How do you know when you are ready for marriage?

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“How could anyone ever be 100% sure that they are ready to get married?”  That’s the question my younger cousin blurted out over the cell phone a few days ago.  I was simultaneously fighting through an Orlando airport security checkpoint on my way out to the west coast, so initially I just brushed off the random inquiry.  But for some reason the simplicity of the question and the youthful sincerity in her voice caught me off guard.  Now, sitting here in my San Diego hotel room 2,500 miles away from Angel (my bride to be in one month), I finally have the chance to think about the question.  I’m aware that every relationship is different, so I certainly can’t speak for others.  But how do I know I’m ready for marriage?  While it certainly stems out a little deeper than this, here are a few points that immediately come to my mind…
  • Emotional attraction has risen well above the importance of physical attraction in a relationship where physical attraction held the premise for initial appeal.
  • When 2,500 miles separate us, I don’t miss the habitual companionship.  I miss my best friend.
  • On a Friday night we enjoy hanging out with the same group of people… in other words, the majority of our best friends have become completely mutual.
  • Understanding that the foundation for remaining faithful is not be based on a fear of hurting her, it’s based on the absolute fact that I want to be faithful because she is the one I want to be with.
  • Appreciating that while no relationship is all smiles all of the time, no relationship could be better for me than the one we share together.  The grass is certainly not greener…
  • Starring at her while she sleeps still brings a smile to my face six and half years later.
  • I haven’t just recognized her strong points over the years; her strengths have actually rubbed off on me, and proactively influenced my domestic routines.  In other words, she makes me better at being “me”.
  • Sometimes she frustrates me in the same way my mom frustrates me.
  • When she speaks of her long term goals, I couldn’t agree more.
  • Knowing fully well that either one of us could survive independently of the other, but choosing not to… and being content after sustaining that choice over the last several years.
  • The topic of trust is mutually absolute.
  • Accepting the fact that our marriage will not merge two separate lifestyles, it will solidify the lifestyle we have established together.
Maybe that list sounds little cheesy, or maybe not.  Either way, it’s the way I feel and therefore it’s the best answer I can give… a somewhat complicated answer to a question that seems so darn simple.