If you have been dating for any period of time, people will begin asking if it’s time for a trip down the aisle. Is it the right time to propose? Even the thought of asking the big question makes most men feel weak in the knees, but you will have to consider it at some point. When the moment comes for you, there are five things you will want to know before you go shopping at the nearest jewelry store:
How sure is your love?
This is an obvious starting point, of course, yet many men begin to think about proposing before evaluating their relationships. In the heady early days of dating, you may begin to feel like you have found the right person – that’s natural – but rushing into a commitment is a bad idea. A good general rule: go through four seasons with your would-be mate before opting to settle down.
Have you discussed the future with your potential wife?
Before you try to ask your girlfriend to spend the rest of her life with you, it is imperative that you talk about what your goals are. Though it’s very rare for one person to match up with another closely, the more things the two of you have in common, the better. Neither of you will be able to do exactly what you’ve set out to, which is why you’ll have to ask…
What sort of sacrifices are you willing to make?
When you decide to meld your life to somebody else’s, both of you will begin to make compromises on the dreams you had when you were single – not to mention changing a few habits! We all pay lip service to the idea we would do anything for love, yet the shock of moving into the same house and living together full time is often tough on first-year marriages. Be prepared to work hard to get on the same page with everything from dinner to holidays with the in-laws.
Can you afford a ring?
Obviously, the right time to propose is well tied in with the ability to slip a ring on your girlfriend’s finger. Though it is absolutely not a prerequisite that you get the biggest diamond out there – and you shouldn’t be dating someone who tells you it is – being able to purchase the jewelry befitting an engagement is something to keep in mind. Educate yourself before you plunk down your hard-earned cash!
Do you feel like you are mature enough to handle marriage?
Assuming you have come to favorable conclusions on the previous four questions, the last really requires you to know yourself. You will not ever be fully “ready” for the leap into matrimony, but you must be aware of your own desires. Are your wild days behind you? Have you achieved what you hoped to by the time you settled down? Does the responsibility of providing for a family intimidate you? (It should, at least a little.) Do a personal inventory to see where you stand and you’ll know it’s the right time to propose without a doubt.
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