Women tend to think about marriage a lot—and rightfully so. Getting married is one of the biggest decisions a man and a woman can make.
Weddings are a HUGE part of our culture. In fact, last year Mashable released a study that found “70% [of brides] were already pinning on Pinterest before getting engaged.”
It’s clear that our society puts a huge emphasis into planning the perfect day, but how often do we think about what will make our marriage successful once the guests go home?
While finding your dream dress is great, it’s very important to take some time to ask yourself if you’re mentally and spiritually prepared to walk down the aisle wearing it.
Here are seven signs you might not be ready for marriage (at least not yet):
1. You haven’t surrounded yourself with a network of believers. Having a community of God-seeking friends and mentors can set your marriage up for success from the beginning. It’s important to have trusted Christian advisors who can walk through your relationship with you. Marriages are strongest when they are helped by support from members of a like-minded community.
2. You haven’t resolved feelings or baggage from past relationships. Chances are one or both of you were in a relationship that left you with some battle wounds. If you haven’t talked through those together, you might not be ready to head down the aisle. Dealing with past unsuccessful relationships can help you discover what is important to you in a lifelong marriage.
3. You haven’t seen each other at your worst. When you are married, it’s very hard to hide your dark side from your spouse. All the bad habits and selfish tendencies will inevitably rear their heads at some point. If you haven’t seen each other’s weaknesses or really experienced how you handle a tough disagreement, you probably aren’t ready for a lifetime commitment.
4. You haven’t learned the value of honest communication. To have a strong, healthy marriage, you both have to be willing to talk openly and honestly about everything. If you feel yourself holding back your feelings and emotions during discussions, your relationship might need more time to grow and mature. Good communication takes time, but if you haven’t started building the foundation yet, your wedding might need to take a backseat until you do.
5. You haven’t discussed finances. What kind of debt would you be bringing into a marriage? What kind of spender are you? These are questions that should be discussed before your finances are joined. Discussing what is important to you both monetarily before marriage will help you understand each other better and avoid unnecessary surprises.
6. You haven’t seen each other as part of the family. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and maybe you don’t even have a great relationship with yours. It’s important to know your spouse is willing to make an effort to love your family even when it isn’t easy.
7. You are feeling pressured. Never choose marriage because of an outside force. Perhaps it makes more economic sense to move in together than it does to live apart. Maybe you’ve been together for so long that your family members are starting to drop not-so-subtle hints about how you would make a lovely June bride. None of these are good enough reasons to get married unless you are ready.