One of the most common questions I get from premarital couples is “Do you think we should get married?” Couples are eager for external affirmation that they are compatible, and that their relationship will withstand the test of time. If you find yourself wondering whether or not you should put a ring on it, here are a few guidelines that might help you determine your next steps.
- Are you best friends? Relationship researcher Dr. John Gottman points out that happy marriages are based on a deep friendship. Taking the time to nurture a best friendship with your partner will reap benefits by laying a foundation for a satisfying marriage.
- Have you laid a strong foundation for marriage? In this article I talked about love & respect, trust & security as building blocks to a healthy relationship. In this type of relationship, each individual can be vulnerable and transparent without fear of rejection. Mutual love and respect are given.
- What do your friends and family say? Do they give thumbs up and green lights, or do they voice concerns about your relationship? Whether or not you agree with their opinion, you typically know if your closest friends and family members are supportive of your relationship. Take the time to hear them out – if they don’t like your boyfriend or girlfriend, why not? What red flags do they see that you might not see yourself?
- What does your gut say? You’ve likely given the topic plenty of prayer and thought. Do you have a feeling about whether to commit or not?
If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, this is an opportunity to step back and evaluate your relationship. Remember, the patterns you start now are going to be the ones you take with you into marriage. Coming in for couples counseling sessions can help you work through the issues before you jump in to deeper commitment.
If you answered “yes” to the questions, then high-fives all around! This a great time to invest in your relationship with premarital counseling and ensure you have the tools to tackle any obstacles you run in to in marriage.