How To Know If You’re Ready For Marriage

28 Sep

Disclaimer: I am not married.

Eventually, I want nothing more than to get married, buy a nice home in a good community, and start a family.

But I’m not ready. Not yet.

Are you?

How can anyone possibly figure out if they are ready for marriage? Can you imagine being with your current partner for the rest of your life? Are you ready for real commitment?

Marriage, for me, is something sacred. When you stand in front of your friends, family, God, and each other and make that promise, I just think it means something. Marriage isn’t “this thing you try”. That’s what dating and relationships are for. I may come from the old school on this, but I just cannot agree with divorce. There is no clause spoken when you take your vowels.

I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded(husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part; unless you encounter difficulties which are insurmountable. Then you can get a divorce and forget that for better or worse crap.

Something doesn’t look right with that quote.

If you agree with me, and would like to have a happy, lifelong relationship,  keep reading. If however, you think divorce is fine under the clause of irreconcilable differences, press the back button on your browser now. “Irreconcilable Differences” is law’s way of saying “you’re not getting along, and you don’t feel like trying to get along”, and I don’t agree with that.

I can understand divorce in one situation- infidelity. Unlike the so called relationship coaches out there, I will not give you advice on how to heal after someone cheats. You will never see an article on this site concerning forgiving and moving on with your cheating partner. I’ll save my reasons for a future post.

Anyways, let’s get on with it…

One of my favorite movies is Jerry Maguire. In it, Tom Cruise plays a sports agent that develops a conscience, gets married to Renee Zellweger, and shows Cuba Gooding Jr. the money (that’s the short version). Near the end of the movie, Renee and Tom’s marriage seems to be coming to an end. That is, until Mr. Cruise busts in her sister’s house during a feminist meeting and say’s this single, beautiful, heartfelt line.

“You complete me.”

That’s one heck of a line Cameron Crowe. It’s just too bad that it will never work like that in the struggles of a real relationship or marriage.

Here is the problem with “you complete me”:

If you’re looking for someone that can complete you, you’re not ready for marriage.

Everyday I hear of men and women looking for “the missing piece”. What they don’t understand, is that you can never be completed by another person . Not a single person that’s ever existed or will exist can fill a hole in you. Not a single thing can ever give you that feeling of being whole. If you’re entering into a relationship or marriage with the hope that your spouse will somehow make you happy, you may as well go ahead and sign the divorce papers.

The funny thing is, the only one who can complete you, is you.

Being complete doesn’t mean you don’t want anything better for yourself. It means you do not need anything better for yourself. You are happy with you. You wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and you’re glad you are looking back at yourself. That is being complete.

How do you become complete and happy with yourself? Simple. There is one way I’ve found, and only one. You accomplish your goals. For some reason, when you accomplish something you’ve worked towards, you change. You’re perception of yourself improves just a little bit. This goes for every goal you accomplish, from mowing your lawn, all the way up to obtaining your post-grad degree.

Obviously, the difficulty of the goal you accomplish affects how much your self-image improves. But regardless, accomplishing things you’ve set your mind to makes you a better person.

So you go through life, completing goals one day at a time, and finally it happens…

You realize, you are perfectly happy with who you are, what you’ve done, and what you’re going to do.

You become complete.

When you get to this point, marriage stops being something you need, and starts becoming something you want. When you don’t need to get married, you won’t settle for the first man that comes along that doesn’t completely suck. This way of thinking gives you the freedom to be more selective, until finally you find that one guy that just completely blows you away. You want him in your life, forever.

A short analogy:

Who is more likely to get an awesome car?

A. The person who needs a car so he can make it to work.

B. The person who has a car, but really wants a Ferrari.

Answer: B.

I am not complete. I’m working on it everyday though. That’s part of the reason I started this blog. I love helping people, and everyday when I see the views on this site go up, I know I’m reaching more people. It is my goal to improve relations between men and women, and I won’t feel like I’ve accomplished that goal until I see less cheating, less abuse, and less divorce in the world.

When I see you ladies marrying because you want to, and not because you need to, I’ll have accomplished a good thing.

When I’m older, and I see an older couple holding hands, just as in love as when they first said “I do”, I’ll smile and think, “maybe I helped cause that”.

Discuss below! I want to hear your opinions on marriage, and your ideas on how we can make marriages better.


3 Responses to “How To Know If You’re Ready For Marriage”

  1. Jay October 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    I like where this article is going, and I agree with the advice that one shouldn’t get married for the other person to complete them. It is an impossible standard to have to complete someone else other than you, because people’s wishes/desires/emotions/values are never going to be the same as mine and thus I can never complete another individual. You shouldn’t wait on someone to “take care of you.” But my question is, is self-completion all that is necessary to answer “am i ready for marriage?” It seems to be what you are saying. But you don’t consider that perhaps a completed person may actually like having multiple partners, or perhaps they are distrustful of the sex of people they’d want to marry, or some other thing that prevents marriage from being a viable option for them. In my view, it takes more than an attitude of “I’m not waiting/expecting for my future spouse to complete me, I will complete myself first” to answer the question “Is marriage for me.” For me, a long term relationship like marriage requires proactivity, shared values, a sense of direction/future looking, conflict-management, romance-ability, intellect, a go-getter attitude, and much more. And I’ll be honest, after having getting good with women/girls and seeing what goes on in the dating game, marriage, for me, requires a special type of partner who is a cut above the rest, not perfect but damn close. These are my thoughts.

    • Chris October 16, 2012 at 8:41 am #

      I agree with you in the regard that just because you are a self-completed person does not mean you have to get married.

      Marriage isn’t for everyone, that’s understandable. This isn’t so much an article for the people that are still trying to decide if marriage is for them, but rather for the people that see themselves getting married in the future, and question what the right time is.

      I also think you gave a good list of values that you require for a long term relationship. The message I’m trying to get across is this:

      If you are looking for all of those values before you get married, then don’t settle for less. People that are not happy with themselves on the level I spoke of tend to settle for less than their standards.

      You seem to be pretty content with yourself though, so I would say that if marriage interests you, you’re probably ready to settle down, as long as who you are settling down with lives up to what you want.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Son Weiglein May 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    Divorce causes major issues with health insurance benefits. Many families have employer provided and/or paid for health insurance benefits that cover the entire family. It is not uncommon to see situations where the other spouse is a stay at home parent, with absolutely no access to health insurance benefits, or employed at a job with either no health insurance benefits available or those benefits available at a substantial cost. After a divorce, the spouse with the family health insurance coverage can no longer cover the other parent. They are no longer “family” members who can take advantage of one health insurance policy. How to then ensure that everyone stays insured does become an issue for negotiation and/or divorce litigation.:`

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