Stop wasting your time. The 7 boxes your current partner should be ticking.

Video by MWN

Whether you want the full shebang with meringue style wedding dress, a live-in love to have kids with or just to be with someone nice who’s going to stick around, this is for you.

Research and experience has helped to compile this simple checklist to help you sort time-wasting men from potential partners. It’s by no means exhaustive and by no means the gospel – trust your instincts if they’re strong.

But it does make damn good sense to keep all the following points in your head while you’re searching for someone special.

Your seven point checklist:

How old and educated is he?

Market researcher John Molloy used statistics as the basis for his book ‘Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others’. He discovered there’s an ‘age of commitment’ – the time men are most likely to marry or settle down – and found it was dependent on the man’s education, age and years of independence.

According to his research, if your man graduated from high school, he’ll think marriage is a possibility aged 23 to 24. Ninety percent of men who graduate from higher education are ready for marriage around 26 to 33: these are the years when most college graduates propose.

Generally, the more well educated he is and the longer he spends studying, the longer he’ll wait to marry or settle. Most men need to feel established work wise before focusing on a relationship and want a few years of independence as a self-supporting adult before committing to a serious relationship.

Between 33 and 37, the chance of commitment drops slightly for men but there’s still a high chance he’s a good prospect. After age 38, if he’s never married, the chances he ever will drop dramatically – and even further once he reaches 42 or 43. This is the age of the ‘confirmed bachelor’: the chances of him marrying or settling down now are quite slim.

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Has he given up on the singles scene?

It’s quite common for men to meet a woman and marry after they’ve stopped hanging out at singles’ places like clubs and pubs and/or stopped using dating app’s like Tinder.

If he says it’s not as much fun as it used to be being single or he feels too old for the singles scene, he’s a good prospect for marriage.

signs your partner is ready to settle down
Image via Gossip Girl.

Is he financially ready to marry?

Money worries - fears he won't be able to provide for you or potential children - is what stops a lot of men from popping the question.

Never mind that you earn more than him and can provide for yourself (and any potential children perfectly well, thank you), tradition kicks in when men think about marriage.

How's his relationship with his parents?

Any child or teen who has been through an acrimonious divorce has a different view of marriage than those who come from parents who stayed happily together.

This is the guy who says marriage is 'just a piece of paper' and 'means nothing'.

Lots of women agree with him.

This man is often very open to the commitment of living together and even having children - it's just the institution of marriage is something he's justifiably nervous of.

If you don't care about the ceremony, go for it but be warned if you do.

Group therapy: “I don’t think the bloke I am seeing is a feminist, what do I do?” Post continues after audio. 

Are his friends married or single?

If any of his friends has married within the last year, he'll be far more open to marrying himself within the next two years. Also look at his family: are his siblings single or married?

You have a much higher chance if they've tied the knot.

What's his view on settling down?

Men say what they mean and will usually answer you honestly if you ask upfront.

If he says, 'I don't believe in marriage' or 'I don't see myself settling down', believe him!

If he's adverse to commitment, he'll also use phrases like 'I like not having to answer to anyone' and 'I like doing what I please'.

What's his relationship history?

He's had a few serious relationships that have lasted longer than two years? (Or a year if he's under 25?) This is your best bet.

If he's over 40 and has never been in love or had a serious relationship, it doesn't mean he won't with you but there's a hell of a lot of potty training needed there (and the stats aren't in your favour).

This post originally appeared on TraceyCox.com and has been republished with full permission.

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