Getting married - Do you really want to get married? Some points to consider.

You fell in love at first sight. Or maybe it was just attraction. You’ve been seeing her for a month, a year, a decade. All relationships evolve gradually. Some meet in college, date for some time and although young, they somehow know that they’re going to be together for life. Others meet at work or through friends and family. As the relationship deepens and matures, partners start making concrete decisions about whether they want to spend a lifetime together.

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There are those who, within a few weeks or even days of meeting each other, know that they are going to be together forever. There are others who, despite being in a relationship for years, hesitate to take the next step and discuss marriage. Inevitably though, it does come up. Sometimes one partner wants it more desperately than the other. It could be that they are close in age and already approaching the thirties and the woman feels her biological clock is ticking away and would like to settle down. But the man isn’t ready to commit and wants to wait a little longer. This may cause friction.

But in an ideal situation, the relationship progresses naturally towards its final conclusion…marriage. The couple may have already broached the subject and discussed it at length, or the man (or even the woman!) may spring a surprise proposal!

There are many issues to be addressed and mulled over before deciding to get married. Ask yourself the following questions before tying the knot:

• Do you feel you are old enough to be contemplating marriage? Sometimes age is just a state of mind…are you mature enough to be settling down?

• Have you known each other long enough?

• If you have not known the person for a long time, then do you at least know him/her well enough?

• Are you financially independent? Do you have a secure job and a stable income?

• Have you met each other’s families?

• Do you plan to live with his parents or independently? Can you afford it?

• Would he have objections to your ambitions or career plans?

• Have you discussed family planning?

• Do you both want to have children?

A few tips… consider the following:

• Weigh carefully the opinions of people important to you…like your best friend, parents etc. They may see things that you, who are emotionally involved and probably blind to some major flaws, do not.

• Try and be as open and transparent in your communication with each other.

• Discuss your expectations, priorities and values.

• If you have strong religious beliefs, ensure that he/she will have no objection to your pursuing them.

• Talk about past relationships that may have left you feeling bitter or hesitant to trust.

• Avoid marrying in haste…it may cause you to repent at leisure.

• Nobody (partner, parents, friends) should be allowed to force you into making this important decision to get married – it will be your bed and you will have to lie in it.

• It is a mistake to carry old baggage into the marriage.

• Do not conceal any health problems (mental or physical) and addictions that can have an impact on your marital life.

Once you have decided to get married, every couple wants the best for their wedding. Some like it simple and are content to invite family and a few close friends.

But for most, it is a day to remember. You will cherish memories of it for many years to come. The wedding preparations are often mind-boggling. The venue to be booked, invitations sent out, honeymoon details planned. However, in the flurry of all this, do not let go of one important fact. This is a pact you enter into together…so enjoy every minute of it and don’t let it become a bone of contention. After all, a wedding is a day but a marriage is a lifetime!