Signs You’re Not Ready for Marriage—Even if You Say You Are

Rouselle Isla

Rouselle Isla

Last updated February 08, 2024

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 and still not be prepared to commit. You may even wear the engagement ring now and still have qualms about getting married. 

Maybe it’s just cold feet, 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. 

How to Know if 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. 

You Don’t Have Enough Money for a Wedding 

signs you're not ready for marriage - not enough money for wedding

Even if you and your partner want a civil ceremony or a small, intimate wedding, you still need money to pay for it. If you don’t have the funds, it’s best to put those wedding plans on hold until you’re financially ready. Aside from the ceremony, you still need to prepare for life after your wedding day, after all. 

Since a wedding won’t pay for itself, you and your partner must save up and prepare for your financial future together. Set up a wedding fund and save until you hit your savings goal. 

As you move along with your life, your expenses will also increase, including house rent or home mortgage, maternal expenses, tuition, retirement funds, and more. Also, don’t forget to save at least three months’ worth of survival money in your bank account to help you in the first year of your marriage when you start living independently. 

Read more: 

❌ You Have Too Much Debt

Think you'll be more motivated to achieve your financial goals when you share your income and expenses with your spouse?[1] Newsflash: getting married while in debt can also plunge you into deeper debt if you’re not financially mature. Even if you'll be sharing your life after getting married, remember that your credit score and credit history will remain separate. 

If you're already in dire financial straits, adding marriage into the picture can pave an even rockier road and suffocate you financially. 

❌ You Haven’t Had the Money Talk Yet

It’s easier to make smart money decisions when you and your partner have regular and healthy conversations about money. To avoid ugly fights and marriage-killing issues over money, you must ask the important questions:

  • Will you sign a prenup agreement? Is it okay if you manage your finances separately? 
  • What are your financial goals and approach toward money (spending, saving, budgeting, investing, managing debts, etc.)? What are your non-negotiable items? 
  • How will you blend your finances if you don’t want to manage them separately? Will there be joint accounts, shared bill payments, and shared investments? 

Don’t forget to talk about how much you'll spend on your wedding and what your living arrangements will be after. It’s also essential to discuss whether you’ll both be working or one will be staying home and running the household.

So if you and your partner haven’t had the big money talk (or worse, feel uncomfortable initiating it), consider this a red flag and a huge sign not to get married. 

Read more: 

❌ You’ve Only Been Together for a Short While

signs you're not ready for marriage - only been together 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 briefly. But you must get past the infatuation stage to see your partner’s strengths and weaknesses and determine if you can spend the rest of your life with them. 

Give your relationship time to grow so you can know each other inside and out. Let time test your relationship. This way, there won’t be ugly or devastating surprises that can break your relationship. 

❌ 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 period? 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. 

When the same arguments or issues keep resurfacing without any resolution, you’re not emotionally ready to make the big leap. 

Expect bigger and more serious problems once you’re married. Will you always 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, you’ll surely struggle when you’re already husband and wife.

❌ You’re Feeling Pressured

Feeling a little left out is normal when all your friends are getting engaged, throwing 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. 

The same goes when you decide to get married out of guilt because you’ve been together for so long and don’t want to upset them or break your promise. You may also think this is your last chance at love, so you might as well tie the knot and get it over with. 

Just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t mean you should, too. Marriage is a big step and a huge responsibility. Committing to someone for the rest of your life takes a certain kind of maturity. 

You also need to have a clear perspective on what married life should be for you and your partner before you say, “I do.”

❌ You’re More Excited About the Wedding 

signs you're not ready for marriage - more excited about wedding

If you can’t picture married life beyond the wedding preps and ceremony, it’s one of the signs you’re not ready for marriage yet. 

The wedding dress, photos, and reception are just the icing on the cake. You should be looking forward to life after the wedding day: the quiet moments and regular days, the tough and challenging times, and everything in between. They’re what truly makes a marriage. 

❌ You’re Stuck in the Past

You're not ready to marry if you’re still not over your past relationship. Plain and simple. 

If you still have strong lingering feelings for an ex, you shouldn’t be in a relationship—let alone a marriage—right now. 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. 

❌ You Have Trust Issues

There may be a deep-rooted cause for your trust issues. But if you’re getting married hoping your partner will help you resolve them, you’ll only open yourself up to bitterness and resentment in the future. 

No one likes being with someone who is insecure, unreasonable, or jealous. Certainly, no partner likes the feeling of not being trustworthy enough. If you want an honest, open, and trusting relationship, you must address these problems first. 

❌ You’re Unwilling to Compromise

You want things a certain way, and you like the things you like. But marriage opens up your world to your partner, and they will be sharing that world with you. If you can’t handle the changes and adjustments that married life will bring, don’t get married yet. 

Sometimes it’s okay to be a little selfish to prioritize your health and well-being. But if you don't care at all about your partner’s health and well-being, this is a big problem. A person who’s not ready for marriage will be inflexible about many things in the relationship.

❌ You’re Too Different 

signs you're not ready for marriage - too different

Maybe you found your differences cute and endearing at the beginning of your relationship. So what if you like pineapples on your pizza, or they like ketchup in their sinigang

But you’ve also realized your beliefs, values, and morals don’t align. 

Perhaps your partner’s spending habits make you nervous, or you’re not okay with how your partner disregards unpaid bills. Maybe you have too many fights over money because you’re not financially compatible. Or maybe you want a child in the future, and they don’t.

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 and big things is fundamental for a successful marriage. Think long and hard if you feel a disconnect won’t be resolved or fixed. Some things just can’t be forced. 

❌ You Have No Big Picture Plans

Are you perfectly content with what you and your partner have right now—just going with the flow and seeing where life will take you? That’s good if both of you are genuinely okay with it. 

If you’ve never talked about settling down, you either don’t want to rock the boat or don’t 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. 

Final Thoughts

Don't get married if you see signs you're not ready for marriage. It’s more than just signing a marriage contract—you should prepare for it emotionally, mentally, and financially.

While you’re still single with only a few financial obligations, manage your income and assets wisely. Invest in yourself through skills, education, and professional experiences. Get a stable job and career to achieve financial stability. Also, get as many life experiences as you can so you can weather any kind of storm in the future. 

Significant changes will happen from the day you get married, so you and your partner should be open about your plans. You’ll also make many decisions together, so learn to compromise and work as a team. 

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Source: [1] A financial therapist says you shouldn't delay marriage until you're financially stable for 2 reasons (Business Insider, 2022)


Rouselle has over eight years of writing experience in the personal finance niche. She has written feature stories, articles, and how-to guides on various personal finance and trending lifestyle topics. Before that, she briefly worked in banking and was a licensed life insurance advisor. When not writing, Rouselle likes to read books and binge-watch films and series. Follow Rouselle on Linkedin.


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