My husband and I went from first date to married in just eight weeks. Deciding to get married took just five. That’s not to say that getting married isn’t a huge, life-altering decision — it absolutely is, and it takes a lot of introspection to know whether or not your partner is the person you want to spend your life with. It’s a big decision! Nevertheless, noticing the below signs you’re going to marry your boyfriend someday is a great first step in deciding whether or not your partner is someone you can see yourself marrying.
A lot of reflection goes into deciding to get married. Shared values, a shared vision for the future, trust, and of course, love, are all important factors to consider. But another valuable factor that plays into deciding to get married is time. “If people want a long-term relationship or marriage (and don’t want a divorce), it takes time to get to know someone,” Anita Chlipala, LMFT, founder of Chicago-based relationship therapy firm Relationship Reality 312, tells Elite Daily. “Too many people focus on the initial spark and chemistry and use this to make a decision about long-term compatibility. If you’re with someone for decades – decades! – how can you make a decision within a few hours of getting to know someone?”
Ultimately, only you and your partner know when you’re truly ready to get married, and you shouldn’t let norms or anyone else’s timeline stop you from doing what you think is right. But if you’re in a great relationship, and you’re feeling like it’s time to take it one step further, consider these signs you might be ready to do just that. (Or will be, one day!)
1. You’re Able To Manage Your Differences
The saying “opposites attract” might be true for some people, but even those opposites need to find a compromise if they want to make their relationship work. If you and your partner are two totally different people — whether it be because you have opposing political or religious views, different upbringings, or different perspectives on life — managing those differences is important. “Differences are inevitable in a relationship, and I frequently see couples tear their relationship apart by doing things such as wanting their partner to change, by conveying to their partner that they are wrong, and criticizing and even being condescending toward their partner about their differences,” says Chlipala. “If you find that you can work through these differences with respect and find win-win compromises, that’s a healthy sign.”
2. You Can Argue Productively & Really Forgive.
Even the most compatible couples argue. In fact, you’d probably be hard-pressed to find a couple who has never had a single argument in their entire relationship. But the reason couples are able to move past fights is because they’re able to talk about them and put them behind them. “ Having similar ways of resolving conflict just makes communication so much easier,” says Chlipala. “And although people can be a blend, they usually prefer talking things out, being passionate and comfortable expressing intense emotions, or not addressing problems at all. A mismatch might lead to relationship instability and feelings of disconnection or dissatisfaction, and for one or both partners to escalate or shut down.” This is, of course, something you want to avoid. Make sure you talk about how you each prefer to resolve conflict, so that you can apply those methods of communication when you do argue.
Chlipala stresses that conflict is healthy if managed well. In fact, “It’s a good sign if you find that you can work through arguments without escalating into fight-or-flight,” she says. That is, the behaviors that often predict divorce, which according to Chlipala are “criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.” If you’re able to manage your arguments in a way that feels healthy, you’re on the right track. “Using and accepting repair attempts is key,” she says. “A repair attempt is any action or statement that helps de-escalate a situation. Repair attempts help stop tension and negativity from escalating. It can be as simple as ‘Let’s take a break’ to ‘I’m starting to see your point.’”
3. You & Your Partner Are On The Same Page About Your Future.
It’s so important that you and your partner have a shared vision for what you want your future to look like. If you have different goals or dream life scenarios in mind, you will either have to find a compromise, or figure out if you can live with a future that isn’t what you wanted. “Otherwise, one or both of you will have to postpone or altogether give up your dream(s),” says Chlipala. “You should be aligned with important issues like having children, starting a business or embarking on a new career, or living an adventurous lifestyle that includes moving every few years.”
Additionally, it’s important that you don’t try to change your partner’s mind if they are firm in their desires. “People waste so much time on the wrong person because they think they can get their partner to change their mind,” says Chlipala. “You should believe [them] if they say things to you such as, ‘I never want to get married,’ or, ‘I don’t want to have kids,’ or, ‘I never plan on moving out of state.’”
4. You’re Past The Stage Of Infatuation, & Still Feel Loved & Cherished
The beginning stages of a relationship are fun and exciting. You’re getting to know each other and you want to spend all your free time together. “We’re happy and we’ll feel like this forever!” you might think. But according to Chlipala, “You need to experience enough time in your relationship for some of the infatuation to wear off. I’ve worked with couples that got married quickly, and were opposites, but once the infatuation wore off, and they needed to co-exist in the same space and figure out their day-to-day lives, the fighting increased.”
