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8 Signs You Might Not Be Ready to Get Married

8 Signs You Might Not Be Ready to Get Married

How I was holding myself back from getting married.


If you’re serious about getting married and find that your dating experiences aren’t taking you to Chuppahland, perhaps it’s a good idea to pause, reflect, and correct course as needed. I dated a very long time before I finally met my bashert. Looking back, (hindsight is always 20/20) I can see that I wasn’t ready to receive the gift of my wife for a combination of the following reasons (see if any of these apply to you):

1. I had several different jobs over the years and couldn’t find a career that was a “right fit”

I was never settled in my career. Once I found a stable job that I excelled at, I was settled enough to focus seriously on getting married. Besides, most women are not attracted to job instability and they can easily sniff it out.

2. My career was the most important thing to me.

It’s hard to get married when you’re married to your job. Your career is important, but it’s not everything. You need to have time and energy for dating.

3. I kept attracting the same type of person.

I was naturally attracted to the wrong kind of person. I wasn’t attracted to bad people, but people to whom I could not feel true happiness or satisfaction with. I had to examine my thought process that was leading me to this type of person and do some serious rewiring (see next point).

4. My parents’ unhappy marriage was affecting me.

I was attracted to the wrong type of person because of things I saw in my parents’ marriage that were not so good. Many older singles that I know come from homes where they witnessed things that don’t lead to marital bliss. I worked through a lot of stuff in this area to be ready to get married.

5. I didn’t want a “shadchan” or “middle person” involved. I wanted to “go it alone.”

A good friend of mine recently got engaged and from the very beginning of his relationship, he got a trusted rabbi involved. He probably would not have gotten engaged had it not been for the help of this rabbi. The same was true for me. I saw that my own decisions in dating were leading me nowhere, and I relented and let myself be guided by a rabbi from my shul who eventually set me up with my wife. God bless him.

6. I was too busy doing other things to arrange dates.

Life can be very busy for most of us, but setting time aside for dates and phone calls is crucial. You can’t get married without doing this. Dating is priority; schedule it in.

7. I was in the middle of a major life transition.

This is usually beyond your control. In my case, I lost both of my parents when I was 23 years old. I tried dating for a few years after this happened. It wasn’t a good idea. Sometimes life events are so big that they need your undivided attention until they are processed. Don’t avoid going through this process; it will save you heartache and trouble down the road.

8. Was I prepared to commit and pop the question?

Some people enjoy the safety and comfort of being in a relationship without completely giving themselves to it. They don’t mind taking their time (I’m talking a year) and waiting around because deep down there is a fear of taking it to the next level – engagement and marriage. Dating for marriage means you have clarity that you do want to get married. If you’re not sure, sort out the obstacles that are holding you back.

It was hard and downright scary to admit that I might be holding myself back from getting married. Thankfully, I got the help and support I needed to find my bashert. You are not alone. There are many people out there who have the skills and desire to help you resolve whatever obstacles you may have in getting married. Getting the help you need is worth it.

May 2, 2015

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Visitor Comments: 15

(11) JP, June 1, 2015 5:52 PM

Its interesting how the first thing posted "was to establish oneself." I've been dating for a while now, as i approach my 32nd birthday and have seen women openly or not, share that they want to marry a man with a career/job/status,(usually doctor, lawyer, accountant etc) essentially a form of security. I mean, I guess I'm guilty of wanting an attractive wife. However, I think this is a modern day phenomenon, especially in the U.S. I believe, its important to focus on other things in a relationship, especially, with so many women not married, and the numbers are bound to rise because of a woman's independence, i.e. earning money and living alone. (Don't get me wrong I appreciate a woman who is educated and working) I just believe, since money comes and goes. Its important to focus on character and work on building something together. I mean isn't that what my grandparents, (after a war and had nothing) and parents did. Of course in a perfect scenario you want some guy who has worked in a steady job for the last ten years but its life and in life there are no guarantees. So my advice is to date and be confident in finding the right woman or man, I believe the right one is out there regardless of your financial situation.

(10) Ayalah Haas, May 27, 2015 5:11 AM

Being Straightforward

Thank you for bravely writing such an honest and intelligent article. It is an excellent companion piece to the one you wrote for in 2013. Wishing much happiness to you and your family!

(9) Anonymous, May 26, 2015 12:28 PM

How does one know when he/she is ready to start dating?

I really liked that you posted this article on Aish. It is a topic that almost everyone has a question with. Can you please give concrete specific examples of how a person knows that they are ready to start the dating field even if they are of the age too. Thank you!!

(8) Rachel, May 10, 2015 12:59 PM

At this rate he'll never be married

Here in Israel lots of people get married before they are established in their careers. My husband was cleaning a shul when I met him. He now has a degree and an excellent highly paid job in a bank.

L.S., May 12, 2015 8:11 AM

It depends...

If you met your husband when he was 20 and he was cleaning a shul, that's one thing. It's another thing entirely if a man is 30 and still has no job prospects. I cringe when I meet men who are 35 and have yet to demonstrate any job stability and sorry to say, it is a character flaw. Why can't a 35 year old have a career or at least a decent job? Red flag, no?

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