Telltale Signs that You Might Not Be Ready for Marriage

Telltale Signs that You Might Not Be Ready for Marriage

Telltale Signs that You Might Not Be Ready for Marriage - Image
June 12, 2024

The pressure is on. But you have a profound case of the “white-dress jitters” and you’re thinking about hitting the brakes on this marriage thing.

Your friends and family are whispering the “will you” question among themselves and doubt is hanging in the air. Everywhere you look, engagements are announced, Pinterest boards seem to be exploding with inspirational wedding ideas, and yet that tiny inside voice keeps saying, “Wait a minute.”

That voice is real. Ignoring it, as you already feel, can lead to regret and hefty doses of “what ifs.” 

Let’s reality check some major red flags that might wave you off that walk down the aisle

Are You in an “Insta-Perfect” Relationship?

Social media paints pictures of picture-perfect proposals and fairytale weddings. Ask if your relationship is built on a real connection or just curated moments for the ‘gram? Do you and your significant other have inside jokes, shared dreams, and a deep understanding of each other’s values and flaws and heart-felt, open discussion about how to handle them? When your connection feels more like a carefully crafted online persona than a genuine bond, it might be time to pump the brakes on marriage.

Is It a “He’ll Change” Parade?

We’ve all heard it – “Love changes people.” Newsflash: it does not. If your partner exhibits behaviors that bother you now, like neglecting chores, disrespecting boundaries, or harboring unrealistic expectations about living situations or conduct, don’t expect a magical transformation after the “I dos.” Marriage is a partnership, not a “fix-it” project. Love them for who they are right now, today, not for who you hope they’ll become.

Are You Trapped in “A Better than Nothing” Spiral?

Is fear of being alone driving your bus? Marriage should not be pursued as the cure for loneliness. A healthy relationship complements a life; it should not be the one condition of survival. Do you have a fulfilling career, strong friendships, and hobbies you genuinely enjoy? Can you envision a happy and fulfilling life, even if you weren’t partnered with someone? If the thought of being single sends shivers down your spine, it might be a sign you need to focus on building your own sense of self before committing to building a life together with someone else.

The “Friends Are Doing It” Frenzy.

Your best friend just got engaged, your sister’s wedding is Pinterest-worthy perfection, and suddenly, the pressure is on you to get hitched, and it feels like a tidal wave. But remember, your timeline is yours. Don’t get swept up by external noise. Marriage is a lifelong commitment, not a race of whim to the altar. Focus on building a strong foundation with your partner and let the wedding bells chime when you both feel truly ready.

The Unresolved Baggage Handler.

Past relationships, childhood trauma, or unresolved emotional issues can continue to cast long shadows on our present relationships. Ignoring these past issues will lead to unhealthy communication patterns, emotional outbursts, and resentment towards partners. Don’t be afraid to invest in individual therapy before diving into marriage. A healthy you makes for a healthier relationship.

The Communication Catastrophe.

Open and honest communication is the bedrock for any successful relationship. Do you and your partner struggle to have difficult conversations? Do disagreements escalate into screaming matches, hard feelings, and do you shut down emotionally? If healthy communication feels like a foreign language between the two of you, it’s time to work on those skills. Consider seeking the guidance of a couple’s therapist and learn how to better communicate effectively.

So, You See the Red Flags – Now What?

If any of these signs are resonating with you, take a deep breath. It doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. It simply means you need more time. Slow down for a bit. Define what is causing your unrest. Communicate about it honestly with your partner. Explain your concerns and your desire to postpone the wedding. This is maturity. It’s momentarily very tough to do, but the alternative is months and years of misunderstanding or torment. Make that commitment to building a strong foundation for your future together. Use this time to address underlying issues, strengthen your communication, and ensure you’re both wholeheartedly ready for the journey of marriage.

Remember, a happy and lasting marriage takes work, but the work should not feel like forced distasteful duties. Listen to your inner voice. Prioritize your well-being and trust that true love can wait for the right moment, that moment when you’re both ready to say “I do” with unwavering convictions.

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