Is it too soon to get married?

When all your friends start getting married, it’s easy to envy the newlyweds as well as feel happy for them. If your partner is lagging behind in the proposal stakes, the temptation can be to force the issue. But taking matters into your own hands is a dangerous game. There’s no point getting hitched if the pair of you aren’t ready or the relationship isn’t right. To help avoid jumping the marital gun, here are ten signs you’re getting ahead of yourself.

You compare yourself to other couples
When other couples who haven’t been together as long tie the knot, this can make you feel like you need to get a move on. Such comparisons don’t mean you should step on the accelerator however. Remember it’s not a race. The real test of a relationship is not how soon people get married but how long they stay together afterwards. 

Avoiding talking about the future
If your partner is evasive on the subject of marriage, putting the pressure on won’t help. He or she is more likely to go off the idea altogether if you press. Changing the subject, deflecting questions and a general lack of enthusiasm are signs of someone being pushed too far too fast.

It’s not practical
Not only do weddings cost money, so do engagement rings. There’s no point dropping hints if you and your partner are having cash flow problems. Pressurising them to go down on one knee will simply generate stress and tension. Wait until you’re set up to see it through before talking about wedding bells.

You want the wedding more than the marriage
Getting married is no doubt enjoyable: you look amazing, you’re the centre of attention, you get showered with compliments and presents. But remember marriage is for the rest of your life, not a single day. If it’s the wedding rather than the relationship that gets you excited, you’re not ready to put a ring on it.

You’re a budding Bridezilla
Do you find it difficult not to think about your wedding even though the question’s nowhere in sight? If your thoughts continually drift to what size you could realistically slim down to and if the wedding list can extend to a Mulberry handbag, then you need to take a deep breath and get a hobby.

You’re channelling other people’s wishes
It’s bad enough putting pressure on your beloved to propose, but cajoling them down the aisle to please others is infinitely worse. Remember it doesn’t matter if your mother, grandmother, best friend or next door neighbour thinks it’s high time you got hitched. It’s the feelings of you and your other half that matter.

You haven’t talked about the big questions
If you’re building a life with someone, you can only do so if you share the same goals. Walking down the aisle only to find your partner doesn’t agree on something fundamental could be disastrous. If you haven’t discussed big issues such as children and where you want to live, it’s definitely too early to tie the knot.

Marriage isn’t the priority
If your partner isn’t ready for marriage, it’s not necessarily a cop-out. There may be good reasons to wait – perhaps getting your careers up and running first is a better idea. If this is the case, be prepared to sit it out, creating a solid basis for married life is no bad idea and it may just signify your partner’s in it for the long haul.

You’re forcing the issue
The fact you’re trying to engineer events at all is not a good sign. The best, and most successful, relationships are those that require very little effort. This maybe a cliché but it’s true. Any pressure on your partner is probably too much. If it’s meant to happen, then it will. 

You don’t need to
Modern relationships allow far more freedom than the olden days when marriage was a must for just simply living together. Now it’s more an added extra rather than the starting point for a long-term partnership. Ask yourself if you really need to get married. Will it strengthen your relationship or is it simply a lot of stress and expense you could do without? If it’s the latter, come round to the idea of not having a big day – at least for now.