Are You Sure That Your Partner is The One To Marry?
In today’s culture of swipe left, likes and Instant-gratification everything seems to have evolved including marriage. The digital era has greatly affected the way we communicate and interact with each other even in our most intimate relationships. Things that used to be straight forward are now ‘’complicated’’ and marriage is one of them. Committing to spend the rest of your life with someone else has never been more nerve-wracking, it’s so overwhelming that some couples choose to skip it altogether, others decide to test the waters before diving in or opt for alternatives like an open marriage.
In whichever end of the spectrum you find yourself, the 'M’ word is still a big deal, all relationships don't end in marriage but at some point in every serious relationship the subject must come up. So, if you’re with someone and you’re wondering if they’re the ‘’ONE’’, if it’s the right time to bring up the topic or how to even start the conversation, we’ve got you covered.
There’s no manual on how to figure out your partner is Mr. or Mrs. Right, every relationship is unique but there are some tested guidelines that could help you figure out things. Here are some of the questions you have to ask yourself when you’re trying to know if your partner is the one to marry.
- Why do you want to get married in the first place?
- What are your reasons for wanting to marry your partner?
- Are you in a long-term, committed relationship or a short-term or newly formed relationship?
- Are there any other factors, beliefs or expectations you need to consider (for example, age, social status, religion, culture, family, kids)?
- Are you both emotionally, mentally and physically ready for marriage?
Can I Talk About Marriage Early In the Relationship?
As earlier mentioned, every relationship is unique and things unfold differently, there’s no ‘’perfect time’’ to bring up marriage. Usually, the fear of coming across as desperate, putting pressure or bringing it up too soon is a problem that cripples lots of relationships. People tend to stay away from the topic of marriage to avoid all the awkwardness that comes with it. But whether you’re for marriage or against it, it’s best for you and your partner if you talk about it and the sooner the better. This is how soon you can safely talk about marriage in your relationship.
1. Courtship and Romance Phase
This is the first stage of most relationships, it’s also known as the honeymoon phase, you feel addicted to each other, the object of your affection is perfect in your eyes and everything is rosy. At this stage, if marriage is important to you, you should make it known. This will help you avoid falling in love with someone who is anti-marriage. This is not to say that if you’re 16, in high school and madly in love you should start talking about marriage in your courtship. No! Please, No, use a little bit of common sense.
This is for when you’re at that place in your life where you know who you are and what you want. At this point, failing to make your stance known early on puts you at risk of finding yourself months or years down the road with someone for whom marriage is not even an option. The best recipe for heartbreak is when two people are together but want different things, you don’t want to go down that road.
2. Once a relationship has potential.
Broaching the subject of marriage early on does not mean you should start talking about wedding bells on the first date, that’s a recipe for disaster. Again use common sense, take the time to assess your partner, make sure the relationship has potential. It doesn’t take that long to figure out if there’s a chance. If everything is going well after a few dates and you can see the possibility of things getting serious with that person, bring up your views on marriage.
3. The Connection Phase
When you start connecting with someone beyond the physical, it’s time to bring it up. You’re learning about each other's values and goals, past experiences, interests, etc, this is as good a time as any to slip in your views on marriage. You don’t have to force the issue, let it come up organically, make it known that you'd like to get married one day or not. This will help you know what your partner thinks about marriage before things get too serious.
Should I Talk About Marriage Before Proposing?
A recent survey of over 1,000 newlywed couples to discover if they discussed marriage before popping the big question revealed that most couples talk about marriage way ahead of the engagement. The survey found that 94% of couples talk about getting engaged on average six months before actually doing so. And 30% of them talk about marriage at least once a week. So, are you interested in knowing how to bring up the subject in your conversations prior to popping the big question? Here you go:
When things get serious
At the beginning of your relationship, discussions on marriage are not very deep, they’re mostly about your views and opinions on the subject but as you grow in your relationship and get more comfortable, the discussions get deeper. A few months or years in, the topic gets more personal. It becomes more about your expectations, deal-breakers and how you envisage the future. At this point you know things have gotten serious, the dust of the courtship has settled, you’ve gotten to know each other better, flaws and shortcomings included. And you feel the need to take things to a new level, start talking about your position on marriage now.
Once you’ve eliminated the awkwardness and established marriage as a conversation topic in your relationship, bring it up on a semi-frequent basis. Instead of assuming you and your partner are always on the same page, do not hesitate to revisit the subject frequently. This is important because beliefs, attitudes, and ideas on matrimony can change and evolve as your relationship progresses. But it doesn’t mean you should talk about marriage every single day or at every given opportunity, be subtle about it and let it come up naturally.
5 Starter Conversation To Lead To A Marriage Discussion
It’s never an easy feat to bring up the subject of marriage in a discussion with Bae. If you’re not careful it could come off all wrong, causing more harm than good. If you’re looking for ways to insert the topic in your discussions with your partner without giving them the urge to run in the opposite direction, here are 5 tips you could use to start the much-dreaded conversation.
1. Talk about your goals
A great way to ease into discussions on marriage is to talk about your goals, connect with your partner emotionally by sharing your goals and plans for the future with them. Tell them where you see yourself 5 -10 years down the road. Pay attention to how your partner reacts to you what you say. Also, listen and pay close attention to how your partner reacts to your discussion, this could be much more revealing than words.
2. Talk about each other's values
Another good way to start a conversion on marriage is when you’re talking about each other's values. Ask your partner about their spiritual values, if they want kids and how many, career paths, their take on money, family and all the things that matter when two people decide to journey through life together.
3. When setting relationship boundaries and expectations
A healthy relationship needs to have boundaries, ground rules have to be set and expectations defined. When you and your boyfriend/girlfriend are setting these boundaries, it’s a good time to bring up the subject of marriage without any awkwardness or pressure.
4. Fun Times
As serious as marriage may be, discussions on the subject must not always be deadly serious. You could incorporate the subject naturally when you and bae are watching a movie and the subject comes up when you are playing a game of trivia or charades when reading a book. It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re both relaxed and comfortable, broach the subject lightly in a fun way and see where it goes.
5. Follow your gut
Sometimes, you don’t have to overthink things, just follow your gut and go with the flow. There’s no such thing as the perfect time when it comes to things like this. It all depends on your relationship and you and your partner. When you feel like it’s right, go for it, after all, it’s better to know what your partner’s stance is than to remain in the dark. Trust me, marriage is one of those areas where ignorance is never bliss.
After all, is said and done, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to bringing up the "M-word" in your relationship. However, we owe it to ourselves to share our truth on our beliefs and feelings about marriage without being afraid to scare off the other person, it is important to communicate what page you are on in your life.
It doesn’t really matter how you bring up the subject as long as you do, being honest will save you time, energy and spare you the heartache that comes from being in a relationship with someone who isn’t even on the same page as you. And remember that above all, relationships are about communication, so communicate away.