I’m going to have to get to it at some point. I can’t say I’m especially eager to hop on that bandwagon, but spending the rest of your life with the woman of your dreams isn’t the worst a guy could ask for.
When it comes to marriage, you have to be ready. You can’t -- you shouldn’t -- get married before you're mentally and emotionally mature. People underestimate what it takes to make a marriage not just work, but also be a happy one.
The goal shouldn't be to avoid divorce. The goal should be to spend your life with the person you know you need to spend your life with.
Knowing when you’re ready is another problem. I’m sure that all those people filing for divorce felt that they were prepared for marriage when they jumped into it.
But they clearly weren’t ready, because they made the mistake of marrying the wrong person. If they were ready, they would have figured out how to make things work.
There are, however, a few questions that you could ask yourself that will help you understand whether or not the two of you have what it takes to build a happy, lasting marriage. Here are a few you can start with:
1. Is your partner's happiness the most important thing in the world to you?
You want to know the secret to making relationships work? They work only when both lovers prioritize each other's happiness over their own. Relationships and marriages thrive when this happens.
That is it. There is no other secret. There is nothing else necessary to keep two people together other than both people simply wanting to make each other happy.
Why would you possibly want to leave someone who is dedicating his or her life to making you happy?
Of course, this effort has to come from both ends. Sadly, you’ll often see one partner working selflessly to keep the relationship afloat.
If you plan to marry someone, be sure you’re both dedicating yourselves to the other’s happiness. Otherwise, one of two things await you: a miserable marriage or a divorce, and most likely both.
2. Why do you love him or her?
No, “I love him because I just do” is not an acceptable answer. If that’s your answer, then you are not emotionally mature enough to get married, and you still don’t understand love.
This head-over-heels, blind love is more of a pseudo-love than anything else.
Contrary to popular belief, love isn’t how someone makes you feel. All those warm and fuzzy emotions aren’t love. They represent how love itself makes you feel.
You need to be able to distinguish the two. Because when those feelings stop being a constant presence and instead randomly fluctuate -- and they always do -- you will fool yourself into believing that the love you share(d) is beginning to dissolve.
You need to know why you love the person you are going to marry, and you're going to have to cover a lot more ground than “he or she makes me feel good and happy.” If that person makes you happy, figure out why.
3. Are you aiming for lives that will supplement each other's?
I’m not talking about the lives that you're currently living. Those lives will change rather drastically in the years to come.
The real question is whether the lives you hope and plan on one day living -- the lives that will make you happy, the lives that you feel you need to live -- will work well together.
People tend to underestimate how certain dreams and goals can affect the overall lifestyle.
It could be something as simple as where you one day want to live -- or something a bit more crucial, like how many kids you want to have, how active you plan on staying over the years, or how much you’re almost certainly going to be letting yourself go.
4. Will you refuse -- day in and day out -- to let the marriage fail?
Before you say 'yes' to this question and run down that aisle, be sure that you get a full understanding of what this means.
This means that you will try your best to make each other happy -- on the good days, when it’s easy, and on the bad days, when loving is difficult.
You might think that you will never have these days, but you’re almost certainly wrong. Relationships aren’t easy. Marriage most certainly isn’t easy.
Human beings aren’t yet fully accustomed to pairing up for life. It’s not in our genes. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t an honorable and beautiful thing. If anything, it’s the next step in human evolution: two people joining together and truly becoming one.
Okay, that may be a stretch. But the point is that not every day is going to be a good day. On some days, you aren’t going to be in a good mood.
Sometimes your partner will screw something up royally. He/she may even unintentionally hurt you somehow, and forgiveness won’t be automatic.
People make mistakes. People have a tendency to get a bit lazy and a bit too comfortable.
It’s going to be a balancing act. But as long as you refuse to let things fall apart, and as long as you do your best to keep the romance alive, you should be just fine.