If you’ve ever been in love, there might have been a time when you began to wonder if your significant other is someone worthy of that lifetime commitment. You know, the one that involves walking down the aisle and saying “I do.”
Many of us may hope the answer lies somewhere in Buzzfeed, where you can take a quiz to find out who you’ll marry or even WHEN you’ll get married. However, there are deeper reasons that may suggest you’re with the person you should marry.
Of course not everyone wants to get married, and no one in a long-term relationship should ever feel pressured to tie the knot. But if you are the marrying kind, here’s how you know if you’re with the person you should marry.
1. You can rely on your partner when things go wrong.
According to marriage and family therapist Erica Curtis, a relationship is marriage material when a couple is able to cope together, knowing they can rely on each other through the ups and downs of life. If you think life will be as perfect as your honeymoon or right after you get that big job promotion, you’ll be sadly mistaken.
“While it’s not pleasant to think about the worst of the worst that life can throw at you, when considering whether or not you’re with the person to marry, it can be useful to consider the darker side of life and how you imagine the two of you might fair through it together.”
Weirdly enough, studies have shown that couples who have similar fighting styles, particularly constructive and calm communication approaches, have the lowest divorce rates. Additionally, couples who argue effectively are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship than those who sweep difficult issues under the carpet.
2. You’re hooked on your partner’s idiosyncrasies.
While looks, wealth and charisma are what initially reels someone in, what makes someone stay for the long-term is accepting your partner’s idiosyncrasies.
While some people may leverage a partner’s quirks as negative qualities in fights, a compatible partner learns to adore your weird laugh or way you pronounce certain words. I’m by no means perfect but I like to think that I’m perfect for my wife.
Accepting your partner’s flaws – The Art of Manliness
3. You know you can grow together through ultimate tragedies.
We all know the “for better or for worse” caveat that’s commonly in marriage vows — thinking critically about how you and your partner deal with conflict, such as family illnesses or financial troubles, is a great predictor for how you’ll manage through your marriage. As reported by The Washington Post, marital discord can have a detrimental impact on the immune system and stress hormones, and can increase the likelihood for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and can double the risk for metabolic syndrome.
A different large 2016 study conducted by researchers from institutions including Aston Medical School and the University of East Anglia found that being married could improve your chances of surviving a heart attack. Specifically, the study concluded that married people were 14 percent less likely to die after a heart attack than single people, and married people were likely to spend two fewer days in the hospital, on average.
4. You have more than compatibility in your relationship.
While the dating world, especially dating sites, like to have us believing what makes for a lasting relationship is compatibility (i.e., all those questionnaires), focusing on shared interests isn’t what makes for a great relationship; mutual commitment is. It’s when couples start looking at what they don’t have in common, that things can get off track.
Along with deep commitment, another key element of sustainable, long-term marriages is that partners are looking for relationships that are full of meaning, rather than thrills. The more nuanced your relationship and your partner, the longer and more satisfying the marriage.
5. You know how each other feels about pretty much everything.
Knowing how happy your partner is and how she feels in certain situations is paramount. Healthy marriages consist of a series of gut-checks.
A study out of the University of Virginia found that when it came to the ability of the 4,242 participants to be able to tell if their partner was happy in the relationship, only 40.9% could correctly answer. Being on the same page and understanding what’s going on in your partner’s head is essential.
6. You’re both able to communicate and respect equally.
Although we all know that communication is essential to a great marriage, how well you communicate is key. Are you able to request things of each other without demanding or shaming? Do you have mutual respect for each other? Are you both willing to challenge yourselves to grow? These questions are a great litmus test to determine what kind of dialogue is going on in your relationship.
In fact, a great way to determine if you’re ready to tie the knot is by asking yourself if your partner feels like a true friend. People who called their spouse their “best friend” are two times more likely to report a happy and satisfactory marriage.
Now it’s time to ask yourself the tough questions!