From the time we are little girls or the time we attend our first wedding, we start dreaming about our own wedding day – the dress, the shoes, the rings, the flowers, the reception – we dream it and plan it over and over in our minds. We can’t help but look forward to that special day when we will look like princesses and have everyone cheering for us. The picture gets clearer and clearer in our minds as we grow older. We start adding details to our mental picture – the colour the bridesmaids will be wearing, the colour of the bouquet and flower arrangements, what centrepieces we will have on the table. By the time we meet our prince charming and he proposes, we can’t wait to make those plans come true. When we finally set our wedding date, the excitement of planning it all becomes overwhelming and fun.
I am a woman; to take away this luxury of fantasizing and dreaming about one’s wedding day from another woman would be hypocritical and frankly pointless. But, here’s food for thought for all of you who are still single and dreaming about or planning your wedding day. A wedding day lasts just one day, and then it is over, perfect as it may be. However, if planned for properly, marriage lasts a lifetime!
That’s my advice to all single ladies out there, who are dreaming of walking down the isle one day. Instead of just planning for a wedding day, plan for marriage. Work on making yourself suitable as a partner. Believe me, it isn’t as automatic and natural as Hollywood’s romantic movies makes it to be. As someone who loves romantic movies, I wish I could assure you that a successful relationship is as effortless as the movies make it seem. But, no, it isn’t. It takes some work to make it work, a lot of which is work you do on yourself as a partner. Now, what work should you do on yourself to prepare yourself for marriage? This is by far not the complete list, but here are a couple of tips that can help you:
• Work on your ability to be there for others. Many people enter marriage dreaming about how their partner is going to be there for them – all the wonderful things he’s going to bring into their lives, the comfort, the fun, the laughter, the support, oh the list is long. But, how about what you are going to bring to their life? Are you going to be a supportive, fun, happy, comforting spouse? Yes? Well, let me tell you, it’s not as easy as it seems. In order for you to be all those things and more, you need to be sensitive to your partner’s needs, to know when to support, to know when to laugh, to know when to comfort. You may be someone who is willing to comfort and support and cheer, but hey, what good is it if you are always failing to spot when your comfort, support or cheerful spirit is needed? You will end up doing the right thing at the wrong time, which equals disappointment to your spouse. Learn how to pick up on people’s needs. Start observing your friends and family members, and try and spot opportunities to be there for them when they need you. You’ll win some and lose some at first, then you’ll finally get it right and soon thereafter, it will become second nature to you. Then, part of your work for preparing for marriage will be done.
• Work on your communication skills. Although very romantic, the idea that your partner will look at you and know exactly what you are thinking and feeling and needing only works in romantic movies and novels. Many times, if you are going to get what you want from your partner, you are going to have to ask for it. That can be very tricky, because many times we think we are asking, but we are actually criticising for not getting what we want. We think we are asking, but we are in fact complaining or comparing. It takes working on yourself to perfect the skill of asking nicely when your patience has been tested. It takes working on yourself to understand yourself well enough to know exactly what you want, so you can ask for it nicely (phew, what a mouthful, but true!). So, start by telling your roommate that you would like her to start carrying her weight with the house duties. If you can make requests such as this and come out on the other end with your friendship still in tact, then you will have prepared yourself some for marriage.
By all means ladies, plan for your beautiful wedding. But, if you are a wise woman, you’ll take it a step further and plan for a beautiful marriage as well. May God bless all your plans!