Even the Not Married Stages of Life

A Prioritized Marriage is written for everyone. The other morning, I was thinking about my tagline, "making marriage a priority throughout every stage of life" and realized that those stages of life don't always have to be the married ones. Whether you're still single and preparing for a future relationship, dating someone and starting to think about marriage, engaged and planning for the future together, or married for any length of time, you can choose to change the future of your marriage relationship now and apply these posts to your life.

Prepare for marriage

For Individuals Who Are Single

It's never too early to start preparing for the kind of marriage that you want to have in the future.

 In the four years between high school graduation and our wedding, a lot of my close friends were getting married and I was very, very single. I loved to observe other people's relationships and the rituals that they were creating together because it gave me an idea of what I wanted my future marriage to look like and the qualities that I wanted my spouse to have. Reflecting back on previous relationships of my own was beneficial as well because I could see where I needed to improve my own self in order to make a partnership with someone else better. Long before I was married, I read blogs like The Dating Divas and learned everything I could about what makes a successful relationship so that I didn't go into mine with no guidelines or plans for how I was going to make my marriage work. Become the spouse that you want to be now, so you're ready when that forever person comes into your life!

^^ I loved hanging around people who let me be my quirky self and loved me for it! ^^

For Individuals Who Are Dating

From the time you start to date, you can create great relationships with the people you come in contact with whether they're the one you end up marrying or not.

There is no time like the present to create great habits that will carry over into your future marriage.

 Maybe you haven't decided that you're going to marry this person yet, and maybe that's not where your relationship will end up, but you should still be giving that relationship your best efforts. Make each relationship matter! Let that person you are with know that they are a priority in your life and not just someone there to fill a void or be there until you find the next best thing. Make the time that you spend with the person you're dating quality time. Don't just hang out together every day, plan date nights and intentional time for you to get to know each other. You won't ultimately end up with every single person that you date, but you will be creating great habits that will carry forward into the one that does end up being your forever relationship and you will be grateful for your previous experiences and how they prepared you for the future.

^^ One of my favorite date night memories ever, a fancy dinner and Tangled, all planned by Joe ^^

For Individuals Who Are Engaged

You may not have signed your marriage license or said your vows, but in my opinion, at this stage in the relationship, you have already committed to make this relationship your top priority forever, why not start now?

Don't wait until you're officially husband and wife to discuss the important things that will affect the success of your future together.

Talk about your finances, your career, your education, your religion, your traditions, your family rituals, and your future family plans. Figure out what role each of these areas will play in your marriage and make decisions about each of those areas before any of them become an issue. There will always be adjustments, but marriage will be less of an adjustment if you've been preparing for and talking about it before you get there.

For Individuals Who Are Divorced

I have never been through this stage of life, and it's not one that I ever plan to experience, but I realize that there are people who have been in or are currently in this heartbreaking situation. My hope would be that you will get a second chance at the marriage you've always wanted at some point in the future and that you will be prepared when that opportunity presents itself!

For Your Other Relationships in Life

My emphasis within my Family Studies degree is "understanding the importance of communication and stress management for healthy relationships". The things that I am learning, have a passion for and love to share with others can relate to not only marriage relationships, but the other relationships in your life as well.

Which part or series on A Prioritized Marriage do you relate to the most?