Questions to Ask Before You Say "Yes!"

“Marry in haste, repent at leisure,” the old saying goes. Heaven knows how tempting it can be to plunge ahead and make a permanent commitment when the stars are shining in those days of wine and roses. He looks good, smells great, says all the right things … Day and night, you dream of your rosy future with this, your Prince Charming.

But...you need to stop. Seriously. Even if you are living at home and can’t wait to get out. Even if you are struggling to make ends meet, financially speaking. Even if you really, truly believe that God has brought the two of you together. My grandmother used to call this “seasoning” a man — seeing him through all four seasons of the year before making a permanent commitment.

The first step, of course, is making sure you are ready for marriage. Have you “unpacked your baggage” and worked through the issues of your past relationships? Are you in a healthy place, capable of making good dating choices?

Relax. Take your time. If your friend is indeed “Mr. Right,” he’ll understand your caution.  ...You need to consider carefully, over time and with the help of close friends and family (who can help you maintain objectivity), whether your potential mate is a prince … or a toad. To get you started, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

* Is this man pressuring you for premature physical intimacy, or asking you to compromise your moral values in other areas? (If so, he may not have the self-control or moral fiber to be a good father.)

* Does he have obvious anger, entitlement, or control issues? Is he charming and persuasive one moment, but critical and demeaning the moment you say or do something he doesn’t like? (If so, he may be a potential abuser, even if he never hits you.)

* How does this man act around your friends and family? Does he avoid them whenever possible and does he resent the time you spend with them? Or does he try too hard to get them to like him, exaggerating his accomplishments or flaunting his possessions? Or does he seem to “fit” (after he warms up to them a bit)?

* Does he remind you how lucky you are that he picked you, or how difficult it would be for you to find a mate if things don’t work out between the two of you? (This is a RED FLAG! RUN!!!)

* Do you ever feel that the relationship is “imbalanced” — or that you have to give up an important part of yourself to make it work? (Some adjustment is needed in every relationship, but the key is mutual support and respect.)

If you are not sure about the answer to any of these questions, it’s better to wait until you have an answer than to rush ahead.

Source: Excerpted from Marriage and the Single Mom: Some Thoughts by Heidi H. Saxton

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