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Your girlfriend is fun, flirty, and sexy as hell—but is she the kind of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with?
That’s a question that only you can answer, but we’re here to help where we can. We asked Washington D.C.-based psychologist Alicia H. Clark to weigh in on what, exactly, makes a woman “wife material.” Here are the signs you should be looking for before you pop the question (or, signs you need to pop the question ASAP).
What’s the #1 sign she’s wife material?
The biggest sign she’s “the one” is if you feel more comfortable—not less comfortable—as the relationship progresses. This means that the more you get to know her, the more you feel like you can relax and be yourself around her. Everybody is on their best behavior at the beginning of a relationship, but things should get better, not worse, as both of you let your guards down.
What are some other signs you might be ready to commit?
Another good sign: If you can see a future with her—or rather, if you can’t see a future without her. There is a difference between going through the motions of wanting a future together and actually seeing a future together, however. It’s one thing to nod along when she talks about your future children together, or to plan a vacation three months out. When you start automatically including her in your future plans in your head—10, 20, 30 years down the line—then you’ll know that she’s more than just a serious relationship.
How important is sex in all this?
Sex is very important in a relationship. The sex doesn’t have to be mind-blowing—after all, sex gets better with time, in a relationship—but your sex life should be satisfying, and both of you should be willing to give and take. You probably won’t find someone with a libido that matches up perfectly to yours at all times, but it’s important that both of you want to make each other happy.
Give and take is definitely important inside and outside of the bedroom, wouldn’t you say?
Absolutely. And that’s another good sign she’s wife material—if she’s the kind of person who’s willing to both give and take. You want someone who will give resources, such as time, attention, and money, to make you happy, but you also want someone who is independent and willing to be a partner—not a doormat. She wants to make you happy because she cares about you, not because she feels like she has to. You don’t “complete” her; she’s with you because she wants you, not because she needs you.
Is it a bad sign if you’re having doubts about marriage and commitment in general?
It’s not a bad sign. Having doubts is normal, and they are often not about the relationship at all—they’re usually about you, not her. Are you afraid of commitment because you’re afraid of losing your freedom, or are you afraid of commitment to her? If you’re having doubts about marriage in general, you’re probably fine. But if you’re having doubts about marriage to your girlfriend, because of how she makes you feel, or how she treats you, then you may want to take a step back.