When it comes to dating, oftentimes, marriage is the end goal. But you don’t want to tie the knot with just anyone; it’s best to find someone who you consider marriage material.
What is marriage material anyway? It refers to the traits that make someone a viable match and a committed life partner. Someone who is marriage material has the characteristics that make them a strong, stable, supportive partner who wants to navigate life by your side.
If finding someone who you can settle down with and marry is important to you, then you might find yourself asking yourself all kinds of questions around this topic, such as, why am I not marriage material? How can I become marriage material? And what makes someone marriage material in the first place?
In our guide, we’ve rounded up some of the top signs of marriage material. You can explore these traits and see if you (or your partner) fit the bill. And it’s ok if you don’t cross off every item on the list; these characteristics are simply a starting place when it comes to determining if you’re ready to take the next step in your relationship.
1. You’re Grounded and Rational
This first sign involves determining if you’re grounded when it comes to your relationship. After all, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea of love, but love isn’t the only thing that’s going to hold your relationship together—or a marriage, for that matter. You need to understand that strong, healthy relationships require good communication, mutual respect, honesty, and compromise.
If you’re marriage material, then you understand that your relationship won’t be rainbows and butterflies all the time. This involves being grounded and realizing the reality of what’s involved in building and maintaining a happy and healthy partnership and not just riding on those feelings of infatuation.
2. You’re Reliable
If you’re wondering how to become marriage material when you’re not quite there yet, work on being more reliable. That means showing up when you say you’ll show up and calling when you say you’ll call.
Being reliable is a big piece of the picture because it shows your partner they can count on you. When you’re reliable, your partner can rely on you and won’t worry about you flaking at the last minute on plans or forgetting about a major commitment.
3. You’re Committed
What makes a woman marriage material? The same things that make a man marriage material. And a major part of that involves being committed to the relationship and your partner.
For one, that means only having eyes for your significant other. There’s no room for wandering eyes in a relationship headed toward marriage. If you’re in a monogamous relationship, you shouldn’t feel tempted to step out on your partner.
Being committed also entails agreeing to stick out the relationship, even when times get tough—you can’t run at the first inconvenience or argument you experience. If you’re committed, you’ll try your best to compromise and work things out. However, if you’re willing to jump ship because you found someone else attractive or your relationship hit a rough patch, you might not be marriage material just yet.
4. You’re Empathetic
If you’re asking yourself, why am I not marriage material, you might want to look at what you have going on in the empathy department. Do you ever consider your partner’s feelings or think about how they might react to something?
When you’re able to be empathetic, you can put yourself in your partner’s shoes and get a better understanding of how they view and experience the world. Considering things from their side can help you be compassionate and see more eye-to-eye, improving your communication and strengthening your bond.
5. You’re in the Relationship for the Right Reasons
Marriage isn’t about finding someone who will do your chores, give you attention when you want it, or pay your bills. If you’re genuinely interested in becoming marriage material, then you need to make sure you’re looking for a long-term partner for the right reasons, such as finding someone who adds value to your life, encourages you to be a better person, and makes you feel safe, confident, and secure. When you’re ready to get married, you’ll be excited about spending the rest of your life with that special someone.
6. You’re Independent
If you’re independent, then there’s a good chance you could be marriage material.
Independence can mean a lot of things in a relationship. For example, it might mean you’re capable of being alone and don’t freak out when your partner decides to go on a solo trip or spend an evening out with friends. It also means you give your partner space—you’re not clingy or overbearing. But it can also involve monetary independence, in which case, you don’t need to rely on your partner for financial security.
That said, there’s a fine line between independent and hyper-independent. If you’re constantly doing things on your own, refusing help from your partner, or making decisions without your partner’s input, you might need to work on finding a happy medium.
7. You’re Supportive
Someone who is a good marriage material will know how to be a cheerleader when it comes to supporting their partner. Sometimes, you need to step out of the spotlight and let your partner shine. To do so, you need to be their number one fan, giving them the love and support they need to feel confident in their endeavors.
There are a lot of opportunities to show up and demonstrate that you have your partner’s back, such as showing up with flowers to their first solo art exhibit, staying up late to help them study for the bar exam, and cheering them on at a marathon. Support also comes in the form of comforting them during their struggles and giving them a shoulder to cry on during times of loss.
8. You’re Ready for the Next Step
If you’re over casual dating and want to move toward more serious, long-term relationships, then you might be well on your way to becoming marriage material. Those who are ready for marriage don’t care about chasing summer flings or flirting with everyone with a pulse. Instead, they genuinely like the idea of settling down with the same person for years to come, creating a home together, and maybe even starting a family. If you’re looking forward to spending the rest of your life with one special person, you could be venturing into marriage material territory!
These are just a handful of some qualities that make you marriage material. If you have a happy and healthy relationship with your partner, then there’s a good chance you both possess various traits of marriage material. And even if you’re not in a relationship right now, you can still exhibit these characteristics, making you a great catch when you finally find your person.