For a man to be marriage material, he needs to be emotionally available, which really comes down to him being willing to open up to you and allow you to really get to know him. He won't shut down when you try to talk about feelings (something some guys loathe) nor will he refuse to discuss the relationship and how it can be improved. A man who is emotionally available is someone who isn't afraid to show his feelings, say what's on his mind or communicate openly and honestly – all very important factors when it comes to making a relationship work in the long term.
We know this one doesn't sound too exciting or particularly sexy, but having a guy who is reliable is a must if you're going to marry him. If you can't rely on him to do what he says he's going to do or be where he says he's going to be, how can you expect to create a life with him that won't drive you utterly crazy with frustration? Having a reliable guy for a husband means that he'll do things like pick up groceries, get things fixed, be on time (or at least try to) and help out (both when asked and on his own) all without thinking twice or putting up a fight. Being with someone who is reliable also means you know they have your back when things are stressful – and we can all use a little extra support sometimes.
We all have moments where our listening skills are subpar, when we merely nod and smile as someone speaks while not actually taking in a syllable, but that doesn't mean we don't focus when it counts. Temporary or sporadic non-listening is fine – we all get tired or distracted, but if you're going to marry someone, they should be willing and able to listen to you the majority of the time. And we don't just mean listen to you dole out chores or explain where to park when he picks you up from your pilates class (although that's important, too). No, we mean the real stuff, the stuff that really matters like what makes you happy, what upsets you and how you feel about the relationship. If he can listen to you when it matters, he's definitely worth keeping around.
Arguing is a part of every relationship, and of course there will be days where you both just end up storming off in a huff, but arguments for the most part should end with either an agreement, a compromise or at least move the relationship forward somewhat. All of this comes down to fighting fair – not getting enraged with every disagreement, not always having to have the last word and not stooping to the level of hurling insults in place of adult discussion. If your man can fight fair at least most of the time, you may just have a keeper on your hands.
Relationships should never be one-sided, with one person making all the effort and sacrifices. It takes two people to make love last, so if you've found a man willing to share the responsibility for making the relationship work, we say hold on tight. It can be very easy for some men to slip into a passive role and never do anything to benefit the two of you as a couple, especially if they're with someone who likes to take charge. But guys who continually show they care and that they're an equal part of the relationship by helping to make decisions, being there for you, getting to know your family and being a support system for you are definite marriage material.
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