• Marriage is a major commitment, and many of us wonder how we’ll ever know the time is right—a few signs can help us find clarity. 
  • First, true love, dedication, and effort are needed to make a relationship last; if these are apparent in your relationship, you are on the right track.
  • Also, if your significant other is able to admit when they are wrong and takes the steps necessary to make things right, that’s a good sign.
  • Additionally, your partner loves you for you (even your bad or quirky traits) and you like who you are when you’re with him or her.
  • Finally, your loved ones approve of your significant other and your hopes for the future match up with your partner’s (or you’re at least on the same page).
  • There’s no need to rush into marriage; wait until the time is right and use these signs to help you determine whether the time is now!

Marriage is something that many fantasize about, even at a young age. We romanticize the idea of marrying the man or woman of our dreams and living happily ever after. In reality, marriage isn’t all romance; and it isn’t always happy. It’s a serious commitment, rooted in love and sprinkled with many ingredients: not just romance and happiness, but hardship. This makes the idea of marriage a little more daunting. And many of us question how we’ll ever know that the time is right to make this forever commitment.

“Am I ready to get married?” is a loaded question. The answer can vary from one individual to the next, but hopefully we can help you find the clarity you’re looking for. We’ll discuss a few keys for making your relationship last, followed by 5 signs you’re ready for marriage.

True Love, Dedication, and Effort 

If you’re looking for a sign that you and your partner are ready to take the next step in your relationship, consider a few primary factors: true love, dedication, and effort. Couples who truly love each other, dedicate themselves to upholding and honoring their relationship (even when times get tough), and put endless effort into making it work are on the right path for making their relationship last. Lauren Cook, a therapist with a Master’s of Marriage and Family Therapy, goes into greater detail:

“A couple can know that they are ready for marriage when they both want to get married. That’s the first step. Additionally, they know that their values align and they realize that their bond is more than just physical chemistry. Furthermore, they understand the idea of commitment and are willing to remain in a partnership even when it is challenging, unexciting, and even boring at times. They realize that marriage is not based solely on romance, but rather dedication and an investment in the relationship.

It is helpful for a couple to endure challenges together prior to getting married. Understanding how each of you work through conflict, disappointment, and even grief are helpful experiences to know how you communicate. If your relationship only exists during ‘happy times,’ it will be harder to assess how you will operate during difficult times, which in a lifetime partnership is ultimately inevitable. Learning how you communicate and furthermore, how willing each of you are when it comes to improving your communication styles, are all helpful data points as a couple prepares for a marriage.”

Am I Ready to Get Married? 5 Signs You’re Ready for Marriage

If you and your significant other check the boxes mentioned above—true love, dedication, and effort—that’s a good indication that you’re ready to commit to a lifetime together. However, if you want to be really sure or you need further validation, the following are 5 signs that you are ready to marry your beloved partner, as explained by Licensed Psychologist and Relationship Specialist Dr. Anna Hiatt Nicholaides:

1. Your partner is able to admit wrongdoing and apologize. 

First, your partner can admit when they’re wrong and make things right. “The most important factor when considering someone as a spouse is whether they can see you for who you are, even if it means admitting they’re wrong,” explains Nicholaides. “This is an incredibly tall order, it turns out, as admitting fault doesn’t come easily to most people. This is because we experience shame when we’ve hurt others, and it’s difficult to admit that we aren’t perfect. It takes someone who is strong in who they are, and who is willing to put you above themselves. I can’t overstate this enough.”

2. They see you and love you for who you are.

Also, they know you inside and out and love you for you. “Do you feel like your partner can see you for who you are and still love you? This doesn’t mean that they think you’re good-looking or appreciate your high salary. This means that they know your deepest fears and vulnerabilities. They know your warts and all, and they still love and appreciate you,” says Nicholaides.

3. You like who you are with your partner.

It’s also important that your partner makes you better. “Even if your partner is an amazing person, you still might not exactly like yourself ‘through their eyes’ or when you are with them. Sometimes when someone is incredible, it is at the expense of the people they are with. Be honest with yourself as to whether you feel like your best self when you’re with your partner,” explains Nicholaides.

4. Your loved ones approve.

Another good sign is that your loved ones love and approve of your partner. “If we love and respect our friends, their opinions of your partner matter. If they are lukewarm about your partner, you shouldn’t pull the wool over your eyes and rush toward marriage,” Nicholaides explains. “This is a lifelong commitment and not something to do in a fog or without complete awareness. Ask your friends honestly how they feel about your partner if you don’t already know and take their opinions seriously.”

5. You and your partner agree on basic life trajectories.

Finally, you and your partner are on the same page with what you envision for your future. “If one person wants children, and the other is against it, this might be a deal-breaker. The same goes for having separate versus merged bank accounts or wanting to live in the mountains versus on the plains. Ask your partner where they see themselves in 5 years and be sure your goals aren’t in complete conflict,” says Nicholaides.

Marriage is meant to be a lifelong commitment—which means that rushing into it probably isn’t a good idea. So, do your due diligence. Assess your relationship, specifically your level of love, dedication, and effort. Then, see if you check the boxes above. We hope this will give you the clarity that you need to move forward in your relationship, whether that means an engagement is in your near future or you decide to stay where you’re at for now.