Take a read of our tips from Karen Hirscheimer, a couples therapist in Toronto, on what you relationship needs before it’s your turn to say “I, do.”

Be comfortable with your individuality

It sounds simple, but many people feel as though they still need that dream job, a perfect income or a fabulous new home to say that they have “found themselves.” Some feel getting married can slow down that process. Hirscheimer argues this is one big red flag. “If it’s a true partnership, you can be comfortable with yourself and grow as an individual, while still being in a committed relationship,” she explains. “Your relationship should help you grow as an individual, not hinder you in anyway.”

Be happy with the present situation, instead of obsessing about the future one

When a couple thinks about marriage many can’t help but fixate on the future to see what their relationship could become. “Some people never change, they will always have the same habits with the same opinions,” explains Hirscheimer. “You can’t make any guarantees that you may change your mind on certain situations.” For example, if your biological clock isn’t ticking, your partner needs to be ok with knowing that children may never enter the equation. You could change your feelings later on, but “you can’t make promises,” points out Hirscheimer.

Create a passion principle that you both love

When couples first get together, passion levels are at an extreme. Think 9 and 1/2 Weeks. But as time goes on, the passion can fizzle as you grow more comfortable with one another. Don’t worry, this is normal. “Sometimes you need to work at keeping a spark back in the relationship,” she explains. “All partnerships need to have effort and work put into them; this is one area that can get neglected.” Some couples are fine with a companionship that is less based on passion and sex than others while some still need that spark to be happy in a committed relationship. “Either way, both need to be on the same page,” emphasizes Hirscheimer.