Are You Ready For Marriage?

Waiting for mature love is a good way to avoid a costly mistake.

When reflecting on early romances, many women will admit that they’ve come close to marrying one of their “not so suitable” boyfriends. Recently a woman mentioned that a former lover asked her to marry many times over the five years they were together, but she always declined. Why would a woman spend five years of her life with a man she was never planning to marry?

One significant reason surfaced and that was that he only ever asked her when things were very exciting – the relationship “highs”. Even back in her 20s she knew that Paul didn’t have either the understanding or maturity to accept the “down” times as a necessary part of the relationship; the part that allows both people to grow from the experience and their relationship to strengthen. His idea of love was purely “romantic”, always about creating the highs and avoiding the lows.

With maturity, women realise that this romantic love is not difficult to establish with a person. The next step from there – intimate love – is a step few “romantic” relationships ever reach. Instead, these relationships end with either or both parties feeling a little disillusioned initially, not knowing exactly what went wrong. Certainly, time and reflection bring clarity. The flaws – the cracks, it seems so obvious.

Some relationships are not meant to move past the romantic stage. They teach women what they are meant to learn, they then move onto a new relationship. Women continue to learn important aspects of themselves through these relationships.

Love cannot possibly conquer all at these stages in their lives, because as women learn more about themselves, they also learn more about the type of love that is needed to help them mature through life. That is why a varied and complex history of relationships can lead to eventual fulfilment.

Many women are not ready for marriage in their 20s and the men they choose to date and form relationships with reflect this. Most are focused on their careers, so to cloak their own commitment issues, they may choose men who are commitment-phobic and not really suitable as long-term partners. Often marriage is viewed as the end of the most exciting time of their lives. This view is not isolated for modern women, as exploiting life to the full and leaving marriage until later is a popular trend.

Because divorce rates are growing so dramatically each year, is there now a sense of caution when choosing marraige partners? Indeed, the likelihood of marriage ending in divorce, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, is now a huge 46 per cent. Leaving marriage until later in life is a sensible choice, despite what some people may tell you.

The more you learn about yourself through life, the better judge you are of what will make you happy in what is, after all, a lifelong partnership. If you are not ready to get married – that’s great, so enjoy your freedom and have some fun. But if you are looking for marriage, consider carefully the men you date. Look for the signs early and trust your instincts.

Does he want to make a commitment?

  1. He is punctual and well dressed, having put time and thought into the date.
  2. He has planned to take you out for dinner or lunch, not to a bar for “a few friendly drinks”.
  3. On your date he looks directly into your eyes when speaking and does not scan the room or let his eyes drop to your chest area.
  4. He likes talking about your interests as well as his. He asks relevant questions and listens attentively when you answer.
  5. He has varied interests and does not spend all his time working or drinking with his mates.
  6. He is goal-focused and talks comfortably about his desire for marriage and children with the right person.
  7. He takes responsibility for his past relationship breakdowns and doen’t speak bitterly about his ex girlfriends.
  8. He can talk about past relationships openly and feels comfortable asking about yours.
  9. When describing the type of relationship he’s looking for, he doesn’t use words like “casual, light and breezy, no pressure, relaxed” but words such as “honest, open, serious, commited”.
  10. He does not try to get you drunk and into bed that night. He organises a second date before you both go home.
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