It's takes more than being madly in love with a man or woman to be ready to tie the knot. Rather, "you have to be ready for marriage in general before you can be ready to marry a particular person," says Lesli Doares, marriage coach and author of Blueprint For A Lasting Marriage.
How does one know if he or she is ready for marriage? Our experts say these are the signs to look out for when you're ready to take the leap.
__You're happy with yourself — with or without your partner. __
Says Doares, "It sounds trite, but if you don't have a good relationship with yourself it will be hard to have a successful marriage." Why? Because, as Doares says, "being married is about joining two lives together, not giving up one. Being content in your own skin means you won't be looking to your partner to fill the voids in your life."
You don't ask if there's someone better for you.
According to Toni Coleman, psychotherapist and relationship coach, you're not ready for marriage if you still wonder whether your true soulmate is still out there. "If your feel torn, confused or concerned about the decision you have made to marry, you are not ready," she says. "If you look around you ate others' relationships with a feeling of envy, wishing you had that, then you are not ready. But if you feel certain of this person and who you are together, then you are ready for marriage."
You've got more than love on your side.
Ask yourself what holds your relationship together. If your answer is all about love, you may need to dig deeper before you head toward a big day. "Marriage is the most challenging relationship that exists," Doares says. "While love is necessary, it won't be sufficient to make your marriage successful. Marriage is about you and what you want for your life."
You're emotionally and financially stable.
Money matters when it comes to marriage. It's one of the top reasons couple's report bickering with their partners. Being in a healthy financial state, then, starts your marriage on the right foot. "If your finances are in disarray, or you carry a heavy debt, you need to at least address this before marriage as it will become a major issue and impact your life together," Coleman says.
You've learned from previous relationships.
According to Doares, "being able to stay in love requires you to be able to set boundaries that honor who you are." And often, she says, we learn to set those boundaries in other relationships. "Getting married before you have this clarity makes it more difficult for it to succeed," Doares says.