Are you ready for marriage?

By: SIMON MBURU

Many women dream of getting married one day, but no matter how deeply attracted to your partner you are, or how much you love him, stepping into a marriage is a long-life commitment that requires each partner to put in some daily effort to keep the union afloat.

This commitment in turn requires that both partners be ready for the road ahead of them. So how do you know that you are ready to say I do?

Well, here are some tips that will help you figure out if you are ready to walk down the aisle or not.

Know your differences: According to Dr Chris Hart, a psychologist based in Nairobi, marriage isn’t about finding someone who matches you, but rather having the ability to deal effectively with your mutual differences.

He adds that you’ll only be ready once you realise that there’s no such thing as a perfect partner. Says he: “You will find out that real spouses are seriously difficult, irritating and irrational on occasions. This realisation will only happen by dating enough people.”

It is a give-and-take affair: According to relationship coach and author Amy Schoen, you should list your pros and cons of getting married. To begin with, evaluate what you’re bound to lose and what you’re in for once you tie the knot.

“The major issues likely to pop up are loss of freedom and added obligations,” she says. “How you gear up to handle this should dictate quite clearly your readiness to accommodate a lifetime partner into your life.”

Infidelity: Feeling an intense urge to remain faithful to your partner is a strong indicator that you are ready for marriage. This is according to Marina Margulis, a match-maker at the New York Socials dating site.

“When you’re ready to walk down the aisle, the thought of getting intimate with another person other than your spouse will strike you as downright disgusting.

You’ll feel an enduring commitment to stay faithful and will likely feel the need to have your intimacy commitment reciprocated by your partner,” she says.

LIKELIHOOD OF AFFAIR

Dr Hart adds that you must also understand how likely it is that one of you will have an affair. “Be prepared to use all the strength you can muster to resist the urge to get intimate with anyone else.”

Sexual compatibility: Whether your partner is doing alright in other departments, you must be aware of whether you are compatible or not.

“If the sex is awful, you’re likely to regret marrying them. You must know if you’re sexually compatible,” says Dr Hart.

Willingness to elope: Granted, you may be highly interested in holding a grand wedding; what if there’s no possibility of a wedding on the cards?

Would you elope with your partner and get married without a wedding? According to Ken Munyua, a Nairobi-based psychologist, if you would be genuinely comfortable with getting hitched to your partner without an official wedding, then your desire for marriage may be authentic.

“This means you know the distinction between marriage and weddings,” he says, adding that with this realisation, you must have had a discussion on getting married with your partner, sub-consciously urged him to propose and considered him as part of your future.

You’ve been doing well on your own: According to relationship coach Lori Fradkin, if you’re doing well in many spheres of your life, then you may be ripe for marriage.

“This means that you are aware you’d be alright on your own, but still know that you need your partner in your life,” she says.

“You don’t feel desperate or left out just because you’re not married and your close friends are or just because everyone else is saying that you should get hitched.”

You’re not hang up on your ex: It may be normal to want to know what became of that ex-partner you were once deeply in love with.

But digging around for information on whether he got married, had kids, got sacked or who he is currently dating will only mean that you’re not yet ready for marriage; that there’s a part of you still stuck in the past.

But if you don’t get overly-bothered or emotionally rattled by them, then you may be ready to open up and let in a long-term partner.