“Is ‘the one’ actually a thing? How are you supposed to know when you’re ready for the next step? I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years. We’re very happy. But for some reason, when I think of marrying him, I feel unsure.”
Life in 2020 is pretty amazing: You can open your phone and find out what your high school friends are up to on five different social networks. You can get any food delivered, whether it’s a half dozen cupcakes (all for you!) or the most nutritious salad. Or you can choose from half a dozen different dating apps that are jam-packed with potential romantic interests.
But our unlimited options make it even trickier to commit to a partner, because if the marriage isn’t what you expected, you can’t (or shouldn't) just try something else. Dating feels way more high stakes now than it did in the days of our parents and grandparents. When there’s the illusion that anything might exist out there for you, it’s hard to know when to stop and invest time in just one. But that’s exactly what prevents a lot of people from having fulfilling, long-term relationships.
When it comes to making big commitments, here’s where I think people get cold feet.