- With so many life options, how do you know when you should get married?
- When should you be dating just to have fun?
- Do you need to have a plan and vision for the future goal or marriage and children?
- Is it ever too early to start thinking about these major life decisions?
As a relationship coach and former matchmaker, I can confidently say that the number one regret many of my professional, never married female clients over 35 years old tell me is not making time for love. They were so caught up in their career goals that they “forgot” to get married. Most panic and want to meet someone immediately, trying to make up for lost time. In the background of their minds, they did not consciously say, “Marriage is unimportant to me,” but said, “I don’t have time right now but will make it a priority soon … just after I complete this next goal.” Their actions revealed that since it was not on the immediate radar, any effort in that direction was not necessary. The result? Lack of forethought led to a future not anticipated which may not include what was previously taken as a given.
This attitude of postponing marriage is reflective of a recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that a smaller number of young adults were getting married between the ages of 18 and 34 in 2011 compared to 1976. The 1976 census showed 67 percent of 24-year-olds were married, compared with 14 percent in the 2011 census. The reasons for delaying marriage are similar to what we find here: many want to experience some life before making a lifelong commitment, choosing to pursue primarily higher education and career aspirations. Developing talents, setting educational, financial and professional goals and achieving those dreams is very rewarding and does enrich life. However, singleminded devotion to tangible goals will not fulfill the emotional desires of your heart.
My advice for those who want to know when is the “right time” to marry:
Prepare for Love. If you can’t see yourself married with children in the future, you will not take any steps in that direction. A balanced person is not on call with work day in and day out. It is important to figure out why you need to feel validated through your occupation. The trap is making your career your identity because that’s not the real you. The excuse that one is much too busy anything other than casual dating is an excuse for avoiding emotional attachments. Every person makes time for what they want to make time for. No one is so busy at work that a committed relationship and a satisfying career cannot coexist. The right time to marry is when you are dating with the purpose of attracting the right long term relationship. You take love seriously, not passively committing to whomever asks you out. You know what you want in love.
Be Open to Plan Changes. It can be very easy to be inflexible when life does not unfold in the manner you thought it should. Short and long term goals will lead you to the dreams in your heart; openness to the order which they arrive allows more doors of opportunity to open. If you meet Mr. Right tomorrow but sabotage it because you “have” to be at work all the time and neglect nurturing that love, you will regret what could have been. Most people do not look back on their life wishing they had worked harder and longer. Disappointment and sadness comes from knowing relationships could have been so much more if given half a chance to succeed. The right time to marry is when you are not so focused on completing a goal that you miss the love right in front of your face.
Know Your Priorities. You will nurture what you value. If your significant other is at the bottom of your list, the relationship or marriage will not survive. The right time to marry is when you know the correct order for your priorities and make the effort to stick to that conviction.
Life is all about love and relationships. We are relational and need personal connections to lead a fulfilling life. When is the right time to marry? When you have prepared for that option by setting that as an important goal in life and are open to love walking into your life at any moment. The best way to prepare for the right relationship is to live with a hopeful expectancy that love will happen at the perfect time while you are living a full life in the pursuit of the dreams and desires placed in your heart.
If you have a relationship question, please contact me and I will answer in an upcoming blog.