Every lady needs to be mentally, physically and emotionally ready before getting married. Yes! marriage takes a lot to make it work. For many women, marriage is something they’ve been looking forward to since they were a little girl. While it’s undoubtedly an exciting and momentous experience in life, it’s far from the only life-changing and all-important event. For this reason, it’s best not to rush your trip down to the altar. This is true even if you’ve been with your significant other for several years or even decades.
Below are some lists that can help prepare you mentally, emotionally and physically for a successful and long-lasting marriage.
#1. Create a Life That You Love *Without* a Partner
That way, when he shows up, you’re already grounded. You’re not dependent on him, and you’ll be more likely to find someone who loves you and your passions.
#2. Create a List of Five Values It’s Important Your Partner Has
Say, for example, that finding a partner who follows a sustainable lifestyle is absolutely crucial for you. Put that on the list as a reminder not to compromise on your core values. Disclaimer: If you feel that your priorities are shifting and that what you thought was a dealbreaker value isn’t really a dealbreaker value anymore, then by all means, change your list. It’s not set in stone. But if the guy you’re heading down the aisle with right now doesn’t meet one of the criteria on your list—and you still feel it’s important—then it may be time to re-evaluate your relationship before you make a big mistake.
#3. Learn How to Be Alone without Being Lonely
Need some help? Try taking yourself to dinner once a week or planning one night a week just for you. You’ll find that whatever you choose to do in those moments is what you really want to do. And knowing how to “find your chill” is crucial because it means that you don’t need outside validation to feel whole—and you don’t put unfair expectations on your partner to keep you entertained. In turn, you’ll likely encourage your partner to pursue his hobbies, too, which will create a healthy interdependent relationship. It’s better to rely on each other completely equally than to have one person do the heavy lifting, which will likely cause tension down the line.
#4. Create Time and Space in Your Life for a Relationship
You know that whole idea of “If you build it, they will come?” The same goes for your love life: If you make room in your life for a relationship, you’re way more likely to find that one falls into place. And if you have an S.O. but don’t invest enough time or effort into your partnership, chances are you won’t have it for long.
#5. Agree on How You and Your Partner Will Handle Your Finances.
You may have been managing your own finances for a while now, but once you meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, figuring out how to share a bank account can get tricky. Discuss financial biggies (read: any potential debt you’ll need to manage, what you’re comfortable paying for rent or a mortgage, what the price cutoff should be for discussing an impulse purchase, how much you want to try to save each month, etc.) in advance so you know what you’re dealing with from the get-go.
#6. Stop sharing every detail of your relationship with others
When you first met or started dating, you might have unveiled every tiny detail about your now to your friends and maybe even your family. But now that you’re serious, it’s important to preserve and protect the integrity of the relationship. “When you get mad, no Facebook rants or cryptic quotes about a fight you may be having and no more calling all of your friends for consensus about whether you are right or wrong in an argument,” says Nelson. “Your marriage is sacred and what happens in your relationship needs to stay in your relationship.” She suggests instead, leaning on a trusted best friend to blow off steam or find a therapist that you can confide in and learn skills to be a better mate and get through conflicts.
#7. Learn To Cook
No, Noodles doesn’t count as food.