An engagement is a huge next step in every relationship. It is not just a pit stop before marriage: it is a promise and an intent to love your partner for the rest of your life.
People who propose go the extra mile to plan and set up the perfect engagement. It does not have to be grand, but it should be special. Usually, the man has to decide where to pop the question, spend months choosing the right diamond engagement ring for her, and maybe telling her friends and family for the good news.
Before proposing, therefore, men should first ask themselves a few questions to assess whether they really are sure that they want to take the next step, or maybe wait a few more years before getting engaged.
Do I Want to be Married?
You do not have to be married if you do not want to. Some men are pressured to propose to their partner even if they are not ready for the lifelong commitment or do not believe in the institution of marriage.
Back in the day, marriage between couples is the end-game. They marry not because they want to but feel like they have to.
That is no longer the case in the present. Millennials (born between 1980 and 1995) are increasingly choosing to either delay marriage or not get married at all. In 2018, the median age among those getting married for the first time was 27 for women and 29 for men. For comparison, in the ‘60s, men get married at 23 years old and women at 21.
By 2015, only two in five Millennials were married. When the Silent Generation (born before 1946) were at the same age as Millennials are right now, only 17% of them had never been married.
Marriage is increasingly becoming less appealing to young generations, and there is lower pressure to tie the knot nowadays. Although there are advantages to marriage, couples can live together in perfect harmony without getting hitched.
How Long Have I Felt This Way?
If you do want to be married, the next thing that you should assess is your feelings toward your partner. People tend to live blissfully in the early days of dating, with zero fights or without noticing each other’s flaws. This is the “honeymoon phase.” It can last from about six months to two years.
The relationship during the honeymoon phase is full of happiness and is carefree. It is easy to get carried away and believe that you have found the one, and this will be the way you will always be. But, this is temporary. That is why it is recommended that couples date for a couple of years before they tie the knot. By that time, they have gone past the honeymoon phase, get to really know their partner, and become acquainted with their habits and routines – even the bad ones.
Can I Live with Her Family?
When people get married, they also marry their partner’s family. Although you love your partner, you might not like her family.
Remember that they will be in your life for a really long time. You will be spending holidays with them. They might interfere with how you raise your future children. They might also influence your partner’s life and decisions.
You do not have to be best friends with her dad or adored by her mom. However, you need to be at least able to tolerate their presence. If not, you do not have to break up with your partner, but you might have to discuss it and create a plan of action.
Will This Marriage Work Out?
Marriages end. A relationship that may have seemed perfect in the beginning might turn toxic and abusive after several years. About 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. It is common for couples to part ways, but that does not make it any less hard.
There are a few green flags that might give you an idea if the marriage works out. You and your partner must have open communication and comfortable sharing thoughts and feelings to each other, must have trust and support each other, have fights but can resolve it healthily, you are on the same page. If these are not present in your relationship, you need to postpone the proposal and improve your dynamic with your partner.
An engagement is a major life decision and, therefore, should be mulled over and over again. Do not make an impulsive decision based on what you feel right now. Imagine what the rest of your life will be like with your partner and, if you like what you see, then marriage is worth pursuing.