When your significant other presents you with a blinding, four-carat emerald-cut engagement ring and asks that critical question, it can be incredibly simple to lose sight of exactly what the proposal signifies in the excitement of the moment. But how will you know when you're ready to take the plunge and make an everlasting promise to your hubby? Four top relationship therapists offer their expertise on the signs you're ready to say "I do" to getting married.
1. You accept imperfection
New York City therapist Jean Fitzpatrick stresses that marriage requires a couple to accept one another's weakness and imperfections. "You're ready for marriage if you can accept that sometimes your partner is incredibly annoying and that doesn't mean he's not The One," Fitzpatrick explains. "It takes years to turn a guy into The One, years of growing to understand how to talk about tough subjects without blowing up or giving up."
2. You take "for better or worse" seriously
You relationship will have speed bumps — and you have to understand that. "Certain periods in a couple's life — like having kids — are especially stressful on a relationship. Partners who make it a point to spend time together, to be kind to each other, and to say thank you for everyday chores can make it through those tough times stronger than ever," Fitzpatrick maintains.
3. You know your future spouse better than anyone else
Whether it occurs over five years or five months, a profound knowledge of your hubby-to-be is integral to taking the next step in your relationship. New York City-based therapist Irina Firstein encourages couples to foster their familiarity before jumping into marriage, insisting, "[It Is] really important to know your future spouse for some time, like their family of origin, discuss and agree of finances, kids, etc."
4. You and your partner are supportive of each other
Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph. D and author of Make Up, Don't Break Up asserts that couples who pay each other compliments, maintain mutual support, and avoid unnecessary criticism are bound to go the distance in their marriages. "Work on that now," Weil states.
5. You fight fair
"Most couples don't know how to fight fair, with respect. Respect always breeds love," Weil reminds couples.