(STL.News) Tying the knot should be the happiest moment of your life, but not everyone is eager to rush to the altar. As much as you love your partner, you may not be ready for marriage, and that’s okay. How do you know when to put the brakes on a relationship or engagement? The answer is different for everyone, but these signs will help you get a better idea of why you may be second-guessing the idea of matrimony.
You Are Not Happy with Your Life
If you can’t live happily alone, you likely won’t find marital bliss to be much better. Once the figurative and literal honeymoon period ends, you’ll wake up one day and realize you’re exactly the same person you’ve always been, and your spouse can’t make it any better. This isn’t to say they don’t see the best in you or bring out wonderful qualities, but you must be able to see the best in yourself before agreeing to marry someone else. Otherwise, you wind up in a relationship where you’re only ever partially fulfilled.
Get honest with yourself about what’s missing. Do you need to further your education or get a more rewarding career? Consider borrowing from private student loans in order to go back to school – or even enrolling for the first time. Maybe you need to travel or get to know yourself better. Why not plan a solo trip somewhere for the weekend or take on new hobbies alone? If you can’t even answer the question of who you exactly are, a spouse won’t be able to fill in the blanks for you.
You Don’t Trust Them Fully
Trust is sacred, a lack of trust is a sign of a relationship issue that should not be ignored or overlooked. It is the cornerstone of intimacy and vulnerability, two essential components of any healthy, rewarding relationship. You have to trust this person 100 percent. Do you know that they will always have your back? Would you trust them with your life? Do you feel truly, wholly safe with them in every way? Trust in a relationship isn’t just believing they won’t be unfaithful. This person should feel like a safe haven for you, and you should be comfortable sharing your deepest, most authentic self with them. If there is still a barrier there, then it’s better to focus on addressing the reason why instead of pursuing marriage.
You Don’t Want the Same Things in Life
What are your views on politics, religion, and morality? Do you both want children? If so, how many? What is your idea about home life in terms of cleaning, cooking, and chore distribution? Is sex extremely important to you, or is it something you only consider a perk and not essential in your marriage? All of these questions should be discussed before you wed. You need to have your ideal lives clearly aligned. No one can predict the future, but you should never brush aside major differences or conflicting visions. They will only lead to resentment and difficulties in the future that aren’t fair to either person.
Your Conflict Style Isn’t Healthy
Conflict does not destroy healthy relationships. It is a normal part of life because, as individuals, we are all bound to disagree at some point in time. A total absence of conflict likely means you and your partner have not been through enough to see that other side of one other yet. You may also not have been in a relationship long enough to move past the ‘everything about them is perfect’ stage. Healthy couples are able to argue from time to time in a constructive way. Trust heavily comes into play here. When you trust and love the person you’re with, you respect them and their emotions. You value their opinions even when you disagree with them. You are able to discuss your disagreements rationally and reach compromises and resolutions as a team.
You Don’t Easily Envision Yourself Married
If you can’t see yourself walking down the aisle, that’s already a big red flag. But maybe you can see a wedding but everything after is hazy. That’s okay, too. You may value independence and see marriage as a sacrifice. If that’s the case, be honest with yourself about what you really want. Maybe you’re happy being in a long-term, committed relationship but aren’t ready to live together or be married. Make sure that once you reach these conclusions, you are fully honest with your partner as well. They deserve to know how you feel, and everyone should always be on the same page. This doesn’t mean everything will work out, but risking that is better than forcing yourself into a lifestyle you don’t want.