Deciding whether you should spend the rest of your life with the person you’re dating can be a difficult decision. How do you know someone is marriage material? How can you know if you can trust them with your love and commitment? There are certain signs that can help you find out.
Dating can be an exciting part of a single life. There are all those enticing elements that keep you curious, connected, active, and hopeful. But for marriage-minded people, dating is more purposeful than it is for those without an end-goal of getting married.
If you have marriage in mind, you know that dating can sometimes get stressful. You are, after all, always wondering if your date is marriage material.
How Do I Know If He’s The One?
Knowing which signs to look for that will tell if you, if someone is ready to get married, will help you spend more time enjoying your dates together, secure that you can trust your head, as well as your heart.
The qualities you should look for in someone are all about that person’s character, personality, and core values. They assume that you and the person you’re dating find each other attractive while recognizing that looks shouldn’t be the defining criteria when deciding who to marry.
Infatuation can confuse the mind and your ability to make good judgments. Infatuation is a normal and necessary phase of dating, and we wouldn’t continue as a species without it, but it’s important to be able to discern those qualities that make someone marriage material and not just a fun date.
Why does infatuation make it so difficult to judge a relationship’s long-term potential with someone new?
For one thing, cortisol levels increase while serotonin levels decrease during this stage of romantic relationships. This means the body is in a stressed state, which makes sense. After all, both of you are worried about being your best and catching the other person’s attention. It’s Mating 101.
Serotonin, the feel-good hormone, doesn’t start flowing normally again until a relationship has been established and becomes comfortable. In the meantime, it’s important to keep yourself focused on what’s truly most important in the long run.
To help you out, here are 8 important signs to look for that indicate the person you’re dating may be the one and is ready to get married.
8 Signs The Person You’re Dating Is ‘Marriage Material’
1. They’re emotionally mature and available
“Never let a fool kiss you, or a kiss fool you.” – Joey Adams
These qualities are huge and, in many ways, encompass most of the others that will follow in this list.
In order to have a truly intimate relationship with someone, there has to be emotional maturity and availability (and that goes for both of you, of course).
Is your date able to access their emotions without trying to avoid them or cover them up? Are they able to communicate their feelings in a responsible manner, owning them and not blaming others?
A person who is comfortable with their own feelings — as well as with sharing them — has the foundation for empathy, which is essential to any emotionally intimate and balanced relationship. They need to want to be in a relationship and possess the desire to connect with another person.
I call this wanting to be in an “us” and not just a “me”-focused relationship.
2. Their core values align with yours
“The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they’re right if you love to be with them all the time.” – Julia Child
A big part of becoming mature (and not just becoming an adult) is defining your core values in regard to relationships. Those people who are grounded in their lives tell you in their words and actions who they are and what they stand for. Their lives align with their values.
In terms of dating with the goal of marriage, it’s important that your core relationship values align with your partner’s. There will always be shades of difference, but you don’t want to live in a house divided.
For example, if you desire an equal partnership and your partner wants a traditional relationship where the man makes the decisions, then you know this won’t work out in the end for either of you.
Essential values might include religious beliefs, how other people and animals deserve to be treated, self-care, views on work-life balance, and how finances should be handled.
3. They share similar life goals
“The secret to a happy marriage is if you can be at peace with someone within four walls, if you are content because the one you love is near to you, either upstairs or downstairs, or in the same room, and you feel that warmth that you don’t find very often, then that is what love is all about.” – Bruce Forsyth
Your life goals will most likely reflect your core values. And, just like your values, your life goals need to be reasonably well in sync with your partner’s.
Talk through key topics like children, work-life balance, where and when you want to retire and the differences you’d like to make in the world might top the list. Is your partner supportive of your life goals? Would you support your partner’s own dreams?
Marriage-minded singles are not afraid to express their intentions of finding a spouse. You need to be willing to put a stake in the sand.
