You aren’t sure if he’s the one to marry or not, but you need to make that decision quickly, what do you do?
You’ve been with this guy for some time, and you’re wondering if he’s the one you should spend the rest of your life with.
Yet you aren’t quite sure because he’s not exactly the kind of person you envisioned marrying. But here you are with him, dating, considering a future together.
Photo: Life is a box of biscuits. Check the ingredients so you know what you’re getting
It’s scary I know, having to decide how much further to take the relationship, how long it’ll last for and whether you’ll regret the decision to say yes or let go.
Either way, here are some things to consider when making that choice to marry him or not.
(Note: I’m not a certified marriage consultant or psychologist. I wrote this is based on personal experience figuring out if the guys I dated were marriage-material for me.)
1. Who takes the initiative in the relationship?
If it’s always you taking the lead, think again.
You may feel dissatisfied with his lack of initiative later on in the marriage and think of him as a loser husband leeching off your energy, unless you crave complete domination.
2. Do you feel safe and secure with him?
This is assuming that either of you or both are not cheating on each other or trying to kill each other.
Does he look after your safety, your health and happiness?
If your guy doesn’t keep an eye out for you, it means you aren’t that important to him, so why bother?
3. Does he get along with your family? Do you get along with his?
This is a really tricky part, especially if you want to have kids.
If either of you cannot get along with the in-laws, consider the trade-off that you won’t have family support if you have kids, and even have to deal with nasty situations during festive seasons, birthdays and funerals.
4. Is he self-sufficient?
It’s not about how much money he has, it’s about whether he can earn his own keep without leeching off your income.
It’s OK if he earns less, as long as he makes the effort to earn and spend wisely.
If you have kids and he takes care of the household, that’s fine too (if you can accept this househusband arrangement) because he is contributing to the running of the home and child-rearing, not bumming his ass off doing nothing.
5. Does he make you feel special, or make you feel like a slave?
In a balanced relationship, there shouldn’t be a situation where one feels superior to the other.
You should both be equals, looking forward to the future, interdependent on each other’s strengths and finding solace and comfort during times of weakness.
He shouldn’t be a parasite on you, or make you feel stupid and undeserving, that no one else will love you or marry you, that you owe him your life for his generosity of accepting you as a girlfriend, and hold you hostage to his whims.
Source: Recognising emotional abuse
This is emotional abuse and if a guy uses this shit on you, get out of the relationship.
6. Do you look forward to seeing him, or parting from him?
It sounds strange, but you could be in a relationship where you actually feel more relieved saying goodbye to him than meeting him again.
So why not part forever so a better person can enter your life?
7. If you were to breakup for a few months, would you feel truly free, or devastatingly miserable?
Sometimes you need to give yourself a breather to know if you really love someone, and cannot last without him in your life.
If you feel freer and happier without him, great on you.
If you realise that you must have him back and you will fight tooth and nail with another competitor for him, chase him back with no regrets.
8. Do you care if he dates another girl?
If you don’t, who cares? If that’s your worst nightmare, then you know how much you really want him to yourself.
9. Does he have plans for life after marriage?
It sounds calculative, but at the very least find out if his plans fit yours, like kids, upbringing, career, retirement, living arrangements etc.
At least when you both marry, you go in with eyes wide open. It’s easier and cheaper to break up before marriage and kids happen.
10. Are you getting married to save your relationship?
If your relationship is rocky, and you think getting married with save it, think again.
If you are in an unhappy marriage, and you think having kids will save it, think harder.
In both situations, marriage and kids actually puts additional stress on a relationship, not glue it together.
Be prepared for tougher days after marriage.
11. Are you with him because, well, he’s already there in your life and you just want to quickly procreate before your eggs expire?
Well it is your choice if you just need a sperm donor, but if you can choose the quality in advance, I recommend you make informed choices.
Photo: choose your nest partner wisely
The father is responsible for half the genes and half the upbringing. If your marriage doesn’t work out eventually, are you prepared to take care of your child(ren) if he pontengs?
12. Does your heart feel light or heavy when you’re with him?
A relationship with your future husband should feel full of promise, excitement, dreams and companionship.
If you sense darkness and sianz days ahead, stop the automatic motion towards marriage and reassess him.
13. Does he abuse you physically or mentally?
If your answer is yes to either, say no to bad boyfriends who will make shitty husbands.
Marriage is a celebration, not a prison.
14. Does he respect your choices or make you feel stupid for being different?
Is he ok with you having a different religion / no religion at all, personality type, preferences or life goals?
Marriage is about respect, not compliance to a single person’s choice.
Photo: life is boring without colours
15. Do you have to pretend you’re someone different than your true self around him?
If you aren’t comfortable in your own skin with your boyfriend, how long can you keep up the pretense for?
But if you’re really able to express yourself truly around him and feel comfortable with him even in your ugliest, horriblest days, then you know there’s a good chance he’ll be there for you in future too.
Photo: will he still love you if you show him who you really are?
If at the end of all these, you think he is the one, I wish you all the best in your journey with your chosen one.
Love is an integral part of marriage, but it is hard to stay in love if your circumstances (differences, inability to evolve as your marriage goes along) will create a wedge in your relationship with him.
So if you are going to choose a person to go through all that effort to marry, do give yourself the best fighting chance for your happiness.
Also published on Medium.