(Original story published on Tuesday August 12th, 2014, on Slice.ca.)
Mark Zuckerberg might be a smart man, but his biggest mistake? Allowing friends to post pics of stunning white gowns, envious decor, and of course, happy, starry-eyed looks with the loves of their lives. Come September of every year, not only do we avoid logging on to Facebook like taking out the trash (this little wrapper can totally sit right on top), we’ve removed it from our Bookmarks Bar altogether.
So why are we getting the hot sweats at the first sight of a new married couple? The obvious answer is that we’re single, the less obvious one, is that even if we are in a relationship, we aren’t totally sure we’re ready for the ol’ ball and chain. But after nights spent Googling our fave celebs to see when they met their husbands and got married, we realize that the time for us to think about locking it down has indeed arrived.
But, wait. Am I capable of being someone’s other half? Is this the person I want to look at for the next 75 years? Will the way he slurps his cereal drive me absolutely mad? What kind of dress should I get? Instead of letting all these questions totally drain you, we’ve put together a list of ten simply-put ways to know you’re ready to not only tie the knot, but live a happy life with another person. And who knows, if you’re able to say “yes” to all these points, maybe we’ll be angrily flipping through your wedding album via Facebook next year.
1. The Pinterest Syndrome
Are you constantly looking at the Slice.ca Wedding section, WedLuxe, Style Me Pretty, and every other site out there? Pinning away all your inspirational pictures of dresses, cakes, flower arrangements and big round balloons with tassels? Well, there’s a chance you have an unhealthy obsession with weddings. If you’re obsessing over your perfect big day, chances are you’re looking more for the wedding and not so much for the marriage. Don’t forget that the wedding is just one day (one spectacular day) but just one day. Happy couples look forward to being married much more than their wedding day.
2. Figuring Out Finance
By far the scariest “F” word. At the first mention of it, our hands automatically rise to cover our ears. Annoying fact coming up: money is the number one cause of divorce. So, it’s important to be financially stable on your own, and as a couple. Be sure to discuss your “what ifs” with your partner. No job is secure, so what would each of you do if you lost your job? What about when (if) kids come along? Do you both agree on who would stay home with them, and/or your daycare options?
3. Common Goals
Does the thought of growing old in suburbia have you running for the hills? Don’t want kids for another ten years? These are pretty major issues that must be discussed before marriage. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page, otherwise one of you is bound to end up disappointed.
4. You Can’t Change a Man
Yes, our mothers have been telling us for as long as we can remember. Why can’t you change a man? They’re stubborn. We’re not trying to stereotype men or anything here, but the fact is, they’re stubborn. You’re not going to adore everything about him. You don’t have to learn to love the way he leaves the sink a mess after a shave, but you have to learn to accept him for who he is. And really, you think it doesn’t annoy him how long it takes you to do your hair everyday, or how particular you are with keeping the couch cushions perfectly fluffed? Come. On.
5. Compromising is Important
It’s impossible to agree on everything. Or if you do, maybe you’re one of those creepy couples who are completely inseparable and totally look alike. It’s good to be different. It makes your life more exciting. But with being different, comes different views, tastes and preferences. In order to be happy, you’re going to have to make compromises about everything from dinner to how you spend your money.
6. Fighting the Good Fight
Fighting is important. It’s how you grow as a couple. But what’s also important is the way you handle them. If you have a disagreement, speak kindly to one another (that’s speak, not scream), refrain from swearing and blaming, and resolve fights appropriately instead of settling for the whole “pretend it never happened” thing. If you can’t speak rationally towards each other, you’re not ready.
7. No More FOMO
“Fear of missing out” is inevitable at times. Like, after viewing our friends’ Instagram posts of a party we weren’t able to attend. However, you shouldn’t feel that way about your partner. When you’re ready for marriage, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on something better or are settling down. You’ll be excited to continue on an adventure with the one you love.
8. A Better You
To quote Ginnifer Goodwin in Something Borrowed, “He makes you the person you want to be instead of the person you are.” The person you end up with should help you become the best you you can be. Instead of feeding off each others negativities, you disagree, teaching one another how to be more kind, loving, thoughtful and harder workers.
9. Putting Yourself Second
Being in a successful relationship can come down to putting the other person ahead of yourself. At my friend’s recent wedding, her father’s words of wisdom were: “Feel like every day you do a little more for that person than they do for you, and be okay with it.” Instead of wondering what he can do to make you happy, ask yourself what you can do to make him happy.
10. “Life Without Your Partner is Unimaginable”
Another quote from Something Borrowed. But an even better one? As Harry once said to Sally, “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” In other words, stop worrying about whether you’re ready for marriage or not. Because when you know, you know.