Sometimes when we are single, we forget to be comfortable with ourselves. You cannot fully give your entire capacity of love to another person without being comfortable on your own. You do not need another's validation to realize your self-worth. This single moment, however long it may last, is the perfect time to discover what you truly love. Discover hobbies, travel to new sights and find joy in exploring who you are. Accepting and loving yourself is the first step in being able to let another person love you as well.
Being single can often cause us to forget how to handle our money, especially if no one depends on us for our contribution. Money is a very important element of marriage. Create a budget for yourself and do not buy things you know you cannot afford. Save enough money for a rainy day, and do not let those credit card bills pile up. Your future spouse will be appreciative of your willingness to be smart with funds.
Trust is the foundation of marriage. Without trust, relationships become rocky and unstable. Learn to commit to one person and one person only. Trust gives you comfort in knowing you do not have to worry about what your spouse is doing when you are not together. If you have a hard time trusting others, slowly build your trust up through social support from your friends and family. Be honest with yourself and learn to let go of your fear.
The ability to keep a home falls on the shoulders of both men and women- both husband and wife. Learn to take care of the space you live in. Knowing how to cook (even if it's only one meal) and clean are basic tools in building a house into a home and keeping it that way. You do not know what the future will hold, so be prepared to take on the role of making dinner or cleaning the bathroom if that is what will be asked of you. All responsibilities at home should not fall on one person's shoulders.
Marriage is all about loving another person and letting them love you. There will be some moments when you will have to sacrifice your own wants and needs for the sake of your significant other. Marriage has no room for selfishness.
Saying one thing and meaning another is confusing for even the most intelligent minds. Do not be afraid to be honest with yourself and with others. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Acknowledge all of the things that are working and the things that are not with your words. Ask all the right questions and do not let anything slide between the cracks. Communication is the key to a successful marriage.
Marriage is all about give and take. When you are single, you don't always have to worry about how your decisions will affect another person. Being able to compromise is vital to any healthy relationship. Sometimes you may have to sacrifice your game night with the guys and instead help your wife with a stressful presentation she has at work the next morning. Being able to compromise for another's benefit goes hand in hand with selflessness.
When times get tough, learn to show compassion for others. There is nothing as comforting to another person than being able to connect with them on an emotional level. Learn to show and feel empathy. Compassion allows you to understand others and see the world through their eyes during both the light and dark times.
9. Goal Setting
Setting and meeting goals and always striving to improve are vital to you and to your future spouse as well. Make goals and work your hardest to meet them. There is always room for improvement in every area of your life, even if it is something as small as learning a new recipe or saving money for a new car.
There is nothing more vital to this world than the art of respect. Respect yourself, and you will learn to respect others. Treat other people the way you want to be treated. Strangers or not, respect everyone for who they are, for what they do, and for what they stand for. In your current or future relationship, as long as you respect one another for your respected roles and treat each other well, there is nothing more to ask for.
Nobody is perfect. As humans, we all come with our own personal flaws and quirks. If you have not perfected all of the above, do not panic: nobody has. No one has a perfect home, and no one goes through life without an argument. But, if you continue to work on developing your capacity for respect, compassion and trust, that is all that matters. Whether you are in a committed relationship or you are single, if you are striving to become your best self, you will be ready for marriage when the opportunity comes your way.
Chakell Wardleigh has a Bachelor of Arts in English. She spends her days silently (mostly) correcting others' grammar. She adores all things nerd, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare, and anything else that whisks her away from reality. She currently works as an editor for the FamilyShare team. You can usually find her with her nose in a book, laughing too loudly, or belting out songs from Hamilton.