Is Your Partner Ready for Marriage?

Mary and Thomas (not real names) have been dating for over 5 years now. Both work in public sector and they have met each other parents several times for dinner and in festive gathering. However when Mary brings up the subject of marriage, Thomas has excuses to procrastinate it. Sound familiar to you? Do you have couple friends, where one party is keen to settle down while the other party holds some reservation?

Being a great boyfriend or girlfriend is different than being great spouse altogether. Many people assume that just because they get along well with their partners, they naturally end up getting married and living happily ever after. Not so simple.

a) Understand the Relationship Goal

Dating is one thing. Have you ever sat down with your partner and talk about the long term goal in your relationship? Even if you think you understand your partners lifestyle and their family background, are you fully aware of their expectation and standards in marriage? You need to be aware if both of you are on the same boat. Is your partner ready to be committed for marriage in x number of years?

b) Choose the Right Timing

Some partners like to bring up the topic of marriage when they, themselves feel the time is right. Rather, partner should only talk about marriage when they think the timing for the other partner is right. Do not abruptly bring your partner to any wedding exhibition and to surprise them with this topic. It can be sensitive. Is your partner emotionally and financially ready to discuss this topic with you? Are they bothered by work problem that distract them in telling you the truth? These are hidden issues that prompt your partner to procrastinate this topic.

c) Setting Timeline

There is no standard framework on when you should be getting married. Some dated for 2 years and they are ready for marriage. I have seen one dating for 10 years and they are still waiting. Ask yourself, base on your current relationship, what is your preferred timeline to settle down? Does your partner agree with your timeline? Do not scare your partner off by planning a detail life schedule (i.e. when to have kids and etc). Set the timeline for marriage first before talking about family planning.

d) Family in-laws Expectation

Dating is couple affair but marriage is family affair. This statement remains valid today. Both of you are deeply in love but are you ready to accept their family members as who they are? Will your partner's family members ready to accept who you are? What about both family members? Do they see eye to eye on some common issues? All these questions impact your partner in deciding if marriage comes in at the right time.

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 e) Career Development

You are working hard and you have some saving for a BTO flat and a simple marriage. You are financially stable with a job. Have you asked if your partner plan for a mid career change which may adjust his income downwards? Is your partner comfortable with their current career with good working relationship with peers and boss? There is no permanent job nowadays as companies undergo merging and acquisition, a change in top management or a re-organisation in structure to align with existing economic growth. In the process, employee gets retrenched, re-designated or terminated with notice. Are these their concern which prevent them from talking about marriage now?  

When one party finds excuses in delaying marriage, without clear understanding, the other party will naturally think that the relationship has reached the peak or the other partner has someone in mind. Not true at all. Take some time to consider all these issues. You will be surprise to know that it may be one of these bothering issues that keep your marriage at bay.