Knowing when you’re ready to propose is almost as tough to figure out as the right time to say “I love you."
While some people try to follow a “dating timeline,” the truth is that such a personal choice will be unique to your situation and relationship. So, if there aren’t any hard and fast rules, how can you decide if you’re ready to propose? Here are some of the signs to look out for:
1. You’re both open about your finances (and other sensitive topics).
If you can’t talk openly about the important things, you’re in trouble. Even if you have and intend to keep your finances separate, you’ll need to know where you both stand going into the marriage. Talking about finances can be touchy, though, especially if there’s any disparity in income or debt between the two of you. Still, if you can comfortably talk about money, you can talk about anything.
2. Your friends and family support your relationship.
Ring: The Victoria
There will always be exceptions, especially for those who aren’t close to their family, but in general those closest to you know you best. If your friends and family have concerns about the relationship, it’s a good idea to listen to their perspective. On the flip side, if they’re 100% supportive and express their approval, that’s a good sign.
3. You’ve learned how to fight.
Ring: The Evermore set
Even the most mellow, loving couple will fight. The point isn’t to avoid fights, it’s to learn how to fight well, with respect. If you can resolve issues amicably, don’t hold grudges or keep score, and reach fair compromises, you’re on the right track. Fights will always happen; it’s how you handle them that makes all the difference.
4. You openly talk about your future together.
Ring: The Alexandria
There’s a difference between dreaming about a future together and creating a future together. Creating implies collaboration, discussion, and planning. Dreaming, on the other hand, isn’t concrete and is usually one-sided. Before proposing, you should have an idea of what your future looks like, and you should most definitely talk about it. You don’t have to use the word “married,” but knowing where you both want to be is important.
5. One (or both!) of you has been dropping hints
Ring: The Belle
...and you’re both okay with that. Leaving up browser windows of wedding rings, talking about how many friends are getting married, and making jokes about last names are usually hints that someone’s thinking about tying the knot. If either one of you is dropping hints, and you’re both receptive to them, it’s a good sign that you’re on the same page.
So...ready to propose?
Ring: The Scarlett
Proposing and getting married, although a great milestone, can also be a huge stress factor for couples. One of the biggest stressors is finances. If you're ready to take the next step, start it off right!
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The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re considering proposing is how you feel in your gut.
Sure, marriage should involve some logical thinking and evaluating, but if you know in your heart that you’re ready, and all the right signs are there, you have all the confirmation you need.