19 Things Married People Want Single People To Know Before They Commit


I’m just another single 20-something trying to navigate this thing called dating. I’m no where near close to getting married but I was curious – what should single people absolutely know before deciding to put a ring on it? What do married couples think us single people should be aware of before making that type of commitment? I interviewed 19 married people. Here are their answers.

Michael, 30. “People should remember ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ are just labels. Just because you get married doesn’t mean your partner is all of a sudden going to morph into someone else or change their personality. People think that marriage can solve issues brewing and that if they get married all those problems will go away. If anything, you need to solve any problems before you make that commitment, if it’s possible. If those issues go unresolved they’re only going to get bigger and fester within the relationship, ultimately destroying it. Don’t think getting married will ‘fix’ someone or something.”

Trista, 28. “Yeah, I think that’s a good point. I’ve had friends say something like ‘Oh, well I really hate that he does this, but I’m sure once we get married he’ll stop.’ That’s so idealistic!! Marriage doesn’t solve anything. Marriage is a further step to cement your love and devotion to someone.”

TJ, 41. “If you two have resolved an issue, let it lie. Don’t keep bringing it up passive aggressively. Don’t bring it up in future fights that have nothing to do with the past. If you both agree you’re okay with whatever has been discussed then keep that promise.”

Kristen, 29. “Don’t get married unless the person is without a doubt your best friend. Most of the time spent with your spouse is going to be non-sexual so unless you two can have fun doing absolutely anything and everything together, there’s going to be problems. Sexual attraction only gets you so far but true chemistry and friendship will make things last.”

Brian, 34. “Friendship is without a doubt the biggest part of any relationship but especially marriage. I think single people should know that marriage isn’t a light decision. People watch the Kardashians and think it’s trendy to get married and divorced within a couple months. Vows are sacred. Choose the person you can look at and know that every single day of your life you want to see their face and that every day you can find beauty in their face, their spirit, even in the worst times. That’s what marriage is – devotion.”

Marci, 35. “Don’t stop dating! This is huge for me and my husband. We’re both consultants and we’re out of town on business 4 days a week in different cities. We really value our time together so we make it a point to go on a special date every week. Sometimes it’s going to a nice restaurant. Sometimes it’s just making a nice cozy night together at home. The point is we make things just as special as they were when we first got to know each other. I think this has really helped our marriage stay strong.”

Christopher, 39. “Don’t be intimidated by the changes your spouse or your relationship will eventually take on. It’s natural and healthy for people and relationships to evolve over time. So many people freak out if their spouse develops a new hobby or goes on a new career path. If you expect your spouse and your relationship to stay the same you will be extremely disappointed. My wife is not the same person she was when we married 10 years ago and I don’t expect her to be the same person in another 10 years. And that’s what I love about her – she’s constantly surprising me.”

David, 32. “Get over the idea that everything is supposed to be 50/50. And stop keeping track of what you’ve done vs. what they’ve done. In the beginning I would think, ‘I’ve done the dishes the last 3 times, she should have to do them next.’ Then I realized how immature and petty this is. If someone is going through a tough time at work or is busier than usual it makes sense the other person should step in and help out. You’re supposed to be on the same team. You go through highs and lows in life but you should help keep each other balanced.”

Taryn, 37. “Keep the romance alive. Send each other naughty little texts throughout the day. Tell them you love them whenever you can. Stay affectionate and playful.”

Ryan, 35. “When you need to have a serious talk about something do it in a space you both can feel safe and can communicate openly. Don’t bring it up in the middle of a restaurant. Don’t make a snide comment in the car. Wait until it’s the right time when you’re not distracted from other things and can focus on the issue at hand. For my wife and I we have the best talks late at night when we’re laying in bed together in the dark before bed. Something about being together like that allows us to feel open and comfortable. We’ve worked out a lot of issues that way.”

Charlotte, 38. “Don’t sweat the small stuff! Such a cliche term but honestly, I remind myself of this anytime my husband does something that annoys me. I’ll think ‘does this really matter?’ Most of the time it doesn’t. Let yourself laugh and not take things so seriously. Your marriage will be much better off this way.”

Becca, 34. “Accept the fact your husband is going to find other people attractive! And accept the fact you’re also going to find other people attractive! People get crushes. They flirt. This doesn’t mean the end of your relationship. It just means you’re human.”

Liz, 28. “Only marry someone if you can accept the entire package of what comes with their life. And what I mean by this is that getting married is marrying everything they’re about – their career, their family, their habits, their hobbies. If they have a mother you absolutely hate or a career you think sucks, it’s probably not going to last unless you can compromise and be more open minded and accepting.”

Lisa, 39. “My husband and I have been together since we were 18. We have changed so much from the two crazy college kids we were compared to now. We have gone through so many ups and downs. We have been in extreme poverty together where we ate nothing but ramen noodles and sardines in a can for four years straight while trying to build our careers. We’ve also seen great success together too. Marriage is about being able to see someone in all these different highs and lows in life and being able to find the good and happiness in every moment. That’s really hard to do. If you can’t love someone when they are dirt poor and have nothing to offer except their companionship then don’t bother. You have to be able to be there in both the good and bad times.”

Mark, 32. “I think the big thing guys should know is that just because you get married your life doesn’t suddenly end. It doesn’t get boring or dull just because you’re married. If anything, my life has greatly improved since marrying Kelly. We were best friends before we got married but now, three years later, our bond is stronger than ever. We have so much fun together. She has my back and I have hers no matter what. Media tries to act like marriage is this sucky thing but I find it to be the opposite. After a long day at work or a weekend business trip the only thing I can think about is getting back to her because I know whatever we’re going to do will be fun as long as she’s by my side.”

Brian, 34. “Figure out what your bottom line is before getting serious with someone. What are your deal breakers? What’s something you absolutely can’t stand in a person or won’t accept? What is you need in another person to be happy? People don’t think about these things. They just get into relationships with whoever they find for the moment then realize they’re unhappy because once the honeymoon phase has worn off their partner has all these qualities they don’t like and don’t want to deal with.”

David, 34. “Avoid lying altogether. It’s not worth it – ever. Women have strong radar for bullshit. And especially after knowing you for a long time they’re going to pick up on when you’re full of shit. So my best advice is to stay honest, even if you think it’s going to hurt, even if you think they’re going to yell at you. And sometimes when I think Meg is going to be pissed about something I’ll tell her and she’s like, “Oh. Is that all?” and she doesn’t even care. Then it’s like, “Why the hell did I make such a big deal about this in my head?”

Mandy, 33. “Be comfortable with talking openly about your attractions. People get so intimidated about their partner finding someone else attractive but my husband and I will openly discuss people we find hot and I think our bond is stronger because of it. We love joking around when we’re out together about people we find sexy. We know neither of us would act on it. Basically, single people, just know that getting married doesn’t mean you have to live in some shell where you’re expected to only want to bang your spouse!”

Victoria, 31. “Find someone that truly respects you and what you’re all about. Find someone who has a compatible view on how relationships should be. Some people expect their partner to do everything with them. Other people want their own space and their own identity within a relationship. Both are fine – just find someone who has the same outlook because otherwise that could create problems later on in your relationship.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Former senior staff writer and producer at Thought Catalog.

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