4. They possess reasonable and effective conflict resolution skills
“The success of marriage comes not in finding the right person, but in the ability of both partners to adjust to the real person they inevitably realize they married.” – John Fischer
This is a critical area when determining if the person you’re dating is marriage material. You may not think the conflict will ever be possible with this person when you’re still in the early stages of dating, but it’s a guarantee in any relationship, romantic or not.
How a person responds or reacts to conflict speaks volumes about their suitability as a life-long mate. As much as no one likes the idea of fighting, it’s important to learn early on how your partner handles themselves during fights. It’s also important to learn how you fight together, and how your fighting styles affect one another.
Some people quickly go on the offensive, while others run away to avoid conflict. Which patterns do each of you display? Can you sit down and work out your differences in a calm, respectful manner?
Someone who is committed to finding healthy ways to resolve conflict is likely to be open to getting support when necessary. Couples and/or individual therapy isn’t an insult, but an empowering tool toward sustaining healthy relationships.
If your date is marriage material, the two of you will approach conflicts as a productive opportunity to grow as a couple.
5. They show consistency and follow-through on promises
“Dating should be less about matching outward circumstances than meeting your inner necessity.” – Mark Amend
Ask yourself these questions:
- Can you count on this person?
- If they say they are going to be somewhere, do they show up … and on time?
- Can you count on constancy in their treatment of you and of other people?
- Are they cool under pressure or in conflict, or do they fly off the handle?
- Do they take small responsibilities as seriously as they do the big ones?
A marriage-minded person will want to be someone on whom you can fully rely. This is about dependability, and dependability is rooted in strong character. When a person can be trusted with little things, you can confidently inch your way into trusting them with bigger things — like your life.
6. They are supportive of your personal goals
“A great marriage is not when the perfect couple comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” – Dave Meurer
You may share core values and life goals, but you’re still individuals with personal goals that reflect each of your unique gifts and priorities.
Someone who believes in you shows up in subtle ways, not just for paychecks or award ceremonies, and they make no room for jealousy or competitiveness in your relationship. This means they will be willing to do things like taking on extra responsibilities on the home front so you can chair an important charity event, keep the coffee pot full when you’re working late, and tell you how much they admire and believe in you.
All of these are green lights that someone could be the one and is ready to get married.
7. They have a healthy sense of humor
“Marriage, ultimately, is the practice of becoming passionate friends.” – Harville Hendrix
Laughter is important in marriage. So much so that, as American essayist Agnes Repplier wrote, “We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.”
What’s important to look for isn’t a “hardy-har-har” jokester, but someone who is able to laugh at themselves and not take life too seriously. Someone who doesn’t make fun of others but can laugh at their own absurdities and mistakes is a great catch. They have a strong enough sense of self to be comfortable in humility — and that kind of healthy humor is contagious.
8. They make you want to be a better person — and vice versa
“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens; it’s something that must be created.” – Fawn Weaver
OK, not just to borrow from Jack Nicholson’s famous line in “As Good As It Gets”, but there is a lot of truth to the importance of this.
Someone who will be in your life on a temporary basis may make you want to look your best or be on your best behavior when you’re together, but someone who is marriage material will inspire you to become the best version of yourself period. You will share a magical dance of mutual inspiration, each of you cheering on the aspirations and highest good of the other.
Dating for marriage-minded people doesn’t have to be stressful; it just has to be mindful and purposeful. You are, after all, preparing to commit your whole self to one person for a lifetime.
One thing that stands out with people who are marriage-minded is their self-accountability. They realize that they have to know themselves well, and they know they have to create in themselves a gift to bring any potential life partner.
Dating someone who is marriage material will result in more than the butterflies of infatuation. The experience will make you feel at home with yourself. It will give you a stable footing on which you can reach for even more of who you can be. When that happens, the whole couple really will be greater than the sum of its individual parts.
Written by Amy Schoen Originally Published on Yourtango