How to Know If You Should Get Married

Psychologists have found ways to predict if a couple will go the distance. Learn from their research.

You will need

  • An honest evaluation of your relationship

Step 1 Take notice of how you treat each other. Happily married couples say five nice things to and about each other for every one negative exchange.

Step 2 Rate your sense of humor. If you find the same things funny and laugh a lot, that can keep you laughing into old age together.

Step 3 Check if you and your betrothed present a united front. If one of you says “I” more than “we” it could signal a lack of readiness to give up single life.

Step 4 Consider your “how we met” story. Are your respective answers short or long? Romantic or ho-hum? Told with affection or not? Couples who are expansive when recounting their stories have a better chance of living happily ever after.

Step 5 Critique your fights. If either of you has a tendency to escalate conflicts, that’s a bad sign. If the male partner responds to conflict by withdrawing from the argument, that’s even worse.

Step 6 Consider other factors that increase the risk of divorce, like getting married under the age of 25, lacking higher education, earning a low income, having different religions, and coming from a broken home. The fewer of those categories you fall into, the better your chance of marital harmony.

Step 7 Know that you have the power to determine your future. Now that you’ve learned the behaviors and attitudes that can lead to divorce, you don’t necessarily need to call the whole thing off; take steps to adjust them.