Q. How do you know when you’re ready for marriage?

A. I would be the one to have to field this question. I’m not currently married and I’m enjoying the Greek sailors way too much to think about giving them up, and that one time I was married, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend to anyone else.

But the really terrific thing about working as a romance editor — and having lots of authors who have been married to the love of their lives for many years — is that you learn what happy coupledom looks like. And it isn’t all sparkly tiaras and fairy dust.

Ultimately, romance novels are about two people overcoming challenges, different perspectives, and conflicting goals in order to be together. In romance, the path to happiness isn’t barrier-free; people make mistakes, they learn, they grow. They recognize that the relationship is worth making some compromises for. This doesn’t mean giving up all individual desires, wants, or needs, but about finding ways to fit those into the context of a relationship.

You’re ready for marriage, I think, when you’re with someone for whom you’re willing to make compromises, but who won’t demand that you give up who you are in order to be in the relationship. When you, as a couple, work together to reach your common goals and support each other as you pursue your individual ones. That sounds like the best kind of happily ever after to me.

— Jennifer Lawler, Crimson Romance editor

One thought on “Q. How do you know when you’re ready for marriage?

  1. KristinaKnight

    Great tips, Jennifer! And I’ll add one: you have to be accepting of another person’s mess and wonderfulness in your life. Because the first time the toothpaste cap is left off or the toilet seat left up is funny…by time 1001, you’ll be ready to wring his (or her) neck!