You can be 35 and still not be ready to get married. Or you can be in a seven-year relationship with someone you love so much and still not be ready to make that commitment. You may even be wearing the engagement ring now and still have qualms about getting married.
Maybe it’s just cold feet, or nerves, or something more. It can simply be that you’re not ready to get married yet. If you’re looking for signs you're not ready for marriage, here are the most common ones.
What are the Signs You're Not Ready for Marriage?
Don’t rush into making this big, life-changing decision. Here are the common signs you’re not ready to face the next big chapter of your life. For now, at least.
1. You’re Not Yet Financially Stable
Do you want to get married but you’re not financially ready? It’s best to put those wedding plans on hold for now. Why? Because planning for marriage financially is a must.
A wedding won’t pay for itself, so you and your partner need to save up for it. You also need to financially prepare for your future together.
The unwritten golden rule is to have at least three months’ worth of survival money in your bank account. This will help you in the first year of your marriage when you’re starting to live on your own and paying for your own daily expenses.
These expenses will also increase over time as you move along with your life to include house rent or home mortgage, maternal expenses, tuition, retirement funds, and a whole lot more.
2. You’ve Only Been with Your Partner for a Short While
A whirlwind romance sounds awfully romantic―in books and movies. It’s a bit tricky in real life, though. Some couples can make it work, even if they’ve only known each other for a short period.
But give your relationship time to grow. Let time test your relationship. Know each other inside and out. This way, there won’t be ugly or devastating surprises that can also be relationship breakers.
3. You’re in an Unstable Relationship
So you and your partner have been together for five years. But how many breakups have you had in that span of time?
Breaking up after nasty fights and then getting back together again because you miss each other isn’t a sign of a mature and stable relationship. In fact, these on-and-offs are signs that you both can’t handle a relationship.
When you get married, there will be bigger and more serious problems. Will you always get into a fight or walk out when there’s a problem with the car, the bills, or the roof?
If you can’t handle the worst of your partner now when you’re not yet married, then you’ll surely have a lot to deal with when you’re husband and wife.
4. You’re Feeling Pressured
It’s normal to feel a little left out when all your friends are getting engaged, having beautiful weddings, hosting housewarming parties, and getting pregnant. Your social media accounts are practically teeming with photos and videos of people’s blissful married lives.
But feeling the pressure to join the bandwagon is a sign that you’re not ready to get married yet. Marriage is a big step and a huge responsibility. Just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t mean you should, too.
It takes a certain kind of maturity to commit to someone for the rest of your life. You also need to have a clear perspective on what married life should be for you and your partner before you say “I do.”
5. You’re More Excited About the Wedding
If you can’t picture married life beyond the wedding preps and the wedding ceremony, it’s one of the signs that you’re not ready for marriage yet.
The wedding dress, the photos, the reception―these are just the icing on the cake. What you should really be looking forward to is life after the wedding day. The quiet moments and regular days, the tough and challenging times, and everything in between. They’re what truly make a marriage.
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6. You’re Stuck in the Past
If you’re still not over your past relationship, then you’re not ready to get married. Plain and simple.
Even if you’re in a relationship but still have strong lingering feelings for an ex, then you really shouldn’t be contemplating marriage right now. It’s best to get your feelings sorted out and get rid of the emotional clutter in your heart before entering a new relationship and tying the knot.
Remember that two people are responsible for a marriage. Your partner can’t be the only one doing the heavy lifting while you wander in the past and hope for the best.
7. You Have Trust Issues
Do you have problems trusting your partner? It’s one of the signs you’re not ready for marriage.
There may be a deep-rooted cause for your trust issues, but getting married won't resolve them. Help yourself to overcome these challenges first so you can truly have an honest, open, and trusting relationship.
8. You’re Unwilling to Compromise
A successful marriage entails a lot of sacrifice and compromise. There will always be disagreements, but it’s not about who wins or has the upperhand.
Stand your ground, but don’t forget to listen, be respectful, and acknowledge if you’re at fault or in the wrong. Practice finding the middle ground on all your life decisions.
9. You’re Too Different
Maybe at the beginning of your relationship you found your differences cute and endearing. So what if he likes pineapples on his pizza, or she likes ketchup in her sinigang?
But you’ve also realized that your beliefs, values, and morals don’t line up. Perhaps your partner’s spending habits make you nervous, or you’re not okay with how your partner disregards unpaid bills. Maybe you have way too many fights over money because you’re just not financially compatible.
These are deal breakers for most people because they can cause major and continued issues in a relationship. So yes, not having a lot of things in common, especially when it comes to the major stuff, like money and investments, is also one of the signs you’re not ready for marriage.
Being on the same page about the little things and the big things is fundamental for a successful marriage. If you feel like there’s a disconnect that won’t be resolved or fixed, think long and hard. Some things just can’t be forced.
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10. You Have No Big Picture Plans
Are you perfectly content with what you and your partner have right now? Just go with the flow and see where life will take you?
Chances are, you’ve also never talked about tying the knot because you don’t really know if it’s something you want. And you’ve probably used the line “When you know, you know” to explain your lack of desire to level up your relationship. But really, it’s because you can’t see yourself getting married yet.
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If you see the signs you're not ready for marriage, then don't get married. Getting married is more than just signing a marriage contract. It's a big deal, and you should prepare for it emotionally, mentally, and financially.
Before you decide to get married, plan ahead, especially with the financial side of things. Major changes in your finances will happen from the day you get married, so you and your partner should be open about your financial plans. You’ll also make a lot of financial decisions together, so learn to compromise and work as a team.
While you’re still single and have few financial obligations, manage your income and assets wisely. Set goals and specific action plans.
Invest in yourself by improving your skills, education, and professional experience. These will help you achieve financial stability. Moreover, have a stable job and career as these will directly impact the stability of your cash flow.
Once you achieve these goals, you’re one step closer to being ready for that lifetime commitment to that special person.
This article also appeared in the Manila Times.