Q: I am 35 years old. I recently got engaged to my partner and have been in crazy wedding-planning mode. Some of friends and family aren’t being very supportive because I dated my partner for only six months before he proposed. But I know that he is the right man for me: He is handsome, has a good job, and I know we will have a comfortable future together. Not to mention, I just can’t wait to finally be married and start having babies like the rest of my friends! Do you think I am rushing into things or is it possible to know if someone is “the one” in just six months?
A: There is no set time limit for how long it takes to know if someone is “the one.” Some people say that they knew the second they laid eyes on each other, while others say it took them years to reach that point. However, in your case, I would suggest that you put the brakes on and think about your decision a little more.
Perhaps your mate is indeed the one, but a few red flags are popping up for me. You mention that you are in crazy wedding-planning mode, and that is normal as most brides do get swept up in that. However, sometimes people are so busy planning the wedding that they forget to plan the marriage. Wedding gowns and centerpieces are fun and exciting, but they can also serve as a distraction from focusing on your relationship. You haven’t known your partner very long, so you still have a lot to learn about each other, and that can be hard to do if you are busy looking for the perfect DJ.
It also might be a good idea to look a little deeper at your partner and examine why you want to be with him for better or worse. You mention that he is handsome and has a good job, and although these things are important, they can also be superficial and fleeting. He could lose his job or develop a beer gut over the years, and when he does, you have to ask yourself if that attraction will still be there. Make sure that you connect in deeper ways. Does he make you laugh? Does he support you and enrich your life? Those are the things that will predict a long, happy marriage.
It sounds like your desire to get married so quickly might also stem from your ticking biological clock. If all your friends are already married and having babies, it can put a lot of pressure on you to get married, especially if you really want to have a family. Yet sometimes our biological clocks can drive us into hasty or rash decisions, and as much as you want to start having babies, you don’t want to make the mistake of having them with the wrong man. You still have plenty of time to have children, and the good news is that modern science grows by leaps and bounds every day, and at this point there are many options to help women conceive later in life.
Ultimately, only you can know when or if you will be ready to get married. Yet there is no harm in slowing things down a little and spending more time with your partner before you tie the knot. Remember, the wedding just lasts a few hours, but the marriage is forever.
— Dr. Laura Berman