If you’re in your late 20s, you may be finding yourself in that “27 Dresses” phase of your life where you’re continually getting invited to stand in your best friends’ wedding parties while they say “I do.” The statistics say you’re not alone: A 2015 United States Census Bureau study shows that the median age of people when they first get married is 29 for men and 27 for women.
What about when it’s your turn to say “I do?” How will you know this time is the right time? I asked a few local couples for some advice.
What questions should you ask yourself and your significant other before marriage?
Couple #1: Paula Bartlett and Marcus Willie
Dating for about four years, engaged since March 4, 2016.
Paula says to ask your significant other: Simply, “Will you love me?”
Paula says to ask yourself: “Can I picture myself growing old and listening to records with this person?” If you can find love and fulfillment with someone while doing the simple things in life, they’re your person.
Marcus says to ask your significant other: “Do you see children in your future?” As cliche as it may sound, I think it’s important to be on the same page. It’s comforting knowing that Paula has the same vision going into this lifelong journey.
Marcus says to ask yourself: “Do I see children in MY future?”
Couple #2: Meggie and Sebastian Williams
Married for three years.
Meggie says to ask your significant other: “Does this person spend time and money like I do?” How you spend finite resources, like time and money, says a lot about you. It’s a life attitude, an intrinsic part of who you are.
Meggie says to ask yourself: “Who do you want to be and is this person going to help you get there?” When it comes to a life partner, do right by your future self, too.
Sebastian says to ask your significant other: “How risky are you? What’s the riskiest thing you’ve ever done?” To avoid stress, fear and potential conflict, I think it’s smart to have a spouse that’s aligned to your appetite for risk.
Sebastian says to ask yourself: “Could I go on a 10-hour road trip with him/her and not turn on the radio?” If you hope for more traffic so you can spend a few more minutes with your co-pilot, you’ve found The One.
Couple #3: Emily Ethridge and Clayton Hanson
Married for two years.
Emily says to ask your significant other: “So, do you ever want to move back to Alaska?” That specific question doesn’t apply to everyone, but the general sentiment absolutely does. Y’all need to figure out whether your visions for your futures match up.
Emily says to ask yourself: “Do I know how to build a happy life for myself, regardless of whether I commit to sharing it with another person?” You need to be able to build your own happiness. Fill your life with things you love that sustain you, and don’t wait for someone else to do it.
Clayton says to ask your significant other: “Where they want to be in five, 10 and 20 years.” If they don’t want kids, don’t think you can change their mind. If they want to travel the world and never have roots, then you have to decide if that’s the kind of life you want.
Clayton says to ask yourself: “If you really like her family and friends.” I can’t imagine not liking my wife’s friends because they play such a huge role in her life.
Photos: CharlotteFive, Paula Bartlett, Meggie Williams, Brian Treffeisen Photography