Plan before tying the knot

College life is an interesting and challenging experience. So is married life.

The combination of the two is similar to combining chocolate and bacon – appealing and enjoyable to some and eliciting an “Oh God, why?!” from others.

While the question of marriage during college may be dismissed as quickly as the 9 button on a microwave, I can certainly say from experience that those contemplating or planning a wedding while taking classes can and will find it overshadowing their life inside of school and out. But not in a bad way. Maybe.

I look at the question the same way fashion icon Nick Wooster looks at the question of getting tattooed: “I always say don’t do it when people ask me if they should. I never want to be responsible.”

The tattoo analogy is apt since it speaks to the oneness of a marital bond but horrible in that a spouse is not an ornament or decoration.

Regardless of the quality of my metaphor, marriage is a major adjustment in any circumstance. In college, a defined time of transition, it’s pretty easy to think life might be easier without one more thing to worry about. You would probably be right.

One of the only reasons that my wife Victoria and I felt ready to get married is because we have literally known each other all our lives and had been dating for three years beforehand. All of the necessary getting-to-know-you checkpoints had been stretched back even to our childhoods.

For others whose relationships do not resemble a fairytale plot, a focus on openness is miles beyond important. Openness in your time, in your personal space, in your life. Complete honesty with each other is one of the easiest and best ways to avoid conflict in a relationship.

“I never would have suspected…” can only start two types of sentences: cheerful surprises and startling revelations.

I’ve never had a roommate before Victoria, so the idea of sharing most of a day’s waking moments with another person has been a novel experience. If you’re easily weirded out after finding out someone’s private quirks, moving in together is sure to be a trip.

Bottom line: if you are not sure you can handle married life, your are probably better off waiting for a better time. In fact, even if you know you can handle it, wait a little while to make sure your partner can.

A happy marriage is far too precious to be rushed.