Considering popping the question but not quite sure when the time is right? Here’s how to know when you’re ready to propose.
Selecting the partner that you will spend your life with is one of the, or the, biggest decisions that you will make in your lifetime. Taking your time to consider the pros and cons of marriage to your significant other can be helpful as you start to make plans for your future.
Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged
As you begin to think through how to know when you’re ready to propose, we recommend asking yourself these questions:
Do you have shared values? Whether it be views on religion, finances, or marriage, take a mental inventory of where your values are similar and different. Figure out what your non-negotiables are, and then make sure those boxes are checked (or that you have a plan in place to make sure your needs are met in areas where the boxes are not.)
Do your long-term goals look similar? While your goals will likely look different from one another, look at the core foundation of what you’re both striving towards. Are you ambitious and career-driven? Do you want to have your own kids or to adopt? Do you want to stay in the area where you are currently living?
Could you see yourself with this person for the rest of your life? This might seem like an obvious question but it’s important to think about. Regardless of how long you’ve been together, you should be able to answer this fairly quickly. Know that life will bring many different changes over the years, and you need to feel comfortable with the fact that this person will be there through it all.
Have you endured hardship, whether through forces outside of your relationship or those within? If you’ve made it through varied life experiences with one another and come out on the other side, this is a critical component to a successful marriage (so see the ‘lows’ as important practice!) When you’re married, you need to know that you’re both on the same team---regardless of what may come your way.
Have you improved certain aspects of your communication over time? While no one is perfect, it’s important that you take time to focus on your communication styles and the languages in which you give and receive love. If your communication has improved over time, that’s a good sign. If it hasn’t, know that this is going to be an important area to focus on, and it’s never too early to start working on it.
Lastly, are there questions that you feel you still need to ask, before you get down on one knee? Maybe there’s something you’ve always wondered but have been hesitant to approach. If so, ask them!
How do I know if I should propose?
There are so many great engagement and wedding planning tips on the internet, but it can be hard to narrow down the good advice! There are plenty of articles that share the signs you’re ready to get engaged---so we’ve done the research on your behalf and compiled a list of our top five, as shared by other professionals in the wedding industry.
Keep in mind, this isn’t a fool-proof formula, and you may feel more confident in some areas than in others. But based on how you feel in your gut after reading this, it should help provide clarity on how to know when you’re ready to propose:
You’re Both Ready to Settle Down
Men’s Health shares that one of the ways that you know you’re ready to propose is if you feel like you’re ready to settle down. “Being willing and ready to settle down is a key indicator that you might be ready to take your relationship to the next level. Regular boys nights may have become a thing of the past and you find yourself preferring to spend the night in with your significant other over a boozy night on the town. Finding the right partner doesn’t mean you can never have boys nights and your individual identity needs to be erased, it just means you can find the balance and always keep your partner at the forefront of the decisions you make.”
(Read the article: 6 Signs You’re Ready To Propose)
You See Each Other As One Unit
In this article shared on Wedding Wire, they say that one of the signs you should propose is: “You speak in “we” vs. “I” It may seem like a small grammatical change, but it’s actually huge. You see you and your partner as a unit, not just as individuals—and that’s an important step toward marriage.”
(Read the article: 26 Signs You Should Propose ASAP.)
You Have Similar Values
eHarmony shares the important of similar values. “Values is where many deal breakers derive from—family, finances, sex, you name it. Before getting engaged, you have to be on the same page to avoid conflict. You two don’t have to share a brain – after all, part of the beauty of things to know before marriage is that you’ll complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Even so, it helps to be headed in the same direction. If you already agree on the big stuff, then smaller issues, like who does the laundry, will be easier to tackle.”
(Read the article: 11 Signs You’re Ready to Get Engaged)
You Don’t Have to Hide How You’re Feeling
According to Brides, one of the signs that your relationship is strong enough to get engaged is the level of comfort that you have with one another. “If you’re going to be engaged, you need to be comfortable in every way. Comfortable being yourself—being silly when you feel silly and sad when you feel sad. Comfortable talking about what’s bothering you and voicing your own opinions, rather than just deferring to what they want. Comfortable being sick and a little gross in front of them—and comfortable taking care of them when they're sick and a little gross.”
(Read the article: 5 Signs Your Relationship Is Strong Enough to Get Engaged)
You Accept Their Imperfections
According to Bustle, one of the signs that will help you know is that you can take into consideration what you don’t like about them. “Nobody is perfect, but you do need to figure out if you can really deal with your partner's imperfections. "Everyone has an inner voice," Boston-based clinical psychologist Bobbi Wegner tells Bustle. "Follow it. Pay attention to the immediate feelings you have when you think of the person. Next, realistically name the three things about the person that bother you, and expect that those will remain. If the feelings are there and you can live with those three bothersome traits, that is a good sign."
(Read the article: 7 Signs You're Ready To Get Engaged, According To Experts)
We hope these tips helped you gain some wisdom on how to know when you’re ready to propose. In our opinion, it’s a good sign that you’re doing your due diligence and reading blog articles like this one. Finding your future mate can be one of the sweetest blessings in this life and we are so excited for the engagement adventure that you’re about to embark on!
If you’re looking for a photographer to help capture your engagement moment, we’re here to support you! Get in touch with us today. And if you’d like to see some of our engagement session portfolios, click here.
[Photoshoot in the spotlight: Kathia and Daniel in Charlotte, North Carolina by Laura.]
The Joy Team