Marriage isn't easy and you have to work at it, or so they say anyway. With that in mind wouldn't some valuable advice from those who have been there and done that already be useful?
If someone older and wiser than you offered nuggets of wisdom on being yourself, keeping your career and knowing if someone is the one wouldn't you grasp them with all the strength in your body?
Prepare to get grasping as a thread on AskReddit asked married men to share with single men their most prized piece of relationship advice.
Here's a few pearls of wisdom from men who know:
"If you think you've found 'the one', ask yourself if that person would stick with you through thick and thin. The good AND the bad. If you're even a bit unsure, he/she may not be 'the one'.
"I have a friend who lost his job and pretended to go to work for a week for fear of [what] his wife would think/do. That marriage didn't last. If that were to happen to me, my wife would be the first person I'd want to tell and run home to. Marry that person."
"Don't let your partner stop you from progressing on your professional life. Also don't stop your partner from progressing. That creates scars that later on will affect the relationship."
"Never stop dating your spouse. Getting married isn't a finish line. Just like you don't magically get 'in shape' one day and stop hitting the gym, you don't have a guaranteed relationship. Take the time to woo them on a regular basis. Small gifts, thoughtful tasks and date night. It's easy to fall into a comfortable rut, but it doesn't help anyone."
"Listen to understand rather than listen to respond. I think this goes for any relationship advice, but it's super easy to listen to your wife and try to figure out how to respond; solve a problem, critique her issues, etc.
"Sometimes the wife just wants to rant and if you're busy figuring out how to respond, you're not listening."
"If you can't be yourself around someone, they aren't right for you. If you have a deep love for Dungeons & Dragons, or football...or biking, don't make a secret of it.
"That doesn't mean beat whoever you're dating over the head with it, but talk about it. Some shared interests are important in a relationship...obviously not ALL interests should be shared, my wife likes reality TV, I like zombies. Those don't mesh together. But we share enough common interests that we can watch anime together and play D&D every weekend."
"Quality beats quantity every single time. If you're still young and find yourself in a good relationship, don't mess it up for the sake of 'playing the field'."
"Realise that your S.O. [significant other] communicates differently than you. You can avoid a lot of anger and arguments by knowing the difference between frustration vs. confrontational intention."
"If you want to be truly happy in a relationship be completely honest from the beginning. This doesn't mean tell her everything on your first date, but don't lie about things that may be important to you just because you think it might get you laid."
"Establish boundaries very early on and stick to them. My wife is a great person and I love her, BUT... her family is extremely pushy, domineering and controlling. They show up whenever they want, stay over days or weeks at a time, clean up our house to their standards, borrow money from her, call during dinner, etc. Every single cliché you see in goofy romantic movies. Now it's getting hard to break up that dynamic without looking like the bad guy."
"Do what you want when you are young [but] when you find the woman you want to marry, take it seriously. Don't cheat, don't mess about. Be honest with her. I have 'friends' who cheat on their wives with one night stands and I honestly don't know how they can look their wives in their eyes."
"Do not keep score. If you love your partner let the petty stuff go, it's not about how many more times you've done the dishes. It's about love, appreciation, and respect."
"Talk about things. Sitting in moody silence for hours (or days, in extreme cases) will only eat away at the relationship. When I say talk, I don't mean try once and then give up, I mean push to get everything out in the open. Whilst it might be awkward to begin with, it can feel cathartic when you're over whatever it was. And I say this because it's somewhat surprising how many exchanges you can have that are the result of misunderstandings.
"Oh, and put your ego to one side if you do this. It won't work if you don't do that first."
"It's going to be ok. I've been married for 8+ years now, and I wish I could go back and tell myself in my late teens/early 20s that there was someone out there for me who'd be a great partner that I would want to spend the rest of my life with.
"So if you're someone out there who's looking for a long-term relationship and is worrying about it - it's cool. There's someone out there for you. Just be yourself, keep an eye out for the right person and get out there. My wife and I hit it off immediately, but it took a while for us to get together - we gave our friendship time, and that was a great decision."
"Learn how to cook. You'll save LOTS of money. And NOTHING impresses a woman like a guy who can cook and actually enjoys it (you'll have to do that too). And not like one or two things either - I mean like know how to cook at least enough meals to make a month's worth of dinners without repeating more than one or two dishes.
"And a clean bathroom will get you a lot more play than flowers."
"Spending time with your partner should be less work than spending time with anyone else. I find it easier to do chores, go on long drives, watch Netflix, or whatever with my wife than with anyone else, or even by myself. Of course, I still spend plenty of time with my friends and by myself. (If you feel like you aren't getting to do those things enough, that's another red flag of a bad relationship.) And my wife and I definitely get on each other's nerves sometimes. But there's almost never a time when I don't want to hang out with my wife. I almost never get sick of seeing her."
Got that all down?
From: Esquire UK