Preparing Against Failure: A Complete, Iron-Clad, Pre-Marital Checklist

I was recently, randomly, and mostly against my will, forced to think about marriage.  A coworker of mine (who will remain unnamed because the following conversation makes us both look like tards), asked me if I was ready to get married.  As I typically do with overwhelmingly important topics, I gaffed at it by saying, “Not a chance.”  A salesman born, my colleague followed up by restating, “But she’s the right one?”  Why, nameless colleague? Why?

“I guess if I knew the answer to that, I’d be ready to get married.”  Case closed.

What bothered me about this exchange wasn’t the personal nature of the topic (I actually love getting over-personal), it was the complete lack of criteria within which the conversation took place.  Am I ready?  Is she right?  Those sound like questions that will be better-fielded by future Dusty, no matter when they’re asked.  Oddly enough, the defining statement related to this “hindsight is 20/20” mindset came from my current girlfriend who opined, “You never truly know someone until they do the thing you thought they’d never do.”  In other words, you will never know if you made a bad decision until it’s too late.  High-quality and completely unhelpful truth bomb from my lady friend.  There aren’t enough clit-lit questionnaires to tell a woman when that will happen, and I don’t even know where a man references these kinds of relational queries.  My thoughts on sound relational decisions?  Nothing premeditated unfortunately. When I’m selling or advising, I often try to work in the question, “What’s your process for evaluating important decisions in your life?”  The irony is that I have no such process for anything, especially something like marriage.

Until now.

I’m going to give you the ultimate, unsubstantiated, pre-marital checklist from the male perspective.  If you can agree with 100% of the statements below, then you’re with the right girl, and you’re ready.  Before reading this list, it’s important for you to remember that I’m 26-years-old with nearly zero life experience.  I’m like Will Hunting with the brain of a normal person.  That disclaimer aside, there’s no way this checklist shouldn’t be a mandatory questionnaire during pre-marital counseling (also, this is written for a straight man, or the “butch” looking to be in a gay pseudo-marriage).

  • You’ve had at least 37 make-out sessions lasting over 15 seconds
  • You knocked those out in the first 45 days of dating
  • She doesn’t hate animals
  • You don’t hate animals (or if you do, you plan to never have children)
  • ŸYou and her see eye-to-eye on the “kids” thing
  • You’ve met her parents, and they’re tolerableŸ
  • She doesn’t revert into a pre-teen drama queen around said parents (ie. “deal-breaking revertigo”)
  • You farted in front of her before she ever farted in front of you
  • She thinks Archer is a funny television show
  • She at least pretends to enjoy watching your favorite sports team between 5-10 times per year
  • She cooks
  • On general topics, she has requests instead of demands (if someone “demands” that the toilet paper roll faces a certain direction, they don’t know how to value another human being)
  • You’ve stood by her as she went through a crisis
  • ŸShe stood by you as you went through a crisis
  • She doesn’t force you to watch shows on the CW (unless you want to, then that’s different)
  • You don’t lie to her about enjoying things like CW shows to appease her
  • You don’t lie to her
  • She doesn’t park in handicap spots
  • She’s frustrated that Two and Half Men was ever popular
  • She was never agnostic for longer than 4 years. That’s just not trying
  • You haven’t bought a video game in 6 months
  • You know what an emergency fund is and have actually funded it
  • She finds you interesting
  • Honestly, she actually is super-interested by your personality
  • You checked both those boxes above
  • Neither you nor her thought this was credible in any way

Helping you get out of your own way,
Dusty “The Real Hitch” Riedesel

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