So, you’ve reached that point in your life where it is expected that you’ll take the leap into ‘settling down’. Perhaps, all there are factors nudging you toward that next step too. You have a stable career, a significant other who loves you, parents are eager to see you embark on the next chapter of your life. But you feel you are not ready for marriage. If the dilemma of ‘to wed or not to wed’ doesn’t seem to pass, you need to reflect on whether or not to go ahead with that decision.
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10 Signs You Are Not Ready For Marriage
Mental health therapist Gopa Khan says rushing marriage when a person is not ready can be influenced by a combination of factors such as family pressure, age factor, lack of compatibility with primary family members, insecurities and unpleasant experiences from past relationships.
Most people usually end up marrying because of subtle or even extreme family pressure, even if they are not mentally ready to take the plunge.
“In one family, the parents were so worried that their 37-year-old daughter had still not got married and their main concern was how they would get their second daughter married off if the first one was still unmarried? What would society say? At the same time, late marriage was an issue. The family felt that time is passing by and it was best not to be “fussy” while selecting a life partner,” she says.
“Often when a marriage is in trouble, as a counsellor, I look for relationship patterns. For example, how they interact with their primary family members. A difficult relationship with family is a red flag as they have not learned the interpersonal skills necessary to negotiate a relationship,” Gopa says, adding that often such a troubled relationship that can push you to tie the knot even when you’re not sure about marriage.
These underlying factors may be at play if you’re experiencing the following 10 signs you are not ready for marriage:
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1. You don’t feel in sync with your partner
You may have found the “ideal” partner as per the societal check-list of things to look for in a spouse, but despite the outwardly ‘match made in heaven’ vibes, you feel completely out of sync with your partner. As a result, you find yourself compromising your ideals to fit your partner’s worldview. This is a sign you may be engaged but not ready for marriage. At least, not with your present partner.
2. You are focussed on your career
Your family and friends may think you’re ready to settle down because you have a decent job and a stable career, but for you, the prime focus in your professional growth. You’ve thrown yourself in work completely. You are the first to reach office, the last to leave and weekends have no meaning for you. Your single-minded focus is on meeting that next career milestone.
It is hard to make room for a spouse in your life when you’re married to your work, and that means not ready for marriage right not.
3. You’re not over your past
So, there was that one person in your past you were head over heels in love with and saw a future together, but unfortunately, things didn’t pan out as expected. If the hurt from that heartbreak still keeps you up at night, it is one of the signs not ready for marriage.
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4. Marriage is an item on your to-do list
You may have a long-term partner but you’re with them more for practical reasons than out of love. When you are torn between ‘not sure if I want to get married’ and ‘it has to be done, might as well get it over with’, you’re considering this life-long commitment for all the wrong reasons and that means you’re not ready for marriage.
5. You rushed into saying yes
You found someone who swept you off your feet and things progressed rather quickly. They popped the question and in the heady rush of romance, you said yes. But you both don’t know much about each other – your quirks, annoying habits, flaws, fears and apprehension still remain an enigma. You may be engaged but not ready for marriage.
6. You’re doing it to get back at an ex
You went through a breakup recently and somehow figured that getting married will be the best way to let your ex know that you’re over them. This is the most twisted way of getting back at someone for breaking your heart, and you risk jeopardising two – if not three – lives in the process. Besides, the person you plan on getting married to will suffer the consequences of your choices for no fault of theirs. If you remain hungover your ex, you’ll never be true to your marriage.
It’s best to toss the idea that rushing into marriage will heal your heart.
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7. Parental pressure
As our expert mentioned, pressure from parents and family is one of the top reasons why people give in and say yes even when they’re not ready for marriage. Nobody likes the constant collective nagging about the unimaginable sorrow of an unmarried person’s lie and how marriage is the solution to all your problems.
Yes, it can get overwhelming, unbearable even.
But for sake of your own happiness, turn a deaf ear to persistent pestering. Do not get married because your parents or your relatives or neighbours want you to or because your social media feeds is full of people posting wedding updates.
8. You don’t believe in the institution of marriage
You feel strongly that marriage is an outdated, restrictive institution and aren’t a believer in the concept of monogamy, then not ready for marriage and perhaps never will be. Unless you find yourself a partner who shares your worldview and is onboard with the idea of marriage as a mean of seeking companionship without sacrificing one’s sexual liberties, you should probably steer clear of tying the knot altogether.
9. You keep secrets from your partner
Everyone has a bone or two in their closet that they’d rather keep hidden, even from their partners. But if your relationship rests on a skeleton of untold truths and brazen lies, it is one of the alarming signs you’re not ready for marriage.
If you are not comfortable sharing the not-so-pleasant details from your past or present with your partner, a lifelong promise does not bode well for your future. Either try to get to the root of the problem and sort this out or take a step back from your decision to marry this person.
10. You have cold feed
The idea of marriage is freaking you out. No matter how much you try to reassure yourself that it’s going to be okay, you cannot bring yourself to come to terms with waking up next to the same person the rest of your life, getting caught in the monotony of matrimony and raising children in the future. You’re definitely not ready for marriage. It’s best to pull the plug now than be miserable for the rest of your life or deal with the mess of a divorce.
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How Do You Convince Your Parents You Are Not Ready For Marriage?
Convincing your parents that you are not ready for marriage can prove to be your Waterloo. From ‘The independence we have given you has gone to your head’ to ‘What’s there to be ready for? You get married, you’ll learn to handle it too’, ‘What will people say!’, ‘How will live your life alone’, all sorts of rhetorics will be thrown your way, along with tears and temper. Here’s what you can do to try and convince your parents you are not ready for marriage:
- Make them see that marriage is not a necessity for survival. Times are changing and a lot of young people today prefer to be on their own and do just fine. Cite examples, if any.
- Tell them that you’re not averse to the idea of marriage but are not ready for it yet. When the time comes, you’ll let them know.
- Without hurting their feelings, tell them that ultimately the right to take such an important decision of your life must rest on you.
- Discuss career and future plans and make them see where marriage fits in your scheme of thing. This might help reassure them a little.
- Hear their perspective without getting agitated, and counter it with your own.
- Give them a realistic time of when you’d be ready for marriage.
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Why Shouldn’t You Rush Your Marriage?
Rushing marriage is never a good idea. If you’re ready for a commitment of this nature, it will take a toll on the quality of your relationship with your spouse. Besides, research shows that knowing one’s partner well and being sure about the decision to share a life together can reduce your risk of divorce by 50 per cent.
It is better to wait for the right person to come along at the right time in your life than be in an unhappy marriage or an unsuccessful one. Our expert believes pre-marital counselling is crucial for anyone contemplating marriage but unsure about their decision.