When getting married, you want your partner to be mature and ready for commitment. To make sure of this, you'll want to look out for some signs that you're marrying a grown person — aka, the epitome of a respectful and responsible individual who will make a great partner — and not just someone who is fun for the time being. Although every person is mature in their own way, there are a number of indicators that can help you decide whether or not your partner is ready for a serious life with you.
"It's important not to get lost in the haze of romance and dreams coming true, and understand that you’re getting together to build a real life," couples psychotherapist Tina Tessina, Ph.D. tells Bustle. "You need a partner who can work with you to handle the ups and downs of life, you need to be mature yourself so you can be a good partner, and both of you need to understand the resources you bring to the relationship and how to share them. A partner who has a full, interesting life you would want to be a part of is more likely to be a healthy, balanced person."
To make sure you're marrying someone that's ready for the life you want, you'll want to look out for these nine signs experts say can help you tell if you're marrying a grown-ass person.
1They're A Good Communicator
A person with emotional maturity can express how they feel and what they think, can participate in difficult conversations, and has enough ego strength to stay engaged during disagreements. "Shutting down, withdrawing, and the cold-shoulder are all signs of emotional immaturity," psychologist Kimber Shelton, PhD tells Bustle. "People who shut down do not know how to express their emotions, do not see the value in expressing their emotions, or use withdrawal as a form of manipulation."
2They Have Goals
There's nothing wrong with enjoying the moment, but you also want your partner to have a plan for the future. "The ability to think ahead and prepare for success is a sign of maturity," says Shelton. "When it comes to relationship success, a mature [person] would also be including [their] partner in [their] goals."
3They Takes Responsibility For Their Actions
No partner will be perfect, but you want someone who can own up to their actions. "A mature man knows when he was wrong or made a mistake," says Shelton. "Being wrong or making a mistake is not seen as a slight against their masculinity. Therefore, there is no need to lie, become defensive, or deflect responsibility when men are mature." Regardless of gender, those who are responsible enough to claim their mistakes will be able to move forward in a relationship, despite disagreements.
4They See The Relationship As A Priority
Having their own friendships is important, but you shouldn't always feel like you come second. "Juvenile comments like 'bros before hoes,' 'guys before wives,' and being 'whipped' are not in a mature man’s vocabulary," says Shelton. "A mature man respects the balance between relationships and friendship, but at the end of the day, recognizes that his relationship has top priority." People who are ready for serious commitment can compartmentalize their relationship and their friendships without allowing one to take precedence over the other.
5They Deal With Conflict Well
It's useful to look at how your partner deals with discomfort or conflict. "Does he run away, or does he keep space for you — despite how scared or uncomfortable he may feel —and communicate about how he's feeling and what his needs are?" Carolyn Cole, LCPC, LMFT, NCC tells Bustle. "An emotionally mature man will deal with his feelings rather than running away or becoming distant or avoidant." And this is pretty universal — emotionally mature women will also deal with conflict head-on, conveying their needs while respecting their partner's.
6They Can Control Their Impulses
Someone who's emotionally mature is able to control their impulses, is less prone to emotional outbursts, and isn't quick to anger, psychologist Rob Pascale, Ph.D., author of Making Marriage Work, tells Bustle. "They also tend to choose their words carefully and are less prone to use abusive language," he says. "That means they’re more effective in dealing with conflict and less prone to cause conflicts to escalate and lead to resentments."
7They Are Financially Responsible
"This is incredibly important, because financial irresponsibility, whether on the part of the woman or the man, will create life-long stress and deprivation," says Tessina. "If he or she gambles money away or spends it on drugs or even just the latest tech toys, or if either of you overspends, the relationship will not work." Knowing how to manage money — despite how much you have — helps you create the life you want. Good money managers live within their means, and are more concerned about whether their purchases are sensible than whether they’re fashionable.
8They Are Trustworthy
"Trust is one of the keystones of any relationship," says Pascale. "Trust lets us feel secure because we believe our partner has our back and is loyal through thick and thin." If you trust your partner, you should feel free to display your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly, and you should feel that they will be supportive without worrying about judgement, ridicule, or rejection.
9.They Are Emotionally Supportive
In a successful marriage, your partner is your go-to person. They take ownership of their partner’s problem, and that makes them both people feel more connected to each other. "Supportiveness comes in lots of forms," says Pascale. "There are the obvious ones such as helping around the house and contributing money. Day-to-day positive interactions is another. Treating each other with respect, kindness, and affection as a normal routine make partners feel good about themselves, their marriage, and each other."
Although it's impossible to look for your future spouse to be perfect, it's good to know what qualities they have that indicate that they're grown up and ready for a serious, life-long commitment.