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Ten Signs You’re Ready for Marriage

Ten Signs You’re Ready for Marriage

It has far less to do with age than it does with being emotionally ready for a lifelong commitment.


When I was in college one of my friends insisted that no one can possibly be ready for marriage before age 30. Ironically, this friend ended up getting married a year after I did at age 23. Being ready for marriage has actually far less to do with age than it does with knowing the signs that we are emotionally ready for a lifelong commitment. Here are ten signs that you are ready for marriage.

  1. You know why you want to be married. There are many external factors that can pressure singles to want to get married like parental pressure or watching many of their friends pair off and settle down. But before you commit, you should know why you want to get married and discuss your vision of marriage with your partner to make sure you are on the same page.

  2. You are aware of and accept the flaws of the person you are dating. It’s crucial for us to see and understand our partner’s weaknesses as well as his or her strengths. Make sure you can live with those imperfections instead of white washing over them or rationalizing that they will somehow disappear after the wedding. Most importantly, make sure you have no intention to change your partner.

  3. You’re focused on the marriage you want to create together, not the wedding. We all have a vision of what our weddings should look like and who should be there. But as special as a wedding is, becoming lost in the details of planning it may sometimes indicate that we want a wedding more than we actually want to be married. Focus on planning the marriage more than the wedding.

  4. Your relationship has depth. You and the person you are dating often have serious conversations about your values and determine that you share compatible life goals.

  5. You can’t imagine life without your partner. He is the first person you want to share good news with. She is the one you want to call right away when your boss criticizes your work. When you’re not with your partner, your life feels strange and incomplete. You can’t imagine a future without him in it.

  6. You are focused on your partner’s character. Life is inherently unpredictable. A wealthy partner may lose all of his wealth. An attractive partner may gain weight. A dream of having two perfect children and a golden retriever may not come true or may change. You are ready to get married when you are truly committed in richness and in poverty, in sickness and in health, in peaceful times and in stressful times. You can envision sticking by your partner no matter what life brings.

  7. You understand that love requires a lot of hard work. You are at the point when dating for fun is no longer fun, and you realize that real love requires consistent effort and grows from what you put into it.

  8. You know how to put your needs aside sometimes. You and your partner can resolve conflicts together and each of you know how to sometimes put aside your own needs in order to help each other. You are ready to take yourself out of the spotlight of your life and make room for another person’s feelings and needs.

  9. You have learned the basics of emotional regulation. You have enough self-awareness to understand your own strengths and weaknesses and how to cope with them in your life. You know how to calm yourself down, how to accept other people’s bad moods without personalizing them and how to be responsible for your own moods.

  10. You have so much more you want to give. You have a life that you are happy with, but you have so much more that you want to give. Being single feels like you are missing the opportunity to express a crucial part of who you are. You feel like you want to build and create something that goes far beyond anything that you can create on your own.

What additional signs would you add to the list? Let us know in the comment section below.

July 22, 2017

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 5

(5) Billy, July 27, 2017 1:36 PM

Marriage Eligibility

Maybe you have to mention something about finances.

(4) Shoni, July 25, 2017 4:15 PM

Comment on #5

Thank you for this article, I think there is a lot of truth in your points. I just wanted to comment on #5. I could be wrong but I feel that the language used is a little strong and could be unrealistic for some people. To say that your life feels incomplete without this person, especially in frum circles when you can be planning to get engaged after dating for 2 months, sounds extreme to me. I think you can envision your life being more complete with your partner but I don't think it is necessary to feel that you need your partner so much when you haven't known them very long and your emotional connection is only just beginning. I think the point is that you feel a sense of completion with your partner, but I'm afraid it could sound somewhat dramatic from the language used in the article.

(3) Rachel, July 23, 2017 7:50 PM

Love is a commitment, not a feeling

Just as we take care of our children despite tantrums, just as we deal kindly with older parents, we need to remember that no matter how annoying our spouse may be on occasion, that's not the sum total of who they are. I love no. 6, which paraphrases the traditional wedding vow taken by Christian couples. My husband and I will celebrate our 35 Th anniversary soon.

(2) Miriam, July 23, 2017 6:50 PM

Many great points

As for the previous comment regarding causing more harm than good, it does not necessarily need to be that way. Thinking young adults who are already married and reading this article, but have not yet achieved the goals stated in the article, can certainly work towards them. All hope is not lost if the couple strives to have a good marriage.

Thank you Mrs. Gutfreund for this article. I can think of several failed marriages where the couple was missing more than one of the aforementioned levels of maturity. I call them levels of maturity, because I believe that at the end of the day, that is the foundation of how to achieve each one. Too many couples are focused on getting married (the wedding, the social status), not staying married; marry for selfish reasons, rather than a strong desire to give; hold on to a preconceived idea of what their spouse should be like, rather than adapting as they or their spouse change over time, which is inevitable. People don't attain this level of maturity by chance. It requires hard work, deep thought, and taking control of life rather than letting it happen.

As mentioned earlier, even if the marriage was not started with this maturity, the marriage is not doomed to fail. Thinking young adults can develop their emotional intelligence, and have successful marriages.

(1) richie cohen, July 23, 2017 3:30 PM

being realistic

I think most young couples reading this would react anxiously as your heading should not read about being ready for marriage rather ideals and goals to strive for in marraige.
Things are not so black and white and 99% of established married couples have not achieved what you are writing. You may be creating more harm than good.

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