I’m at that age where you tend to notice more and more of your friends getting hitched. It’s wonderful to see people trying the knot and being forever and forever always, but is it? All too often, I noticed they’ve only been together for a couple years and in extreme cases, just a year — if not less.

I have a hard time figuring out what I want to eat in the morning and somehow they know this is going to pan out for the better. It seems a bit premature and ill-advised for something so life changing. I see this a lot. They get married, but don’t yet have their own lives together yet.

Call me crazy, but shouldn’t you have a plan? Money saved is essential. Your debt now becomes her debt and vice versa. I feel it’s only appropriate a man has his finances together if the future Misses and I share a joint bank account. Weddings are inherently expensive — it’s just their nature. I find it a little alarming dropping $100K on a wedding and few more for a diamond ring sounds okay to some would-be newlyweds — and without money to their name.

Finding a well-paying job is difficult. The economy isn’t exactly booming in the last couple months of 2018 — the next recession is imminent. That’s just the truth. Saving is difficult for many, but that should be reason to hold off tying the knot. If you think about it, there’s very little difference staying in a committed relationship and one married. You and her are still together afterall in both cases. Why complicate it by rushing into a marriage? The tax savings are great, but what good is it if you can’t use it to your advantage?

If my future self somehow finds Miss Perfect and get married, I hope I don’t fall into the same trap. Large weddings look fantastic, but that’s expected if it costs you the same as the initial down payment on a house. Diamonds are the usual affair used to symbolize never ending loyalty, devotion, and commitment, yet they aren’t rare and sold at several times markup. A shiny rock is just that — a rock. I don’t need or care to have the extended family I see less than once a year at my wedding. If you and I aren’t extremely close, I don’t see how this special moment has any profound impact on you. All I need are the people I really care about with a woman who knows the true meaning of love by my side. That’s truly priceless. The rest is just extra — and an expensive one at that.

It’s about the journey. Not the destination.

You tend to hear this statistic: half of all marriages end in divorce. It’s unsettling to know a coin toss has the same odds as most marriages today. Divorce is messy, but can be avoided if you spend enough time with someone before the marriage. The longest lasting marriages are those who dated the longest. I think it gives you and your significant other enough time to truly know each other’s ins and outs of you.

Open communication is also key. We’re so glued to our glowing rectangles that we neglect the person we’re supposed to be communicating with right in front of us. Social media is addictive and only hinders free and open discussion. How anyone can really disconnect from the digital world is my guess. I have a hard time not checking Facebook or Instagram just once a day. The best option is honesty. Don’t fear about any topics and if something is in need of a talk, just do it. If you get over fear and let go, you have nothing to lose, yet everything to gain. Love is difficult, but having a frank and candid discussion shouldn’t. If anything, open discussion is therapeutic. Would you rather talk it out now or spend some money on couples counseling and have a stranger moderate it later?

This might be unique to my family, but my parents have all the hallmarks of a rocky marriage — it’s a huge understatement at best. They hate each other and make it quite obvious — if sleeping in two separate beds wasn’t enough. My dad hasn’t been loyal or faithful and I had to be the one who found out about it. Years ago, I confronted him. Seeing a grown man shaking in fear says volumes — mostly that I know you’re guilty. “They’re just a friend,” he said. His words meant one thing, but his body language gave it away. If you and the Misses ever reach this sad point in a marriage or relationship, just breakup and get a divorce. You have to know when to call it quits. Going behind each other’s backs won’t help. My mom used to tell me since I was a kid how she married the wrong man and that there was someone before my dad. It’s amazing this can even be discussed after having 3 kids of your own. A comment like that has no time for anyone’s ears. We know your intentions, so don’t even go there.

What does forever and ever after really mean?

Later world.

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