The 4 things to consider before you propose
You’ve met the love of your life and you’re thinking about popping the question. It’s an exciting time, but a nerve-racking one too! Marriage is a big commitment and all anybody wants to hear when the time comes to get down on one knee is “Yes”.
But, before you get carried away, here are a few things to consider to make sure you’re both ready for the next step:
1. Have you had the marriage chat?
The chances are that it’s come up at some point – it’s hard to avoid the subject with friends tying the knot, proposals documented on social media, and endless TV shows about all things weddings. But has your partner said explicitly that they would like to get married?
“There’s a risk when you’ve met the man or woman of your dreams that you can get overexcited and project your own desires onto them.”
You want to show the world your love with a wedding, but they might not see nuptials as the way to demonstrate their commitment. They may wish to stay in a relationship in the long term, but not want the formalities of marriage.
Be sure you know they feel the same way about it as you do, to make sure you’ll get the response you’re looking for.
2. Do you know enough about each other?
For most people, the days of having to wait until you’re married to move in together and really get to know one another are over. Nowadays people tend to put their relationship to the test before saying “I do” to give themselves the best chance of a long and happy life together. And it’s no bad thing.
You learn a lot about a person when you move in. Think back to any housemates you had at university, or living with your siblings at home. Everybody has their habits and foibles so you need to know you can put up with them, and that they’re OK with yours too.
Have you taken a holiday as a couple yet? Because that teaches you even more about each other. Time away just the two of you, with travel hurdles to jump and unknown cities, towns and beaches to explore really opens your eyes to each other’s personalities. And it gives you a nice chunk of time to chat properly too – without the distraction of work or friends or whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher at home.
“Every relationship should face a crisis or two before anybody starts planning a wedding.”
Seeing each other at your lowest, or having to tackle a difficult situation together will test just how strong you are – and how good you are at being supportive through tricky times.
Everybody wants to marry somebody who’s their best friend, and you only give that title to somebody you know inside out.
3. Where are you in your lives?
Are there things you’ve said you’d like to do before you get married? Do you want to buy a property together first? Or would you like to do some travelling and then settle down? Or are there career milestones you want to achieve before tying the knot? Do you know what kind of wedding you’d both want? Do you have enough money for that at the moment?
Of course, you don’t have to get married straight away – you could enjoy a long engagement before any kind of ceremony takes place. You just need to make sure you both know what you want. You don’t have to know every detail, just that your lives are broadly heading in the same direction.
4. Do you know where you both stand on the big life issues?
Life will bring enough surprises you can’t control, so try to avoid letting what you want come out of the blue too. Have you talked about whether you want to have children? Or if you have ambitions to go and live overseas? Or if you have career aspirations that would mean a significant change to your lifestyle?
If you have conflicting aspirations, you’ll need to have a serious conversation before committing to spend your life together. Otherwise you might find that further down the line you’re having to compromise about something you don’t want to give up.
When you know where you stand on all of these points, you’re ready to start planning that proposal! Make sure that you want the same things and that you’re giving your relationship the best chance of success, then you can focus on how you’re going to ask that all important question and bring about one of the most exciting moments of your lives.