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.