I never thought I’d get married. So when my husband proposed to me, there were plenty of things to consider before I agreed to marry him. Was I willing to look outside myself and put someone else’s concerns on par with mine? I looked into his eyes and realized that for the first time I was at least willing to try — and considering how selfish I can be, that was a big step for me.
Before our engagement, we had spoken about marriage in an abstract way, choosing to use "if" instead of "when" in regards to the future. It was only a couple weeks before he got down on his knee that we had finally started to use the word "when." I’m not romantic or sappy enough to call it a magical shift. It was more just like marriage began to make sense.
If you and your partner have been tossing around the words “marriage” and “engagement” lately, then this list is definitely for you. Here are 13 signs you're actually ready to get married. And, hey, if you're not ready, don't stress it — these things can all evolve in time. After all, what's the big rush?
YOU USE 'WHEN' AS OPPOSED TO 'IF' WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE
I think talking about the "if we get married," or "if we have kids" thing with partners is totally normal, but once you can say, "when we buy that house on the lake after our second child is born," you've totally just entered marriage territory.
YOU SEE THE WORLD THE SAME WAY, ONLY THROUGH DIFFERENT EYES
You both think the GOP is the pits, the nation is doomed, and that nothing makes a day better quite like Googling photos of baby animals. Only he sends you environmentalist petitions and you send him Planned Parenthood emails. You prefer puppies and he prefers kittens. See? Different, but the same.
YOU WANT TO END THAT FIGHT ABOUT WHO ATE THE LAST COOKIE IMMEDIATELY
Instead of locking yourself in the bathroom, you want to remedy the issue as soon as possible so you can get back to having fun. Why waste your time and energy on bullshit when someone has to go to the store and buy more damn cookies?
YOU’RE ABLE TO FIND MUSIC IN THEIR SNORING
Whereas partners in the past might have kept you up at night with snoring that sounded like a dying bear, for some reason, your partner's snoring is... different. It's like a bizarre symphony that you can actually hum along to sometimes. Other normally gross quirks are strangely endearing, and sometimes, you even find yourself fondly imagining your partner as an senior citizen.
YOU CAN COMFORTABLY DISCUSS WHO'S PAYING THE ELECTRIC BILL
Marriage is a partnership, which means you have to divvy stuff up without either person feeling like they got the raw end of the deal. If you can negotiate that you'll pay the electric bill every month if he takes on toilet duty, then you're one step closer to being ready for marriage.
YOU CAN TELL HIM THAT HIS BROTHER GIVES YOU THE CREEPS
Too many couples keep issues they might have about their in-laws secret. Has his brother been giving you the willies since day one? If you can communicate that to your partner without it being the end of the world for either one of you, then that's another sign you're ready.
YOU DON’T WANT TO CHANGE HIM (WELL, NOT COMPLETELY)
You don't want to change him, but you also understand that you both need to evolve in some way to meet each other’s specific needs. Yes, it would be awesome if he understood that putting water in the dish soap dilutes its antibacterial strength, but no, you are not going to get him to be an extrovert. And you wouldn't want to try.
YOU BOTH LOVE THE WORD 'COMPROMISE'
OK, I'm the first one to admit that this one is tricky. I have to remind myself to compromise so often that I'm literally just days away from tattooing the word on my hand. But it goes like this: Thanksgiving at his family's house means Christmas at your family's house. Sadly, it doesn't matter if your mom cooks a better turkey and does Christmas perfectly; you can't have it both ways.
YOU'RE OK WITH WATCHING HIM SING COVERS FOR A CROWD OF LESS THAN 20 PEOPLE FOREVER
My husband still honestly believes he's going to be a rock star someday. He's considerably older than me at 47, but, yes, I support that dream to the moon and back. I just don't go to every single show, you know, because I have Netflix obligations. Still, I'll be there whenever he says he needs me, and I won't be ashamed.
RUNNING AWAY WHEN IT'S ALL TOO MUCH DOESN'T FEEL LIKE AN OPTION
Being part of a partnership means being one half of a whole. For several years now, whenever anything went bad in my life, I'd sublet my apartment and take off to another country. Sure, I can still do that, but now I have to discuss it with my husband first.
YOU'RE AT YOUR VERY BEST WHEN YOU'RE WITH THEM
Yes, you do that glow thing people talk about so much, and you even think that maybe, just maybe, there's hope for humanity. Oh, and you smile a lot, too! Some people didn't even know you had teeth until now! He brings out your best traits, and the love you share only means you have more to give to others.
YOU DON'T WORRY THAT SOMETHING IS MISSING
Being in love and being ready for marriage are two very different things. I’ve been in love a couple times before, but never did I feel that pull in my stomach to want to be with that person forever. No matter how much I loved them, there was always something... missing. Looking back, I can’t pinpoint what it was, but it just wasn’t there. When I met my husband, all that was missing before in other relationships just happened to be right there in the one we had.
YOU FANTASIZE ABOUT THE DAY AFTER YOUR WEDDING
Bridal magazines may try to convince you otherwise, but your wedding day isn't the most important day of your life. It's the morning after, when you wake up and he makes you pancakes in bed and tells you that your bed head looks awesome. That's what really counts.
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