If you're emotionally and mentally ready to tie the knot, you might simply assume your partner is too. "Most people really don't think about being ready," warns Lesli Doares, marriage coach and author of Blueprint For a Lasting Marriage. And that means, she says, that your partner could just be going through the motions with you. So before you take that next step, our expert says, here's how to see for yourself if your partner is as ready as you are.
1. He is available to you.
If your partner is ready for marriage, he will be there for you consistently, Doares says. What does that look like? "He will answer your calls and texts without undue delay," Doares describes. "He will offer to include you in most of his hobbies and activities. And he may still keep some things for himself, like the guys' annual golf trip, but to the world, you are an established couple."
2. He's got no doubts.
A man who's ready for marriage hasn't shown any doubts when it comes to you, says Toni Coleman. "During the course of a relationship, one or both partners may pull back, express doubts, or send messages that they feel things are moving too fast for them," says Coleman. "If he has done this, especially more than once, that is a red flag." A man who is ready, on the other hand, "has shown no hesitation that you are the one for him," she says.
3. He's got plans, and he isn't afraid to share them.
Doares says that a man who makes plans with you for the future and wants to share those plans with his family and friends is likely ready for marriage. "Being identified as his future partner is stating your role in his life to others who are important to him," she explains. "And making his intentions public is a declaration of his commitment to you." On the flip side, "if his life plans don't actively include you, he isn't thinking of marriage," Doares warns. "If he wants to be married to you, then he will talk about it openly and without hesitation."
4. He's been consistent in his commitment.
A man who's ready for marriage isn't wishy-washy in his commitment to you, says Coleman. She describes a scenario in which a man professes his love for his you only to later raise concerns about marriage itself. "If eventually you wear him down and say you need the commitment in order to stay together, he may be agreeing just to keep you in his life," she warns. "This is a guy who is not ready for marriage due to unresolved issues he should address first."
5. He's an open and honest communicator.
You want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from a man who's ready to tie the knot, says Doares. "While it is okay to keep some thoughts private, the important stuff is on the table," she describes. "You know what is important to him and how he is feeling about you and the relationship at any given time. No topic is off limits and you know that your input is valued and desired."
6. He treats you with respect.
Whether you're home alone or out with friends, a man who's ready for marriage shows he loves and respects you. "His affection is always evident and he makes you a priority, even when out you're out with friends, family, or coworkers," says Coleman. "Men who behave one way when you are alone together and another when others are present are not ready for long-term commitment and marriage."
7. He makes you feel safe, supported and loved.
With a man who's ready to tie the knot, "you can be yourself at all times," says Doares. "There is respect and kindness in his words and actions. You don't feel belittled or less than even if he isn't happy with you. He stands with you and has your back when you are struggling. Your priorities become important to him."