Couple dressed in white
(C) Love Matters | Rita Lino

The big decision: how do I know?

In the excitement of being in love it can be hard to think straight and make sensible choices. You may have trouble deciding if it’s right to tie the knot.

Here are some questions for you to think about. They’re just a guide to help you listen to your heart, listen to your head, and feel sure about your decision.

  • Are you sure you’re not just infatuated? When you’re in love, you tend to turn a blind eye to the flaws in your partner’s personality. Make sure you are basing your decision to get married on a deeper understanding of your lover or partner.
  • How well do you know your partner? Have you seen them in their own family, with their own friends? How do they behave with your group of pals? Do they mingle and mix well? This will help you suss if your partner is comfortable with people and can make a place for themselves, in keeping with their own personality.
  • Are you good friends as well as being lovers? Are you compatible with each other on different levels – sexually, emotionally and intellectually? Great sex can’t keep your marriage alive forever. Both of you need to share an emotional bond with each other too.
  • How well do you communicate with your partner? Do you think the two of you can solve all problems by talking it through? Do you find it easy to talk to your partner without fear of offending them or being judged? Are you able to talk openly and honestly about tricky issues you might disagree about? Are you able to resolve conflicts peacefully and amicably?
  • Do you have a lot of respect for your partner? Can you say that you love and admire them for the person they are? What qualities do you like in your could-be life partner? Make a list.
  • Do you love and admire them as the person they are, not the person you want them to be? Do you find yourself constantly correcting them, or trying to ‘improve’ them?
  • Do you share the same expectations of the wedding? Do you expect a grand affair, while they’re imagining a simple ceremony? Is there any expectation of dowry or bride price? Does this square with your politics?
  • Are you both comfortable with each other’s career prospects? Have you discussed your career options and ambitions with each other? Does this fit in with your own plans for yourself? If the two of you are keen on pursuing your own careers, have you discussed household roles and responsibilities?
  • Have you and your partner discussed living arrangements after marriage? Will you be sharing a house with your partner’s family? If so, how does that make you feel? Do you have any objections to that? Do you think this arrangement will help your relationship blossom or could it get stifling? Have you discussed this with your partner?
  • Have you discussed whether or not you will have children? This needs a detailed discussion. If you decide to wait a while before having children, what will happen if you do get pregnant early in your marriage? Would you have the baby? Or would you consider an abortion? Would your partner support that decision?
  • Do you both share similar values? Have you ever had arguments on matters that you feel strongly about? Do your views match on topics like women’s rights, sexual harassment, abortion, adoption, other religious communities, tribes or homosexuality?
  • What is your partner’s relationship with money? Are the two of you totally compatible on this issue? How does your partner behave when it comes to spending? Do you tend to find them too tight-fisted or too extravagant? Can you discuss money openly? Will you be sharing a bank account or manage and keep finances independent? Are you expected to share in the family’s expenses, and if so, how much? Will one of you be dependent on the other, and are you happy about that?
  • Do you see yourself growing old with this person? Do you feel like you’ll still want to be together when you’re old and grey?

Cold feet

‘Cold feet’ is something many brides and grooms experience just before their wedding.

You suddenly feel nervous about your future, and start worrying whether you’re really making the right decision.
A certain level of nervousness is perfectly normal before the big wedding day. After all, it’s a life-changing step that you’re about to take. We’ve got some tips for you on how to deal with cold feet.

Work out what you’re really feeling – wedding stress or serious doubts? Planning a wedding together can be hectic and stressful. And it’s normal to feel a bit nervous about getting married. Think carefully about how you’re feeling and what exactly is making you feel that way. Imagine if all the planning problems were magically sorted out – would you still feel as worried?

Take some time away from the hustle and bustle of wedding preparations. If you’re suffering from wedding stress, make sure the two of you take a break for some quality time together.

Don’t ignore serious doubts about your relationship. Probe what your fears are.

Tell your partner what scares you about being married. Is it about losing your independence and freedom? Or more to do with your partner’s personality and character?

Think about what the solution could be to the problems you see in your relationship. Does your partner see them as solutions too?

Don’t get married because of the pressure around the wedding. Of course, the whole world expects you to get married in the near future, but if you have serious doubts about it, it’s time to act – you owe it to yourself and your prospective spouse. Postpone the wedding and take things more slowly and calmly.

Take a step back. Review this marriage rather than being stuck in something that’s on a wrong footing from day one.

Get in touch with a counsellor if you need help to find some peace in the situation. This could also be a family member or church elder or other faith official you trust.

