It’ll take more than a magic number of years spent together, similar interests, or passion that hasn’t faded.
What are practical ways a woman can know the man she’s dating is marriage material? How can we tell if we truly want to and can spend the rest of our lives with this person? What’s a surefire, foolproof way to know we aren’t making a huge mistake by pursuing a relationship? Well, depending on who we ask, we’ll get wildly different answers.
Some say you’ll know it in our gut, that there’s an unmistakable he’s-the-one feeling we’ll magically know how to interpret. Others assure us it’s based on the number of years spent in the relationship, that once we make it past three years, we can make a safe bet on him. Then there are the people who promise us it’s all about having enough in common, that if we share the same hobbies or similar occupations, we’re set up for success. Some guarantee that if our passion hasn’t faded after enough time, that’s our sign.
Those are all fine and good – but do they offer us enough information to really know? I’d argue not. There are, in reality, just a few ways to truly know if a guy is marriage material, and they’re a lot more concrete than "you’ll just know." Here are a few practical, reliable ways to suss out if he’s the marrying type.
You’ve Been Through a Period of Hardship
We all know a couple (or two, or three) that ended their relationship in 2020 – the year anything and everything in the world that could go wrong, went wrong. Countless people lost their jobs, their homes, and their loved ones due to COVID, weddings and honeymoons were postponed, and loneliness took hold of our lives. The past year put most of us through the wringer.
We all know a couple (or two, or three) that ended their relationship in 2020.
Of course, hardship can occur any and every year – we might lose a parent, find ourselves trapped in a depressing job, or struggle to make friends. How we handle difficult seasons says a lot about our emotional health and maturity, and it’s fair to say we don’t really know someone until we’ve seen them in the depths of despair, or experienced how they handle someone else’s pain.
As someone’s spouse, it’ll be on us to meet them in those depths and help them find a way out. Seeing how our significant other deals with their own hardship, as well as how they help us navigate through ours, is crucial when deciding if he’s husband material.
You’ve Taken a Trip Together
Back in middle school, I went on a lengthy road trip with my friend and her family. Between sharing a bed with her, spending hours upon hours in the car together, and the shower being my only place of solace and solitude, she started getting on my nerves by the third day. By the end of it all, I was so tired of her, I didn’t want to see her for a good, long while.
Traveling always thrusts us out of our comfort zone. We’re forced to exist in smaller spaces, get less time to ourselves, and give up our creature comforts and rhythms for the entirety of our trip. And the person we’re traveling with will end up having a huge effect on our experience, and whether or not the memories we make on the trip will be fondly reminisced about or shuddered at.
If we can’t even spend a week in Greece with him, what makes us think we can spend a lifetime with him?
On a trip with our significant other, we’ll either have the time of our lives, love every minute with them, feel the relationship deepening, and get confirmation that they’re going to be our forever travel companion, or we’ll be at each other’s throats the whole time, counting down the seconds until we’re on our own again. And if we can’t even spend a week in Greece with him, what makes us think we can spend a lifetime with him?
You’ve Spent Time with Each Other’s Families
The family we’re raised in has long-lasting effects on us – our parents’ relationship is the first image we have of a committed relationship, our siblings are the first people we learn to communicate with, and the family dynamics affect how we interact with the world.
It’s safe to say that a guy’s relationship with his family, and how he feels about them, tells us a lot about him, and what he might be like as a life partner. While it’s tricky to rely on families for information (not everyone has a wonderful relationship with their relatives!), they can still offer us an abundance of wisdom.
Are they people we’d want to see every Christmas?
It’s essential when we’re weighing out our guy’s husband potential that we get to know his family well – after all, they’d eventually be our children’s grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Are they people we’d want to see every Christmas? Would we be comfortable leaving our future kids at his parent’s house for the weekend? Did they raise a good son, and continue to have a healthy relationship with him as an adult?
That doesn’t just go for his family, either. Is he respectful towards our family? Is he happy to be around them? If we have a positive relationship with our family and trust their judgment, they’ll also be able to let us know if our guy is a winner or just bad news.
Why rely on a gut feeling when the stakes are this high? We have far more concrete, reliable ways to know if our significant other is marriage material. Of course, nothing is 100% sure in life. But that doesn’t mean that our marriage is a lottery – we can still make sure the guy we’re saying yes to is a good long-term investment.
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