Marriage is a huge commitment. When dating, partners can sometimes ignore red flags in hopes that those flags will work themselves out on their own, but that isn’t always the case. While all relationships have their ups and downs, and sometimes your partner really gets on your nerves, it’s during these trying times that you really get to know each other.

Before you tie your life to someone in marriage, make sure you truly know your partner. Here are a few qualities to look for in your relationship:

  • Your communication is strong. The two of you can talk about anything: your family and work struggles, financial issues, and sexual desires. You don’t hide things from each other. Strong communication helps your love and marriage grow; weak communication will tear you apart.
  • When things go wrong, you can rely on your partner. According to marriage and family therapist Erica Curtis, a relationship is marriage material when a couple is able to cope together; they know they can rely on each other through the ups and downs of life. It’s not fun to think about the unhappy times that the two of you might face together, but it’s important to know what kind of partners the two of you will be in times of extreme sadness or difficulty.
  • You respect each other. This is essential for any lasting, flourishing relationship. Mutual respect means that you value each other; self-respect is an important element, too, because it’s hard to respect your partner when you don’t respect yourself.
  • You trust each other. A relationship won’t last if you can’t trust your partner. When trust is broken, your love is damaged; when trust is maintained, your love remains strong.
  • You are your best selves together. You feel like a better person just because your partner is in your life. You cherish your time together, you build each other up, and you bring out the best qualities in each other.

Marriage takes work. It requires communication, patience, and tolerance from both partners. Don’t get so caught up in the idea of marriage that you don’t stop to evaluate the person with whom you will share everything.

These bullet points aren’t just for couples who are looking to get married; even if you and your partner don’t plan on getting married, this advice is good for any couple. It’s important for you and your partner to be on the same page.

If your relationship runs into bumps that you can’t seem to work out, talking with a therapist can be a big help. If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at, or via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: 4727 i love my ring via photopin (license)