Dating and Marriage: Am I Ready to Get Married?

As you move forward in dating and relationships, it’s normal to wonder if you’re ready to get married to the person you love.

Every relationship is different, just as each person is different, so some couples might feel more ready to get married than others they know, even if they are all at the same age or stage in life.

What I suggest to each couple depends on their situation, their concerns, and their background. In general, it’s a good idea to consider a few things with your boyfriend or girlfriend if the two of you are considering preparing for marriage.

Are Your Expectations Healthy?

It’s probably no surprise to you that a real-life marriage is nothing like what we’re shown in the movies. One person cannot be our everything, no matter how much we care about them.

Marriage will not solve your problems, and it will not mean your spouse can solve all your problems, either. Before you get married, you’ll need to develop a healthy, balanced understanding of the struggles you each face and the strengths you bring to the relationship.

What Are Your Motives?

I know there is a strong social pressure to get married, especially when you have strong feelings, or you’ve been together quite a while.
But getting married isn’t about having kids, or having sexual intimacy, or moving up in life. Marriage is a profound act of service and sacrifice. It’s important to carefully examine what is motivating you and your partner to get married. If your focus is on the wrong place or on the wrong goal, your marriage will start off on shaky ground.

What Role Does Faith Play?

While God can work through any relationship, it is important to remember that marriage bonds you to your spouse physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Have honest conversations with your girlfriend or boyfriend about:

  • Where you are in your faith journey
  • If you believe in God (and what you believe about God)
  • How your faith impacts your decision-making
  • Where and how you will worship together
  • How faith shapes pregnancy and raising children for each of you

Finding common ground in these areas is very important to center your relationship and understanding how marriage will change it as your lives change.

Have You Sought Counseling?

Pre-marriage counseling is required in many states before a marriage certificate can be issued. But it’s also a necessity if you want to be more certain that marriage is the right choice for you and your girlfriend or boyfriend.

Counseling gives you the chance to ask tough questions in a safe place. You won’t have to be surprised by your challenges and your differences if you’ve taken the time to talk through them with someone who is trained to prepare couples for marriage.

We’re here to help, too. Talk to a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine when you have questions about marriage, dating, and relationships. These are important steps to take, and we want you to have all the support you need.

Is it really love? Here are 15 characteristics that define a REAL mutually loving relationship.

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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