Again, that’s not to say that people who chose to get married soon after meeting will “fail” in their marriages. Every single couple is different, and who’s to say what will happen? But if you can exercise caution before making a big decision, consider all the consequences before jumping in. If you’re able to move past the infatuation phase (commonly known as the “honeymoon phase”) and still feel loved and appreciated, that’s a good sign your love has lasting power. “It is important to feel special to your partner,” says Chlipala. “Feeling cherished increases feelings of security, safety, closeness, and trust, all of which are important to a healthy relationship. You should not feel unsure of where you stand with your partner and how they feel about you.”
5. You'll Feel Excited About Your Relationship And The Future
A relationship with someone you can see yourself marrying is one you should feel genuinely excited about. "You can start envisioning your future home, children, and whatever you've dreamed about in the past about what your future looks like," says matchmaker and dating expert Stef Safran, of Stef and the City. According to her, the excitement and anticipation you feel about the future will likely even spill over to your "everyday mood." She says, "If you see the future with excitement, that's definitely on the right track to marriage," she says.
6. You'll Feel At Peace
While being in a healthy, long-term relationship is an exciting feeling, you'll still feel a general sense of peace in your relationship when you've found the person you should marry, as if any doubts you had about your future and about this person's feelings for you have drifted away. "After the infatuation fades (and it does, on average, after 12 to 18 months), you’ll feel calm," says Chlipala. "There’s no uncertainty about your man’s feelings for you because you know he loves and adores you. He’s consistent with his affection and leaves no doubt in your mind."
7. You’ll Feel A Sense Of Relief
"When you feel that you have someone who cares for you the way you care for them, you feel relief and hopefully a lot of happiness," says Safran. While you don't need a spouse to "save" you by any means, if you're meant to be with someone forever, you'll feel "comforted that this person is really there and cares for you like you care for them."
8. You'll Feel Like You Don't Have To Pretend — About Anything
At the beginning of a relationship, it's natural to put up a bit of a front, or at least to want to put your best foot forward. However, continuously altering your interests, your feelings, and your personality in hopes of seeming perfect and making a relationship work is not sustainable forever. And when you're with someone you could marry one day, you won't feel like you have to alter anything about yourself.
"You can stop trying to pretend you like watching football, wearing makeup to bed, [or] admitting that you like to watch reality TV non-stop during Christmas," says Safran. "You feel like this person does accept you for not being perfect and having quirks."
9. You'll Feel An Incredible Amount Of Trust In This Person
At the forefront of a relationship on the road to marriage is an enormous amount of trust, both in each other and in the strength of the relationship. So when you've found someone you could marry one day, you'll not only feel like you can trust them with anything, but you'll be confident they place the same amount of trust in you. You'll know without a doubt that you're both willing to do whatever you can to ensure your relationship survives in the long run.
"You share a rock solid, mutual understanding that no matter what, both of you will stay in the game," Dr. Venus Nicolino, Ph.D, otherwise known as Dr. V, from the hit show Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars, told Elite Daily.
10. You’re Invested In Making Your Relationship Work
At the end of the day, relationships take a lot of communication, honesty, trust, and mutual respect. They’re hard work, but if you’re willing to put in your all to make it last, even if you know it’s not always going to be easy, that’s a good sign you’ll be fully invested in your marriage. Worrying about what you have to do to make it work is, to a certain degree, very normal. Wanting to do everything you can to make each other happy is normal.
"While it seems contrary to how you should feel when you've found the one, worrying about the relationship is healthy and something important that you should feel when you've found the man you're going to marry," Lori Salkin, SawYouatSinai.com senior matchmaker and dating coach, tells Elite Daily. "It shows you are truly invested in every element of the relationship and a future together.”
So as you relish in your relationship and how happy you are, remember to take some time to explore every way it makes you feel. While it's OK to not know if this relationship is forever just yet, rest assured that, if the feelings here ring true for you, you might just marry your partner one day.
Additional reporting by Theresa Massony and Veronica Lopez.