Whether you realize it or not, the idea of being marriage material has been with you all your life. It’s simple. Marriage is a commitment. So, when it comes to tying the knot, you want to make sure that you’ve found the right person to spend the rest of your life with. Can you trust the person? Is this a person that you will still enjoy being with after you’ve been married for 10 years?
What does marriage material mean?
Marriage material encompasses a unique combination of qualities. What was it that attracted you to your significant other in the first place? Long-term, marriage material comes to mean much more. You may have heard your mother or a matchmaker talk about it. Or you may talk about it with your friends.
There’s something mercenary in the very conception of marriage material. Love doesn’t always play a role in why your partner might be a good fit for you. Is the person a good provider?
Are you compatible with the person from a cultural perspective? Is the relationship civil? Are you able to get along? With most of the discussions about marriage material, love is not always first and foremost on the list or even on the list at all. Love is not always easy to define or understand. It’s complicated.
It’s easier to focus on the positive traits because that’s the best way to make sense of it all. You don’t want to think about their negative qualities. If you’ve never taken a close look at how your partner measures up to the standard criteria, here’s a quick list. You can also add those key factors that you’ve always considered to be important.
Signs that your partner is marriage material
You may have already heard some things that you need to look for in a partner who is marriage material. It usually includes things like money, beauty/good looks, a great personality, and even a job.
It might also be something to do with a sense of drive and purpose. You may have heard that you need to find someone who is “going places.” Here are a few of the key ingredients, the signs that he’s marriage material (or she is):
It’s become an ugly word when it comes to marriage material. It’s a key factor in marriage conflict. You have your own life, and sometimes it’s difficult to share that with anyone else. Are you able to follow through on your promises? Is your partner willing and able to commit to you and what you are building together?
The person acts his/her age when it matters. That doesn’t mean that the person is boring or uptight. It’s important that the love of your life is able to take life with at least a certain amount of seriousness. Does the person have a job or a way to make a living? Are they self-sufficient? You could decide to share responsibilities in any number of ways. Still, is the person sharing in the weight of those responsibilities.
They say that laughter is the best medicine. You might be able to do without, but in a relationship, it’s a wonderful trait to have. If the other person can make you laugh and help you to see the good in life, you may live longer and be happier. Can your significant other help you to laugh when you’d rather cry? Is the humor facilitated with love?
Yep, you’ve had relationships or where you fought all the time. So, even if you don’t want to spend every second of every day with this person, you should be at least civil. Do you like being in the same room with the love of your life? Or does every encounter turn into a conflict or fight?
Relationship experts focus on how your significant other inspires you. How does that person encourage you to reach for your goals? Is your partner supportive or mean-spirited? Does your partner encourage you to become a better person? Are you enriched and enlivened by the goals that you share and the future that you see together?
You can learn a lot about your true love by watching how your partner treats other people. Does your partner treat others with kindness and respect? How does the person treat family? What about children? The sign of someone who is marriage material extends beyond how your true love treats you right now. How will your love treat you when you’ve been married for 10 years?
Are you marriage material?
It’s easy to speak in abstraction about what makes for good marriage material. Abstraction doesn’t make a reality, though. It’s up to you to take a hard look at yourself and your relationship with your partner. Of course, you have been examining how (or if) your partner meets your requirements for being good marriage material. You should also be asking yourself, “Am I good marriage material?”
You may say: “I’m not marriage material.”
The next most obvious question is: “Why am I not marriage material?”
Relationship experts can offer insight into why you are not marriage material. It could be that you haven’t found the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. You may be so focused on your own life that you don’t have time, energy or bandwidth to think about anything or anyone else.
If you do have that realization: “I’m not marriage material,” it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There are worse things in life than discovering that you don’t want to get married. Not everyone has the emotional capacity for a serious life-long relationship.
In fact, it could be a relief.
It could explain why a matchmaker has never been able to find a good fit for you. That could be why you’ve always felt like something was missing in the relationships you’ve had. This is not the first time you have been in a relationship. Now, you can examine what was missing from your previous relationships, and why you are in the position you are in at this moment.
How to be and become “good” marriage material
The first question you can ask is do you want to become marriage material? Do you want to become more available? Do you want to share your life with another person? Do you want to laugh and cry? Are you able to be there – emotionally and physically – when your one true love needs you? This is more than a fly-by-night relationship.
If you are looking for how to become marriage material, you need to step outside yourself for a moment. Walk in another person’s shoes, as Harper Lee wrote. Do you care enough to commit yourself to a relationship where you can and will think of another person other than yourself? Is it possible for you to let go and rely on your partner to step up and support your needs?
You may have always had a list of qualities that you want to see in your relationship with another person. You may not have always followed that list verbatim, but it seemed important. Relationships are so often juxtaposed between head and heart.
So often, your emotions have been outward-facing. You examined how another person fit into your template or impression of a perfect mate. How do they fit your vision or dream of the one who could and would make you feel happy and fulfilled?
How you figure into the marriage material proposition
It’s wonderful to imagine that you’ll find the ONE and that life will be better. That’s what all the fairy tales tell you. It’s what the movies depict. The hero and heroine ride off into the sunset, happy and carefree.
The truth is that your relationship is not about the other person. It’s also about you. Sharing your life with someone means that. You are opening yourself up to something that could be a lifelong commitment. It could be love. It might bring you happiness. It could also be a disappointment. You can check all the boxes and make the list of the person you think will make you happy.
Ultimately, marriage material is about you. At least, that is the only part you can control. You can’t control who the other person is now or in the future. All you can do is be open and honest.
Communicate and be ready to share your life with your partner. It may not be perfect from a marriage material slant, but it may be the road to happiness and fulfillment. Nobody said it would be easy. (Life isn’t always easy.) Nobody said that your marriage will or could be without stumbles, troubles, and tears. That’s the best part though.
The true kind of ”marriage material” is the person who will be there for you in the good times and the bad times. When you don’t even want to look at the other person, but you still love them, and can’t imagine your life without them. That’s the kind of support that’s rare. You can’t find it in the pages of a guide. It’s not easy to find a roadmap to the perfect marriage material mate. You can find it by keeping your heart and mind open and by being open to the possibilities. Don’t be afraid to tell your loved one how you feel, even when it’s uncomfortable.
So, what’s the answer?
I know, I know. You wish it was a quick-and-easy answer. You want the marriage material to walk across your path. You want it to feel right (and maybe it will and does). More often than not, though, love is messy. Life is messy. You’ll find your way as you go. You may find that you’re walking right next to the person who will share your life with you for the rest of your life. (And you never even saw it.)
You’ve had experiences in the past where you found a person who seemed perfect on paper. The person matched up with your list of what makes for good marriage material. It must have felt like you’d hit the jackpot, right?
Then, when you actually got to know the person, it didn’t work out. The reason for the disconnect is simple. The idea of marriage material is a great way to think about your future mate and your own future. It’s not the only thing you need to consider when you prepare for your future life and relationships.
Be prepared to discover that people don’t always fit into a nice little box of expectations. Watch for those red flags. Don’t listen to what others suggest is the right marriage material for you.