When you’re younger, the last thing you want to think about is marriage. As much as your parents might tell you otherwise, it probably seems like an unambitious goal for someone who’s still in the prime of their life.
But when you get older and start meeting people and are looking for something long-lasting — especially women — marriage seems more realistic. But before rushing in headfirst, what should every man do before getting married?
Well, here are just nine things:
1. Be Financially Stable and Ready to Take Care of Family
You might think this is a no-brainer, but it’s actually more difficult than you may think. You’ve got to be not only responsible with your money, which you should have been all along, but also have a steady income that can support the family. You should also own a house, have plenty of savings and investments, be debt-free other than the mortgage, etc.
2. Know How to Cook
You don’t have to be Emeril or Gordon Ramsay, but at least know how to make a few meals that your wife will like. This is important because women spend so much time and energy trying to please their men, and the last thing they want is for you, not even being able to sauté an onion if asked. It’s also just downright practical — no woman wants to come home from work after 8 hours and then go into the kitchen and cook dinner for another hour.
3. Be Close With Family
Being close with your family is important in general, but especially when you get married. Your wife will constantly compare you to your brothers and cousins and uncles — she’ll want her man to be just as successful as they are, if not more so. So it’s important that you do well in life because she’s constantly checking up on you to make sure you’re doing great things for yourself.
4. Have an Amusing Sense of Humor
A good sense of humor is like the icing on the cake when looking for things about a man that women love (and men too). Sure this one isn’t necessarily important before marriage, but it definitely helps build trust between two people who may not know each other very well.
5. Learn Not to Be Jealous
One of the main reasons people get divorced is because one or both partners are jealous. You should know that if your woman isn’t faithful to you, it’s more than likely because of your own shortcomings — not hers. And while it might be hard for you to understand why she wants to see other people sometimes, especially when she has a great guy like yourself at home, just let her go and focus on fixing whatever was preventing her from being totally into you.
6. Go on a Vacation Alone
This one is a big test of your relationship, and for many people, it’s how they know whether they should get married. When you go on vacation with someone, things can change very quickly and unexpectedly, and you’ll come back home realizing how much the two of you have changed. It could be good or bad — but just know that this trip will give both of you some perspective.
7. Have Your Own Personal Goals
When you get married, it’s easy to forget about yourself because everything becomes about her and your future kids. But if you’ve ever wanted to finally start that business or get into another career path, now isn’t the time to forget those dreams! You need something else in life aside from your wife -and if you think about it, she wants the same thing too.
8. Get the Most Amazing Wedding Ring
You don’t want to go into debt over an engagement ring, but you should get something that at least looks like it costs a significant amount of money. It’s not just for her either — you want other guys to know how successful and committed to your woman you are by the type of ring you buy. You can go with plain wedding bands to keep it subtle and classy.
9. Have a Hobby
Not only will this give you something to do when your wife is out with the girls, but it’s good for your mental health and helps keep things spicy between the two of you. Read up on local events and concerts coming to town and make an effort to attend. You can also take up a sport or other physical hobbies like yoga, biking, or hiking.
So if you’re thinking about marriage, or are in the early stages of a relationship, make sure to keep these things in mind. They may seem like common sense, but they’re definitely important and can help make your marriage last. Marriage is a big commitment, and both partners need to be on board with each other’s goals, dreams, and lifestyles — so it’s important that you start off on the right foot!