If you've been thinking you
want to get married, you might be caught up in all those fuzzy feelings of love and thoughts towards the future — as well as the all-encompassing world that is wedding planning. But sometimes, despite the fact everything feels so right, there can still be a few signs marriage isn't the best idea, or that your partner may not actually be "The One."
This is incredibly easy to do, especially if you really appreciate your partner's positive qualities. Maybe they're really sweet. Or you love how creative they are. Or you two live together in harmony. When all that's true, a wedding can seem like a great idea. But if you two have differing core values, have difficulty communicating your needs,
or if you suspect they don't truly want to get married, it may be a good idea to pump the brakes.
That does not mean, however, that your relationship is doomed. "If you realize that your relationship isn't healthy or secure, talk about it,"
Brooke Williams, a licensed professional counselor, tells Bustle. "Most relationships get better when partners really begin sharing what is happening inside with their partner. If there are trust issues or insecurities, those things can be talked through, either together, or with the help of a counselor, in order to determine how to proceed."
From there, you can certainly have a healthy relationship — and a healthy marriage, if you still want to go down that road. But if you notice any of the signs below, it may be a good idea to hold off on walking down the aisle.
You Have Different Ideas Of What A Wedding Should Look Like
If you find that when discussing marriage, you don't see eye-to-eye on your expectations, or what you want from a wedding, it might not be a good sign. Disagreements while planning a wedding are common, but take note if these disagreements precede any official plans to
have a wedding while you're just talking about it.
"The wedding is almost like the first test of a marriage,"
life coach Mitzi Bockmann tells Bustle. "There are so many details, so many people to consider, money to be spent, etc. If you and your partner can't get along while planning your wedding, you might really struggle to stay married." But even when these things are just a hypothetical next step in your relationship, if both of you are having consistent arguments over details of what that day should be, it may indicate certain core values you differ on.
You Can't See Eye-To-Eye Financially
Whether we're talking about money could be
spent on a wedding, or how you two handle everyday money issues as a couple, it's not a great sign if you have vastly different viewpoints. "When you are young and in love, money isn't that important. But it will definitely be as you get older and have more responsibilities," Bockman says. "It is essential that you have at least complementary views about finances to make a marriage work."
You Haven't Been Connecting Physically
While what you do in the bedroom isn't everything — and it's OK to not have sex, if you don't want to — a sex life that's waning from what it once was may be a sign of problems in a relationship. And it can even create them.
As Bockman says, if you two are struggling with your sex life now, there's a chance it won't be much better in the future — and that may become more likely once kids come along, if you choose to have them. You can both work on it, either together or with a therapist, but it may be an issue worth considering
before you tie that knot.
You Really Don't Get Along With Their Family
You're marrying your partner,
not his or her family and friends. So if you don't like them (or they don't like you, for whatever reason) it's not the end of the world. But, this is one more issue that should make you take pause. As Bockman says, consistent disagreements with your mother-in-law, and other key players in your partner's life, can make for a difficult married life. And you may not want to put up with that — especially if your significant other isn't willing to step in and help.
There's Emotional Cheating Happening
Physical cheating is sometimes a big sign someone isn't marriage material. But emotional cheating counts, too. "Physical cheating is easy to notice, and easier to resist. However, emotional cheating, where you emotionally connect with someone more deeply than you do with your partner (and, usually complain about your partner [to]), often happens without noticing,"
certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. If your partner has somebody they care about a little too much on the side, marriage may not be a good idea. And this is true vice versa — if you find yourself connecting more with someone who isn't your partner, you may want to reconsider marriage.
You've Lost Your Identity In The Relationship
A marriage is a partnership between two people who have their own lives outside the relationship. Or, at least that's a great way to maintain a healthy partnership between the two of you.
That's why, if you find your partner wants you to sacrifice your individual identity, it may not be a good idea to take the next step. "A lot of times, people don't realize that forever means that if they are giving up who they are now, that will be the expectation of them for all of the years that they are together," Williams says. Issues like these often get worse with time, so it may be best to
either end things now, or make an effort to establish your individuality — before walking down the aisle.
Your Friends And Family Aren't Their Biggest Fan
When you're very much head-over-heels in love, it may blind you to issues in your relationship that are glaringly obvious to others. That's why, if your friends, family, or those you are closest to aren't big fans of your significant other, you should hear them out.
"Your family and friends aren't in love with your partner, and can see their faults more clearly," Bennett says. "While you shouldn't base your decision only on the opinion of others, at least examine the validity of their objections." If you have factored out other, completely unreasonable reasons they might dislike your partner, it may be they have a point.
They Aren't The Biggest Fan Of Marriage
Does your partner make comments about not agreeing with marriage, or make jokes about monogamy? If these things are important to you, therapist
Carrie Krawiec, LMFT tells Bustle it may be a good idea to pump the brakes. It may be a sign they aren't all in with these ideas, and may just be agreeing to marriage to make you happy. Be sure to ask them honestly if marriage is something they want, because such a monumental step should be agreed on by both people to keep a healthy relationship in the future.
You've Noticed A Red Flag Or Two
If you see a giant red flag waving around (or even a tiny, pink flag) marriage might not be a good idea just yet — especially if your partner isn't willing to make changes. Whether it be issues with communication, or subtle habits they have that are hurting you, red flags may be dealbreakers over time. As
life coach Nina Rubin tells Bustle, "Let’s say you’ve talked about it and you have expressed your concern but the other person is unwilling to look at alternatives." Since you want to be with someone who values you enough to make a change, and do whatever it takes to create a healthier relationship, it may be smart to go your separate ways.
You Keep Complaining About The Same Things
In the same vein, if you find yourself complaining about the same thing over and over again in regards to your partner, it may be a sign your partner won't make a good spouse. "Sure, your partner will have certain behaviors or mannerism that annoy you, but I am talking about the ones that impact your own daily functioning and life on a regular basis and bring you more negativity,"
psychotherapist Julia Colangelo, LCSW tells Bustle. "Do not shrug these off."
It can help to see a therapist together, in cases like these, to get to the bottom of why your partner is having trouble making changes. But if nothing improves after that, and you'd like to move on, doing so may be the healthiest choice.
You Can Feel It In Your Gut
Rubin says you'll feel it in your gut if something isn't quite right. And it's important to listen. If something's up with your partner, if there isn't respect or trust, or if you don't think they're all-in, listen to your gut. It may very well be right!
From there, you can decide how to proceed. If your partner wants to make things work, you can work out your issues together or with a therapist. Or, you can decide to end things. All these options are completely viable, as long as they're what's best for you.