By Dr. Jane Greer

Singer Mariah Carey is already talking celebrity marriage with her new boyfriend, James Packer. Typically, it’s the woman who’s eager to start talking marriage, sometimes even early in the relationship. Although they’ve only been dating for a matter of days, James already believes he wants to marry Mariah. The duo in a new celebrity relationship have visited several countries together since last week.

Deciding to get married is a big step for so many reasons, and thinking about doing it when you are just beginning to get to know each other might not always be the best idea.

Consider reality.

When two people fall in love, anything seems possible. You might quickly begin to think about spending the rest of your life with that person, and even fantasize about how wonderful it could be. That is what love does – it makes everything look wonderful. The trouble is, a lasting relationship is made up of much more than the immediate chemistry and romance people experience when they first come together and the rest of the world falls away. That world doesn’t stay away forever, and when it creeps back in with finances, job responsibilities, the possibility of having children, and other things that take place during daily life, it is helpful and important to have a strong foundation underneath you to know how to deal with these things as a unit.

Related Link: Mariah Carey Reunites with Celebrity Ex-Husband Nick Cannon for Easter with Twins

Understand each other fully.

If you have time to get to know each other, allowing you to establish and understand your commonalities, shared goals and values, methods of communication, and ability to compromise and problem solve, you will be in a much better place to make your joint life work. These are the nuts and bolts that determine whether or not you will be able to go the distance together. Too often when you lead with love, moving too quickly, you eliminate and edit out the opportunity to experience your partner in the real world and you might not be equipped to deal with the curve balls that life sends your way.

Take time.

Time also allows you to establish a good balance between the me and the we, which is necessary in sharing a healthy relationship. The risk of rushing in to making the decision to spend your life with someone you don’t know well enough, despite the fact that you think you do, is that you can wind up in a situation that requires making concessions that feel more like sacrifice rather than compromise. If it starts to seem that you are giving up what is important to you, it can be the beginning of your partnership no longer working effectively. So unless you have had the time to navigate your shared life and the demands that it entails, you might want to slow down a little.

Related Link: Nick Cannon Opens Up About Split From Mariah Carey

Move forward when it makes sense.

When, then, is it okay to start that conversation about happily ever after? It’s probably best to begin once you’ve determined you’re exclusive and your individual worlds are clearly merging into a joint world. That’s the point at which you can look toward creating a future together and therefore discuss marriage, whereby you and your partner can see yourselves continuing together over the course of your lives. Look to avoid bringing marriage up out of the blue because if there’s nothing concrete to attach it to, then the relationship may not be at that point and you may scare your partner off by being too premature with the idea. He or she may completely push back as a result. Sometimes talking about moving in together before bringing up the subject of tying the knot is a good starting point. There are times, however, when people are forced to talk about marriage sooner than they might otherwise – if one person has to move to another part of the country (or even the world) for a career opportunity, for example.

Don’t get too caught up in the excitement.

The bottom line is that everything looks great at the beginning of a relationship and it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and fanfare. Be aware though of looking too far ahead. Give yourself a chance to be sure you are truly compatible before you walk down the aisle. Keep in mind also that if you are just coming out of a relationship and dealing with the aftermath of rejection, it can make this new relationship even more attractive and can be a way to put the pain in the past. If that is the case it is even more important that you take a deep breath and leave yourself the time you need to make sure this is right for you, so that you don’t wind up getting blinded by love and perhaps make another mistake.

It seems that Mariah and James don’t have these qualms and are ready to get serious and move forward with a shared life together. Only time will tell if they are moving too fast.

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