Being able to have a healthy dating relationship is important to be able to consider having a permanent relationship. What exactly is a healthy relationship? The couple should discuss, educate themselves and even seek professional advice to determine what a healthy relationship means. Individuals have an idea of what a healthy relationship is, yet it is important that the couple understands what it means as a joint idea. Getting advice from a relationship counselor or even seeking this kind of advice from a church will help pave the road to combining the two individual ideas into a joint idea.
Communicating effectively can be one of the hardest things for anyone to learn. It is an intricate part of any type of relationship. Someone may be a good communicator with his parents, but it does not mean that he knows how to communicate with his significant other. Learn to communicate with the person you are dating; both people must know how to communicate. Communication is a two-way street and cannot be done with just one person being involved. Communicating can be different with each emotion that each individual feels. While people, generally, communicate well when they are happy there are a lot of people that do not know how to communicate when they are feeling anger or jealousy. Learning how to communicate is not something you are born with; it is a skill that you must foster and work on each day. Work on communicating effectively each day and if you want to consider marriage then you must ensure that you can communicate at all times.
Know and support each other's goals. During a marriage each individual is going to have goals in their lifetime, and during this lifelong partnership you must be able to know and support each other's goals. Some goals will need to be agreed on ahead of time: things like education, children and where to live. All of these are decisions that you will need to make together.
Once the question is asked--when we should consider marriage?--then it is time to start exploring these foundations of knowing and maintaining a healthy relationship, both people being able to communicate even through hardships and anger and agreeing on lifetime goals. After these three core foundations are complete you will know if marriage should be considered.