Being married is an amazingly beautiful experience. Especially when your spouse is asleep or away for a few hours. *Happy dance*. Or when he surprises you with thoughtful gifts, cleans the house without being told, or whips out the massage oil because he knows you’ve had a particularly stressful day. There is of course the other side of the coin; the stuff that makes you cuss, cringe and sometimes even cry. It is those moments when all you’re doing is butting heads (when you’d much rather be bumping hips), that truly test the mettle of your marriage. When picturing him (or her – sorry husbands) naked doesn’t generate enough heat to evaporate your tears and turn your frown upside down, it’s the deep-seated stuff that keep things together. And if those things are missing in your current relationship, perhaps you should take a moment before you start naming your unborn babies.
Don’t get married if…
- You’ve Never Been Your True Self Around Your Partner
Are you constantly sucking in your stomach, touching up your makeup, or worst of all holding in your belches and farts? On a deeper level, has your partner ever seen you for who you really are? Does s/he embrace and accept your weaknesses? Are you too worried your SO’s opinion of you might change if he knew you prefer to eat everything from a bowl with a spoon? I showed my husband my warts pretty early to avoid wasting my time and his. So be who you are. The person who truly loves you won’t mind too much.
- You’re Unapologetically Selfish
In an earlier post, I documented how my stuff is no longer mine since marriage. This was quite a culture shock, having lived alone for so many years. Can’t stand the thought of someone picking food off your plate or constantly asking if you’re gonna finish whatever it is you’re eating? Does the thought of someone being in your space ALL THE TIME, lying on your side of the bed, moving things from where you carefully put them, drinking the last of the OJ and hogging the TV sound like a small price to pay for all the benefits you get, or does it make you want to renew your commitment to singledom? My guess is if you’re not ready to share your food, perhaps you’re not quite ready to share a lifetime commitment.
- Your ‘Ticking Clock’ Sounds Like Wedding Bells
I know how it can get – all your girlfriends (even the unattractive ones) have walked down the aisle, those gray strands are now appearing fast and furious (and not just in one area), your bridesmaid dress collection has its own closet and you can actually hear the slow, unmistakable hiss of your eggs frying to a crisp inside you. Time is of the essence! Before you grab the first man you can think of to preserve the bloodline, consider the possibility of raising a child in the middle of a tumultuous marriage, or without a second parent. Perhaps not the position you want to be in, huh? Besides, babies are being born to uhm…more mature women these days, anyway, so turn down the volume of that clock.
- You’re Too Different
I know – opposites attract. And there’s definitely something refreshing and exciting about being romantically involved with someone who walks a different path and marches to the beat of a different drum. However, while opposites attract, it’s the sameness that will keep two people together over the long term. Being aligned in your goals and beliefs should mean you are working together to achieve the same outcomes. As a Christian woman, this was especially true for me when I dated men who didn’t have the same kind of relationship with God. For instance, while I was burning with desire to go to worship service on a Sunday morning, my partner was burning with anticipation of an EPL derby match. And while I love football, God’s time isn’t mine to negotiate with, so we were never in worship together. In my book, being alike trumps being opposites. Just think about the people you get along the best with. Chances are you guys have more in common than not.
- You’re Not Sure He’s the One
Need I say more? Check out my article How I Knew My Husband Was My ‘It’ for tips to identify the right one for you.
- You’re Just Not Ready
You will only know what marriage is about by being married. No amount of article reading, old wives’ tales, friendly advice or Hallmark movies can compare to the actual experience. While they can certainly provide you with info, they won’t do much in the way of getting you ready to take the plunge.
Not clear about your degree of readiness? Well if date night for you involves looking at old pictures of your ex and reading (aloud in his voice) text messages between the two of you while intermittently sobbing and wiping your face with his old T-shirt which you just happen to be wearing, you’re not even ready for dating yet, sister!
The thing is, being successful at being single is one of the best ways to get ready for marriage. Fixing your brokenness, getting to know who you are and truly being empowered as a single person can only augur well for you on your way to being Mrs. So and So.
Did you agree with my tips? What would you add or remove? Let me know in the comments below.