Most women have experienced this regrettable moment: We take a closer look at the guy we’ve been dating and come to the unfortunate realization that he’s not anywhere near being ready for marriage. Whether he’s still caught up in going out and getting drunk every weekend, has no concept of how to save money, or practically expects us to be his mother, it’s clear that he’s not husband material.
Here’s the thing: no one is marriage material right off the bat. A lifelong commitment requires quite a bit from us, forcing us to grow up and no longer live with only ourselves in mind. But we can start preparing for marriage long before we even meet “the one.” And while finding a guy who’s total husband material is always welcome, it’s crucial that before getting caught up in whether or not a guy is mature enough to marry, we consider whether or not we ourselves are wife material. After all, a guy who’s husband material deserves a woman who’s wife material, doesn’t he?
So what does it look like to be wife material? How can we tell if we’re wife material yet, or if we have some growing up to do? Here’s how.
1. She’s Easy To Talk To
Perhaps the most important ingredient in any marriage is communication. When we’ve woken up next to our duvet-hogging husband countless mornings in a row, forgotten what he looks like all dressed up, or struggled with financial uncertainty for months, it’s essential that, even with all the hard stuff, we can still talk to our spouse and be friends.
Be a wife who makes her husband feel at ease when he needs to talk through something.
A woman who’s truly wife material understands this and seeks to be a wife who makes her husband feel at ease when he needs to talk through something and feel heard when he’s looking for someone to listen to him above anything else. Despite everything a relationship might have going against it, if we’re easy to talk to, this helps our husband feel like he has a true partner.
2. She Knows How To Manage Her Money
We’re all well-aware that simply existing today costs a whole lot more than it used to – and with enormous college tuitions added on top of that, it’s not uncommon to have some debt racked up in our mid-twenties.
Still, even with the unfortunate financial reality that comes with going to college, I’m shocked by how many young women today pay no mind to their credit card debt, eating out multiple times a week, constantly buying new clothes they don’t need, and not considering what their future finances will look like.
A woman who’s wife material doesn’t rely on her husband to supply all the cash and spend it carelessly, but instead has maturity and self-discipline. She works with him to ensure a stable future and saves her pennies rather than going to bottomless brunch every Saturday.
3. She Isn’t Overly Critical
Have you ever been in a relationship, romantic or platonic, with someone who constantly has something negative to say? Whether it’s about our driving, cooking, time management, appearance, or literally anything else. Being in connection with someone who seldom has anything positive or encouraging to say is not only incredibly exhausting, but ruins the intimacy that a relationship should be built on.
Be tactful and kind when giving necessary feedback.
Being wife material means being tactful when giving feedback is necessary, as well as searching for the most constructive, helpful way of letting our husband know he needs to work on something. Offering more kind, productive words than overly blunt ones will help to keep him more likely to listen rather than tune us out. Plus, trying to see the good in others and in life is an uplifting, magnetic trait that everyone feels the benefit of.
4. She Knows How To Cultivate and Maintain a Home
We’ve all had that one friend whose house or apartment just depresses us. Maybe they haven’t bothered with investing in much more than a couch and a TV, their cleaning habits are spotty at best, or they keep meaning to spruce the place up a bit but never get around to it.
The place we dwell in, where we come home at the end of a long workday to unwind, has more effect on us than we realize. A substantial part of being a thoughtful, sophisticated adult (and yes, being wife material!) is understanding the power of cultivating and maintaining a beautiful home. This means being mature enough to stay on top of cleanliness, as well as creating a warm, inviting, comfortable environment.
Just as we consider it a red flag when a guy’s apartment is essentially a mattress on the floor in the corner along with a TV, any guy who’s husband material would feel the same way if the roles were reversed.
5. Her Good Character Makes a Good Impression
A good friend invited me to go on a double date with her and her new boyfriend. I barely knew anything about him, but was intrigued by what she’d said about him. Once at the restaurant, things didn’t go as she’d planned. He was late, snappy, curt, and acted like a fussy child the whole time. Embarrassed by his behavior, she apologized, “Sorry… he’s not usually like this.” Needless to say, he wasn’t husband material and they didn’t stay together for much longer.
A woman who’s wife material doesn’t make her husband nervous to introduce her to anyone.
We’ve all heard it said that you only get to make one first impression – and making a good impression goes a long way. We want our spouse to not only be proud to be with us, but eager to show us off to his friends, coworkers, and family. A woman who’s wife material knows how to conduct herself with grace and purpose, never making her husband nervous to introduce her, or worried about how she’ll make him look.
None of us will be wife material from the start, but it’s worth crafting and building these habits now, just as we’d hope the man we’ll marry is doing as well, so when we do meet the right guy, he’ll know we’re wife material.
Click here to read Part II: How To Be "Husband Material."