Dating someone? Has it been a long time? Are you two super serious? Are you living together? If you answered yes to all, if not most, of the above, then can I ask you this: is your lady blaring “Single Ladies” at every chance she gets?
Yep. That’s not just the sound of Beyonce’s killer vocals you’re hearing—that’s the sound of impending wedding bells, too.
I know—these days, nobody needs to get married, and nobody needs to stay married. In fact, sometimes it seems that married people are like unicorns, both unique and rare and kind of scary. I mean, we are talking about forever. Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully. One woman, one vagina, for. The. Rest. Of. Your. Life.
But before you get all “guy” and freak out, stop for a moment to consider how settling down with one woman could be an awesome thing. You love her. She loves you. Kids sound cool. So does having someone holding your hand on your deathbed. Maybe it’s not so bad after all, right?
I recruited top Toronto psychotherapist, Nicole McCance, to help put together the essential checklist you need before you get down on one knee. According to McCance:
If You . . .
- No longer feel that you might be missing out on something better.
- Start to imagine your distant future (buying a house/kids) with her in it.
- Are willing to compromise and make sacrifices for her
- Don’t miss the dating scene and look forward to cuddling with her on the couch.
- Can’t picture your life without her.
Then guess what, dude? You’re ready to settle down. (But, you already knew that, right?)
If Your Relationship is one in which . . .
- You accept each other, even each other’s quirks.
- You share similar goals for the future and resolve your arguments in a respectful manner.
- Your friends and family get along . . .
Then, yep, you’re pretty much ready to walk down the aisle.
OK, now, for The Talk
So, your friends and family get along, you see your future kids, the white-picketed house (or stylish condo) that will take decades to pay off, spending your retirement years on one of those European cruises . . . now what’s the next step? No, not the ring. The Talk.
McCance says you both need to “identify and communicate your needs and expectations. The three most common subjects couples fight about are: kids, sex and money. Discuss these in detail before you decide to marry.” In other words, you better sync up. If you want six kids and she wants only two, or you want to do the deed three times a week, but she wants more from you, you need to talk about all that before you slip that ring on her finger.
On the flip side . . .
Maybe you’re still undivided about settling down. Maybe the idea appeals to you, but you’re unsure if the woman you’re with is, in fact, The One. McCance says, “If you find yourself criticizing her and wanting to change he,” then chances are, she’s not your future Missus. Also, if “you feel like you would be settling,” then you’re definitely not ready to walk down the aisle. Remember, you deserve the best—which means, the best wife and best potential for a healthy, happy and long marriage. So, obviously, if there’s a lot of drama and fighting between you and your current GF, then you probably (absolutely) don’t want that for as long as you both shall live.
The Final Word
If you’re still unsure about spending the rest of your life with the woman who laughs at all of your corny jokes and who still puts a smile on your face after a crummy day at the office, then just remember that, “research shows that married people live longer and are healthier and happier,” says McCance.
So, what are you waiting for? Size down your grandmother’s ring (‘cause she had chubby fingers), buy a bottle of Dom Perignon and put a damn ring on it.
Brianne Hogan is a freelance writer based in Toronto, something of a humorist, and considers herself more Bridget Jones than Samantha Jones. Though she won’t reveal which parts, she will admit to liking emotionally unavailable men and drinking lots of wine. You can follow her on Twitter @briannehogan.