10 Things To Do Before Marriage {Guest Post}

Today’s post is by Jennifer Bryant, who is writing this month through her blog series “30 Days of Singleness.” I admire Jennifer’s commitment and wisdom in making the most of this unique and transitory time of life, as well her ambitious “30 Before 30″ list of life goals, and asked her to share some advice on making your single years shine!

Too many people are wasting their singleness. Instead of looking at this time as an opportunity, we try to rush through it as quickly as possible.  We want to skip ahead to marriage and family. We don’t bother trying to make the most of it.

Marriage is a wonderful thing and I cannot wait to experience it. But we shouldn’t put our life on pause while we wait for the One to show up. We should take advantage of this time.

But what does that look like? Glad you asked. Here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of your singleness.

10 Things to Do Before Marriage

  1. Do something that scares you. A friend of mine bungee jumped from the tallest bridge in the world. My little sister went skydiving. I tried online dating… ok, maybe that doesn’t count. But do something that frightens the pants off you.
  2. Challenge yourself. Always wanted to run a marathon? Do it.  Go scuba diving? Get certified. We all have an idea that lurks in the back of our minds. Figure out what that idea is and go do it!
  3. Learn to cook (Or at least try). For one thing, wouldn’t it be nice to know that you could keep yourself from starving the next time an ice storm or hurricane hits? Not to mention that cooking is such an undervalued skill. But trust me; your future spouse will appreciate it.
  4. Spend time with your family. Especially around the holidays. Enjoy this time when you don’t have to juggle your parents and your in-laws. Go home for Christmas and sleep in your childhood bed. Drink hot chocolate and watch the Muppets Christmas Carol curled up on the couch. Things will get complicated someday. Enjoy the simplicity now.
  5. Buy that new Camaro. Or whatever car you’ve been dreaming of. (If you are not in a great financial position, ignore this one.) But if you have a steady job and want a new car, go for it. Enjoy it now, before it gets traded in for something a little more practical.
  6. Babysit. Especially if you haven’t been around kids much. Take this time to learn how you feel about children. Think you can’t wait to be a parent? Babysitting helps you realize that yes, babies are adorable and wonderful, but they are also demanding and exhausting. That night of babysitting may help quiet the ticking of your biological clock.
  7. Travel on a whim. Call up your friend in LA and let them know you are coming in for a weekend. When you are single, they are totally cool with you crashing on their couch. Add a spouse to the equation and it gets a little more complicated. Take advantage of your flexibility now.
  8. Give back. Become a Big Brother or Big Sister. Sign up for that mission trip you keep putting off. Volunteer at your church. I hate to admit it, but you do have more free time when you are single. Make the most of it.
  9. Focus on your career. Love your job? Good. Work hard and build up a fantastic reputation. Kind of hate your job? Quit! Find a career that you love. Now is the time to figure out what you want to do and do it well.
  10. Indulge in SSB – Secret Single Behavior. We all have weird quirks or habits that we don’t necessarily want to share with the world…or our spouse. Maybe it is blasting N Sync while you dance around the living room, eating raw cookie dough for breakfast, or spending hours on failblog.org. Whatever it is, enjoy it!

Jennifer is a single Christian twenty-something. She works as a freelance writer/editor and part-time nanny while blogging about faithsingleness, and living fearlessly. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

What would you add to this list? 

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  • http://everywhereonce.com/ Brian

    This is a great list, but I wouldn’t confine it to just things to do before you get married. Most of these are things we should try to do every day of our lives, whether we’re married or not. My wife and I are 40 year old fulltime travelers and we engage in 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 and especially 7 almost daily. Number 9 doesn’t apply to us and number 10 probably should probably be discouraged, but other than that, this is a great life list for every stage of the journey.
    Thanks for sharing,

    • http://jenniferbryant.wordpress.com JenniferBryant

      Oh, I absolutely agree this list isn’t just for singles! But I created it for singles in particular, because we tend to focus too much on life after marriage instead of the life we are living now.

      Thanks for reading!


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  • http://thelitterbox.wordpress.com tamariez

    I think this should be included for those of us that are in serious relationships, but aren’t ready to take that leap called marriage.. there’s still so much living you can do beforehand. Great suggestions!

    • http://shequotes.wordpress.com stephindialogue

      I agree! When you’re in that serious relationship, it’s great to acknowledge that life-as-we-know-it is about to change, and you still have time to do things you might regret having not done later.

  • http://lifeinhashtags.wordpress.com G Fresh

    Good list in general, but I’m gonna have to disagree with number 5 quite strongly and slightly with number 7. I bought a brand new car 4 and a half years ago and it’s my biggest regret in all that time. And it’s not that I can’t afford it, I’ve never missed or been late on any of my bills since I bought it, it’s just that with the downturn in the economy and the rising price of everything over the past couple years I’ve been wishing I had that monthly car payment to put back into my savings account and I still have 18 months of payments to go. :/

    That said, if you can pay for it outright, buy a 2 or 3 years old car of your dreams rather than new. They drop so much in value so quickly once you drive it off the lot it’s ridiculous. Regardless, I will never buy a new car again and wouldn’t recommend anyone else to either.

    7 is for much the same reason. If you can afford it and wouldn’t go into debt to do it, fine, but if you’re financing this with credit cards, hold up.

    My question for both of these points would be, once you do find that someone and enter into marriage with them, do you want to come into it saddled with a bunch of debt, especially debt that was accrued just because you didn’t want to save up for something?

    Money issues are one of, if not the biggest cause of divorce in this country so I would encourage everyone to just be smart with your finances regardless of your relationship state.

    *steps down off of Dave Ramsey soapbox*

    Sorry for ranting. I just feel very strongly about this having done this myself in my 20s and still paying for it all almost into my mid 30s. Trust me, the aftermath is not worth it.

    I can’t wait to finish paying off my “stupid tax”. :)

    • http://jenniferbryant.wordpress.com JenniferBryant

      And that would be exactly why I said to only do it if you are in a financially stable position to do so. (I am not…that’s why I’m driving a truck with 90k on it.)

      As this post was simply ideas for maximizing your singleness, I didn’t feel the need to add a Dave Ramsey warning to it, even though I do agree with your point.

      • http://lifeinhashtags.wordpress.com G Fresh

        Weird that it posted twice like that.

        People’s definition of “financially stable” vary widely, so I wasn’t sure exactly what you meant. Thanks for clarifying. :)

        • http://lifeinhashtags.wordpress.com G Fresh

          Also, I would still disagree with buying a new car regardless of your financial stability. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/JBryantWrites Jennifer Bryant (@JBryantWrites)

    And that would be exactly why I said to only do it if you are in a financially stable position to do so. (I am not…that’s why I’m driving a truck with 90k on it.)

    As this post was simply ideas for maximizing your singleness, I didn’t feel the need to add a Dave Ramsey warning to it, even though I do agree with your point.

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  • yogesh

    ready to mingle but u need a proper planing before your marraige
    check this article out