Singaporebrides | Relationships

September 2022

Six Telling Signs You’re Ready For Marriage

You’ve been together for a while and you get the feeling he’s going to propose soon. Being a cautious person, you start to ponder if you are really ready for marriage.

Yes, he makes your heart flutter. And you know that he’s planning to pop that big question soon. But “happily ever after” doesn’t just… happen. Even if it’s built on a strong foundation of love, marriage needs constant work, well-intentioned compromises, and enduring commitment to be blissful and long-lasting. It takes a ton of effort, so how would you know if you’re all ready to take that first bold step down the aisle? From one who’s been there before, Jaclyn Lim cuts out all the fluff and dishes out some straight—and harsh—advice.

1: You love him.

That first checkbox you need to tick? It’s love. Plain and simple. Just love. Think of the love you feel for your partner as the strong, stable train tracks that support and guide your marriage journey through life. Without it, it’s easy to feel unsupported and lost. So don’t hop on the wedding bandwagon just because everyone’s sporting a diamond ring, posting proposal pictures on Instagram or enjoying their honeymoon at an exotic destination.

Sit yourself down and search deep within your heart—do you love him? Do you want to spend the rest of your life with him because he’s, well, him? Only when you ask yourself the hard questions can you be sure that you’re not getting married for the sake of getting married. You are getting married because you love your partner, and you truly want to chart a life journey with him.

Image from Si Chyi and Jermyn’s Fun and Colourful Wedding at PARKROYAL Collection Pckering by Blessed-i Photography

2: You are the best version of yourself with him.

No one is perfect. I’m well aware that I arrived on this earth, marked by plenty of flaws. I’m impatient. I’m often snarky and sarcastic. I’m terribly introverted and reject almost all forms of face-to-face social interactions. But with my then-boyfriend K, I was blessed with a long courtship that gradually teased the best qualities out of me. When I’m impatient about something, he remained stoically unruffled, his quiet companionship enough to urge me to rethink my grumbles and gripes. He did not just give a listening ear to my work woes as an idealistic twenty-something, he also issued sound advice to always be kind and empathetic to others. He was also the reason I did not end up as a hikikomori, also known as acute social withdrawal, frequently described in Japanese culture.

The point is, when I was with him, I felt that I was constantly striving to become a better person. And that gave me the confidence to say yes when he proposed. So, run this through in your head: do you feel like your partner inspires you to work on yourself, be it personality flaws, life ambitions or fitness goals? If you’re nodding to that, then he’s a keeper!

3: You see his family as yours.

Let’s face it—a courtship can be just about the two of you, but a marriage can involve your entire village. If you don’t believe it, it’s time to binge through both seasons of Indian Matchmaking on Netflix right now. Whether you like it or not, his family will become yours upon your union, and vice versa. Think about it, with marriage comes pregnancy and childbirth for most couples, and these are life stages that will invite not just your parents, but also every single auntie and uncle, into the most private folds of your life.

So if you’re comfortable hangin’ out with his parents (sometimes even without him!), then you’re probably good to go. But if you haven’t built a relationship with his family when you were dating, then it’s time to start. For K and I, it took almost a decade to gain a better understanding of each other’s families, quirks and all, before we said “I do”. While we did not consciously set out to have a long courtship, it did help because time will always tell.

Image from Eileen and Alan’s Morroccan-themed Wedding at Zafferano by Annabel Law Productions

4: You have been through some tough s*** together.

Mid-week coffee dates, Michelin-star meals and a beach vacation in the Maldives. It’s just easier to be lovey-dovey when life is running smoothly. But it’s a different story when tough times hit. It could be a medical diagnosis, job loss or a death in the family. Oh, and the pandemic has caused major shifts in lifestyles, as well as resultant rifts in relationships, in the past two years.

Yet these tough times are the often the best ways to test the strength of your relationship. K and I have been through our fair share of s***. When I became homeless after my parents’ marriage broke down, he offered me a place to stay. When a bout of depression followed and threatened to drown me in a swirl of black fog, he somehow found a way to pull me up, again and again. So, does he consistently show up for you, and you for him?

5: You can talk freely about finances.

As a hardworking twenty-something, your salary belongs to you, and only you. There is no need to answer to anybody when you chalk up purchases on your credit card. But once marriage is on the horizon, this mindset needs to go through a drastic change. You will need to start making shared financial decisions. Are you ready for that?

The answer could lie in whether you and your partner have sat down, shared your money attitudes and lifestyle habits. It’s not the most romantic of tasks, yet it is absolutely necessary. That’s because these money choices will impact every aspect of your lives, from coming up with a household budget to saving for an emergency fund, to planning for children in the future.

K and I started with the basics, revealing how much we earn, what we owe in student loans, how much we charged to our credit cards and what we hope to save. As the years went by, we started a joint account for shared family expenses, bought insurance and invested our money. In other words, we gradually aligned our money goals and are still working as a team to achieve them.

Image from Charmaine and Benjamin’s Romantic Wedding at Lewin Terrace by Hello Grey Van

6: You can see a future with him.

Before you walk down the aisle, ask yourself if you can see a future with your partner. This is the time to be brutally honest with yourself instead of glossing over potential issues. One way is to check if your long-term goals are aligned—whether it’s saving for a BTO flat, having kids (or not!) or an overseas working stint. It’s natural for couples to have different dreams, but a common long-term vision will contribute to a better marriage!

Like many Singaporeans, K and I were on the same page about getting a place of our own as soon as we could. So we committed to a five-year goal of saving up while waiting for our BTO flat, pooling salaries and consciously cutting back on small luxuries to do so. Of course, there were hiccups along the way but ultimately I knew then that I could envision a happy future with K – and that was why I took the plunge.

Credits: Feature image from Elaine Rui Min and Gabriel’s Industrial Pre-Wedding Shoot in Singapore by Multifolds Productions.

All content from this article, including images, cannot be reproduced without credits or written permission from SingaporeBrides.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram for the latest article and promotion updates!

Six Telling Signs You’re Ready For Marriage