If you’ve ever mulled over the idea of popping the question or have had a girlfriend looking to pop, you know how life-altering this feels. To help you avoid making any choices you may regret later, we’ve compiled a list you can use to evaluate your readiness for marriage. From your life-stage to your childhood experiences to your personal values, personality and attitudes toward relationships, we’ve rounded up the five important factors you should assess to determine if you’re marriage material.
Where you’re in your life stage, such as age, level of education and income can have a surprising impact on the success of your marriage. For example, studies suggest you should be at least 26 years old at the time of marriage to give it a better chance of survival. Level of education too seems to have an effect on whether or not you can get married at all — 64% of college graduates are married compared to only 48% of those with high school diplomas. Finally, if the combined income of you both is above a certain median, there are high chances that you will remain married longer.
Ideally: You’re headed toward 30s (or just entered already), you have at least one degree under your belt and your combined annual income is more than INR 10 L.
Your early childhood experience with your parents characterize the way you behave and feel in relationships. Usually, these can be broadly classified as secure and insecure which further can be classified as anxious-preoccupied, dismissive-avoidant and fearful-avoidant. Secure adults tend to choose partners who are also secure and go on to have lasting relationships. Individuals with insecurity are drawn toward mates who are also the same type and have a higher chance of divorcing (Source: Clarke-Stewart & Brentano, 2006).
Ideally: As a child, you had your emotional needs met and were loved consistently. As an adult, your romantic relationships have not been plagued by a pattern of jealousy, continual fear that your partner will leave you or the belief that you’re better off without a relationship.
Personal values, such as your reasons for getting hitched in the first place and your views on the purpose of marriage, also exert a significant influence on whether you’re ready for a commitment. Whether or not you live with your girlfriend before you tie the knot also affects the prospective success of a marriage. Even though it’s now common for most couples to do so, living together before you’re engaged is not necessarily a good test of whether your marriage will work. In fact, it may even be detrimental — as co-habitating actually results in a 6% drop in the likelihood that you’ll stay married for more than a decade (Source: National Survey of Family Growth, 2002, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics). That means that if you favor the more conservative route of waiting until you’re engaged to move in, chances are you’ll still be living under the same roof 10 years later. To decide if marriage is right for you, it’s also important to examine what the institution means to you in the first place. According to research, 87% of married people say that marriage is about a lifelong commitment and 81% believe it’s about companionship, whereas only 59% say it’s about children and a mere 31% site financial stability as a good reason to walk down the aisle (Source: Pew Research Center). What’s more, the quality of the friendship you have with your bride-to- be might account for up to 70% of the satisfaction both of you will feel with the sex, romance and passion in your marriage (Source: John Gottman, 1999).
Ideally: Consider it a sign that marriage may be in the cards if you’re ready for a serious commitment, you’ve met someone with whom you have a deep sense of friendship and you’re not rushing into the relationship by shacking up too early.
Studies suggest that approximately 25% of divorces are the result of personality differences between partners (Source: Psychology Today). Neuroticism is particularly deadly for a marriage: neurotic individuals tend to harbor feelings of anger and hostility, feel frequently self- conscious and irritable and may be prone to depression and anxiety (Source: Psychology Today). If that sounds like you, consider what impact this personality trait has had on your previous relationships, then try figure out some alternative ways to deal with stress and emotional difficulties in order to improve the quality of your next one.
Ideally: You have a reasonably easygoing personality, meaning that you tend to look on the bright side and you don’t sweat over the small stuff.
Attitudes toward relationships
Maintaining a strong bond between yourself and your partner will require some effort if you want your marriage to be successful. Moreover, research shows that when a man is not willing to share power with his wife, there is an 81% chance that his marriage will fail (Source: John Gottman, 1999). This statistic makes sense — after all, maintaining a long-term relationship requires understanding, so if you can’t handle not having everything your way, your marriage will not progress smoothly. This includes everything from family decisions to finances, in-laws and even domestic chores. According to sociologist Ann Oakley, 87% of couples do not share housework and men tend to overestimate the amount they do. Women, however, find men who are willing to do housework extremely sexy, so if you think of compromise as a way to boost your sex life rather than a loss of power, you’re high-quality marriage material.
Ideally: You understand that a relationship is a work in progress. Whether you’ve been together for a year or for 20, you know that the trick to fueling the fire of your relationship is to work on compromising and ensuring that you and your partner continue to engage in mutually enjoyable activities that make you feel close.
Ready for a lifetime commitment? Meet some amazing women on Marrily. Download now from Google Play Hopefully, this breakdown has helped you take stock of a few things so that you now have a better idea of whether or not you’re ready. Of course, it’s important to remember that there are exceptions to every rule, so you and your future wife may beat the odds no matter how many numbers are against you. However, rather than blindly hoping that will be the case, it’s always a good idea (no matter where you fall in terms of statistics) to be honest about any trouble spots suggested by your profile. Dealing with those issues now will only improve the quality of your relationships, once you choose to say “I do.”
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