Does he or she have the real maturity that's necessary to make marriage work?
The decision to get married is an important step for a couple. It means that both people are willing to be united to each other and share life together. Wanting to be married isn’t enough, however; real maturity is necessary for a marriage to work.
How do I know whether my boyfriend or girlfriend is truly ready to get married? Dr. Fernando Sarráis, a psychiatrist, is the author of the book Family in Harmony (“Familia en armonía” in the original Spanish), and in it he points out 13 things that need to be in place before a couple can consider themselves ready for marriage.
The two qualities of a mature person
The fundamental key to being ready for marriage is maturity. According to Sarráis, a mature person is distinguished by two qualities:
1. The ability to sincerely understand the truth about yourself and your situation;
2. The ability to control your own mental and emotional activity (perception, memory, imagination, affectivity and thought) and to control your own behavior.
The main feature that defines an immature person is the predominance of affectivity over their other mental and emotional activity and, consequently, over their behavior.
For example, someone is immature if they:
- want to get married because a fancy wedding day sounds dreamy;
- want to marry because it would be socially advantageous;
- want to get married while leaving the door open for sex outside of marriage;
- want to get married but not willing to have children;
- want to get married because of an overwhelming desire to be a mother, to the exclusion of the man who would be the father of her children.
What are some signs so I can I know whether my boyfriend or girlfriend is mature enough to get married?
Here are 13 characteristics of mature people that you should see before saying “yes” forever. See if both you and your partner fit the bill:
3. Constancy and perseverance (fidelity)
4. Industriousness, order and punctuality (diligence)
5. Measure and moderation in the way you act (temperance)
6. Joy, optimism and emotional stability (positive affectivity)
7. Patience and the ability to withstand suffering (resilience)
8. Capacity for intimate and affectionate dialogue and communication (trust)
9. Ability to forgive others and oneself, and to ask for forgiveness (humility)
10. Habitual interest and love for others and for the good things of the world (sociability)
11. A habitual attitude of helping others selflessly (altruism)
12. Emotional equilibrium, calm and self-confidence (psychological balance)
13. Tolerance and ability to adapt to change (mental flexibility)