1) You need to know why you want to get married. Is it because you know of no other way? Maybe most of your friends have already gotten married? Believe me, it is not a race. Marrying the wrong person is a huge mistake with terrible consequences. If it takes you finding the right person when you’re in your 30’s or 40’s, then so be it. At least you’ll have less baggage going into the marriage. Not being married isn’t the worse thing in the world especially if you have a good network of family and friends. I realize it can get lonely at times, but you’re much better off in the quiet of your home dealing with loneliness, than dealing with what comes after a bad divorce especially if children are involved.
2) Our brains are filled with electrical impulses and chemistry which changes over time. When we’re young, sex often means a great deal, so it’s easier to make terrible mistakes because we’re sexually attracted to someone to the point where we overlook signs of trouble; issues that some people around us notice, but that we blow off blindly. Quite frankly, many of the things that someone might think is cute about someone they’re dating, ends up being things that bother them greatly later. It becomes a pet peeve. For example, some women might think they like the strong, silent, type but will later pull their hair out trying to get their mate to talk with her.
3) It’s critical to marry someone with a strong and steady faith. It’s easy to find research which states that religious couples divorce at the same rate as non-believers but it’s important to pay attention to who is conducting the research; believe me, some groups don’t want faith to be a crucial factor in peoples’ lives. There’s a lot of research as well that states just the opposite, that a person has a much better chance of experiencing a long and more successful marriage if both partners are faithful Christians. There’s research and there’s common sense. Of course, the foundation of a couple who attempts to please God, is sitting on more solid ground than non-believers. When times get tough, Christians have an added incentive to try and make things work. Not that Christian couples are perfect and are guaranteed a great marriage, but it certainly gives someone a better shot at experiencing success if he or she is a believer and marries one. But more importantly, that both are actively involved in their faith.
4) Most people tend to dress up and play nice when they leave their house and do their thing (basically putting our best foot forward), but don’t care as much about doing the same thing for the people we love. In other words, if it’s just as easy for me to put on nicer shorts and a shirt (I live in Florida), when I’m hanging around the house then why not do it? Your spouse might not have a problem at all with you hanging around the house in sweats or whatever makes you more comfortable, but there’s a possibility (not guaranteed), that you both might be missing out on something which can improve your relationship. As I mentioned earlier, not all relationships are the same. I’m not saying to go crazy over this issue, I’m just saying that spouses shouldn’t give up on their appearance. Nor should they leave their house and give everyone the best of what they’ve got for appearance purposes without at least doing some of the same for their spouse.
5) We can’t live off love no matter how romantic it would be, it takes money. Communication issues and money problems bury marriages daily. You aren’t being superficial to care whether your potential spouse has been gainfully and steadily employed over his or her career. The ugly truth is that you can love someone, especially initially with the chemical attractions, but lose respect for him or her because of their work ethic. It’s hard to feel all giddy in love when you’re worried about paying your bills. I’m not saying that you need to marry a wealthy, white-collar person, I’m just saying marry someone who not only enjoys working but more importantly, who understands the responsibility of ensuring financial stability in a marriage.
There’s much more of course, but these are five critical areas that should receive attention from someone considering getting married. I believe the pros of getting married far outweigh the cons. Marriage can be a rollercoaster ride at times. It’s cyclic, so sometimes you feel the love while other times you don’t. It is very rare to live with someone and not have some major and minor blowouts. Same thing when we were growing up. The important thing is to hang in there because the feelings of love will come around again. Marrying the right person is about finding someone who will make your life’s journey more rewarding. Having someone who has your back and will cover your times of weakness both mentally and physically. Having someone who can help make bad times better and not be the cause of them. Oh, and let me give you some fake news: “Your perfect spouse is out there somewhere waiting for you.” :)