those mentors what other questions you should be asking as well.
Are you ready? Here goes!
Question #1: Do I know his shortcomings and flaws, and am I willing to live with them—even if they never change?
We all have flaws. But are your boyfriend’s flaws ones that you can live with?
A wise friend once told me, “Don’t marry someone for his potential; marry him for who he already is because you don’t have any guarantees that he’ll reach his potential.”
Sometimes people get married thinking, Oh, I can fix his bad habits. The truth is we can’t fix anyone; only God can, and He does that in His own time—and as the other person allows God free reign. So ask yourself if your boyfriend’s flaws are ones you can live with—even if he never changes.
Question #2: Do we communicate honestly and openly on a lot of topics?
You want to make sure the person you’re dating is someone with whom you are fully honest. Have you worked through disagreements together? Or do you always agree with your boyfriend in the hope that he will like you more? Are you fully yourself around him? I’ve found that if a couple is never disagreeing, one person is probably not being honest about their thoughts and feelings. Disagreements are an important part of getting to know each other, and learning how the other person handles conflict.
Question #3: How does he respond to correction from others?
How we handle correction says a lot about our character—and whether we react out of pride or humility. In marriage, it’s important to be able to admit when you’ve done something wrong, and listen when your spouse shares constructive feedback with you.
When someone gives your boyfriend constructive feedback or criticism—especially if that person is an authority figure like a parent, boss or pastor—how does your boyfriend respond? Is he willing to listen respectfully and consider that advice, or does he become defensive and angry?
What about when you’re the one receiving correction?
Question #4: How does he treat others—especially those who are hard to love?
It’s easy to treat your significant other wonderfully, but it can become harder once you’re married and live together every day. So look at how your boyfriend treats the people in his life—his parents, siblings and especially the people he finds annoying or difficult to love. That will speak a lot to his character and to how he may treat his wife one day. Then ask the same question about yourself.
Question #5: What expectations do we have for marriage and for each other?
This is a hard question, because you don’t always realize what expectations you have until they go unmet. But think about questions like these:
- Do we want kids? This often presents a big issue for couples who don’t talk about it before marriage.
- What roles do we expect each spouse to fill? Some people have very clearly defined roles in mind, and it’s important to talk about those—and to realize the other person won’t always fill the roles you expect them to.
Talking with a wise, older couple can be extremely helpful to pinpoint and discuss your expectations.
Question #6: Is there anything we think marriage will fix in our lives?
It’s easy to think marriage will fix things like loneliness, struggles with pornography or constant fighting in a dating relationship. In reality, marriage doesn’t magically fix anything. Instead, it brings heart issues to light. You will still feel lonely. You will still face lustful thoughts. You will still have disagreements. All those things are issues that come from our hearts, and no circumstance can change them. We have to work through them with God, whether we’re married or single.
Question #7: What do our friends and family think?
This is probably the most important question to ask. My dad likes to say that what other people think about your boyfriend’s character is more important than what he thinks of himself. I would agree. What do unbiased parties think of your boyfriend?
Just as important is what your friends and family think of your relationship. Do they think you work well together as a couple? My husband says that when you’re the one in a bad relationship, you’re also the last one to know. Friends and family can see things about the relationship that we gloss over, and can offer wise advice. Down the road, you’ll be so thankful for their advice.
In closing: You don’t have to be perfect to get married.
Recently someone asked me, “Do I have to be perfect before getting married?” Many of us think that once we’ve worked through all our character flaws, and when the timing is perfect, then we can finally move forward with a relationship.
But let’s be honest—if we wait until we’re perfect, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives!
The beautiful thing about marriage is that God uses it to bring to light character flaws we never even knew we had. He uses it to make us into the people He wants us to be. But that can be a painful process. It’s not always fun to have your character flaws chipped away at every single day by someone you’re sharing life with!
The purpose of these seven questions is not to make sure you’re perfect enough to get married. It’s to help you find out if you’re ready and willing to go through the painful process of sanctification every single day of your life with the same person—with THIS person—the person you love dearly, but who will annoy you to no end some days and hurt you on other days, and whom you’ll have to forgive and choose to love over and over again. It will be beautiful, but it will also be hard sometimes.
So, what do you think?
Now it’s your turn: What do you think of these questions? Are there others you would add to the list? Comment below!