Comments
I'm Mary,thanks alot for everything,now I love this man and he loves me as much,,the only problem is nawadays his job has declined his payment,we are planning on visiting our parents and gettheir blessings but money is a problem here coz you know how parents can be at times..He want us to move in and grow together, inviting a pastor over for counseling Problem 2..He has no friends he can trust,he has never introduced me to any claiming he wants his life private A time I visited his work place and he was so unease and so I preteded not to know him at all,""as a woman I concluded he has someone else" He is always kind to me,to my child with someone else, treat us with respect,share all he got with me,,,,one year now and we growing stronger,,,,help me coz I feel I'm half ready to settle down
Hi Mary, First if you feel unprepared to settle down at this point the right thing to is to let your partner known that this is what you want for now. Also, if you plan to settle then maybe you need to both be open about your relationship and not to keep each other as a secret. Lastly, again if you do not feel ready to visit parents take your time to plan for it and do it when you are ready. Remember it should not be about money, if you put the expectations very high this what they will expect and always expect. Start from where you are and allow yourselves to grow. What you may not be able to do to day, you will do in the future. We wish you well.
franciscah
Sun, 07/23/2017 - 20:25
my boyfriend doesnt want to talk about his family, it troubles me much why he doesnt. neither does he want to show me his home that he is afraid women want men who have built them selves up yet he is not yet, i heard that from my friend.. and that he has not yet gathered enough courage to show me to his friends. am afraid he might be having another girlfrient too,
Hi Franciscah, It is difficult to tell what could be going on with your boyfriend with all the secrecy. It appears he has insecurities about who is and perhaps what he has achieved or not achieved. You can reassure him of your commitment to him regardless of what he has and where he comes from. Beyond that he himself will have to work through his esteem and insecurity issues. It may take him an year to get where he wants or 20. Will you wait? Also there certain things like his family that will not change. Get a good time and talk about this issues, assure him of your commitment to him. Relationships are about honest, truthfulness and being real. We wish you well.
Mani Onimisi
Fri, 07/28/2017 - 21:32
Pls I need ur advice's on dis,I love someone which I intended to get married to but the issues she was having with is feeling.she don't have feeling for me
Hi Mani, If she does not love you it maybe challenging to make the relationship work, remember you can't make her have feelings for you if she doesn't. It maybe time for you to move on and hopefully you meet someone who will love you.
Hi i have been date a man 4 a year nw bt the problem is he never shows me were he lives,wen we started dating he was calling me everytime bt nowsdays he call me onces, ad wen she got homes b4 alikuwa ananikol bt cku izi anikol wat could be a problem bcoz she always told me tht she loves me xo much, na awezi taka kunipoteza in her life.plix help me.
Hi Jackii, Have you talked to him about why he is uncomfortable about showing you where he leaves? This maybe a good place to start even as you talk about the reduced calls. Find a good time and talk about what you have observed so you can both agree on how to proceed. Check out this article;- https://lovematters.co.ke/love-relationships/relationship-problems/jealousy-and-other-problems
Hi, I'm not comfortable with the one who wants to marry me, he proposed to me last year and up-to now I'm not sure of whether to be with him or not. He took me home and introduced me to his family members. He started arranging for Wedding meanwhile I'm still in doubt. I'm afraid of telling him the truth that I'm not into him because I feel I will be breaking his heart. However, I started a new relationship with someone whom I really wish to be with. I don't know what should I do? Should I tell him the truth, or continue with the mess up as marriage program is drawing nearer? Or should I withdraw from the new relationship, as such I've already told the new boyfriend about this issue. I'm totally confused and worried. Pls help me
Dear Joyce, I can imagine the confusion this has caused. The important question is what do you want, who do you want to be with? Who do you love? You don't have to be with him in marriage if you don't love him. This is a difficult conversation but it is one you need to have sooner than latter. Think about it, find a good time and talk with your partner. Have a look at these articles for more information;- https://lovematters.co.ke/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up https://lovematters.co.ke/love-relationships/breaking-up/how-to-break-up
My girlfriend postponed engegment once I introduced to her about engegment she get upset .Should I do it to her secretely as a suprise to her
Dominic, It is important you begin by addressing why it is she gets upset about the conversation about engagement. You maybe disappointed if you choose to do it secretly. Talk about and address the issues she has with engagement then you can surprise her. We wish you well.

Hi Joyce, if the partners are in love and they want to get married, age become just a number. Age difference whether the man is older or younger should not stop the partners from getting married or being together. This is also mean that them man doesn't have to be older, what is important is how they feel toward each other. When it comes to the right age, as long as the persons are mature and are able to handle the responsibility that comes with marriage then they can get married irrespectful of their age. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/does-age-difference-matter

Hi, when it comes to relationships and marriage, age is just a number. As long as you both love each other, are mature enough for marriage and want to get married then age should really not get into your way. There are societal expectations of age difference but this are just expectations. Check out the following articles for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/does-age-difference-matter

https://lovemattersafrica.com/marriage/thinking-about-marriage/the-big-decision-how-do-i-know

hi...there is a girl that have really liked. she is around 18..and she is recently a form four leaver...am too a too a form four leaver ..wen I texted her somedays back!! we chatted the whole night till around 4 a.m...I asked her if we can be in relationship but she told me she is not ready....but the way she behaves she is in love but she don't want to show... wat can I do??

Hi Joseph, I am not sure how it is she behaves that gives you the idea that she is inlove. It is important you respect her choice of not wanting to be in a relationship. If there is a conflict between what she has said to you and what she does when around you, talk to her to clarify what her actions mean. Remember she maybe interested in being friends with you and not really to have a relationship. All the best. https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/how-do-i-know-if-she-loves-me

I feel my partner is pressuring me into marriage, i love him but I am not ready for marriage as I am still in school. He now wants me to get pregnant for him since by the time I deliver I will have graduated, i said no to that also. This is putting a strain on the relationship to the point I feel like just walking out...

Hello Jessie, so sorry about this. You need to be honest with your partner about what you want in a relationship at this point of your life. If you want different things like it seems to be in your case, you will need to take about a middle ground that is acceptable to you both. If you can't agree on what you both consider important, you may have to consider breaking up. We wish you well.  

Anonymous
Thu, 12/06/2018 - 13:27
Tell if I am doing the right thing. I have been dating for the last three yrs we re now ready to get married but my fiance has just won a scholarship and he has to be away for about 3 years. Can a long distance marriage work?

Hi, it is important you take time and think about how your relationship will change once your partner is away. For a start, there will not be any physical contact perhaps for that entire duration. Making a long distance relationship work can be challenging but when both partners are committed they can make it work. Have an honest conversation with your partner about how your relationship will change when he travels and then agree on how to keep the relationship alive after her travels. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/keep-long-distance-love-burning

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