Think you’ve found the one you want to spend forever with? How exciting! As you prepare to pop the big question, there’s likely a lot going through your mind. During this important and exciting time and stage in your life and relationship, you’ve got a lot to think about. How will you propose? What type of shiny ring will you buy? There’s much to consider when it comes time to pop the big question.
Organizing your thoughts for a proposal can help you keep a clear mind. If you’re getting ready to pop the big question, browse through a few more things to consider to help you out. Unlike the things on your mind about the proposal, these are five things to help you keep your future marriage in perspective. Before you rush to the good part, ask yourself these questions to make sure you’re ready for the big question.
1. Do we share the same values?
Sharing similar values with your partner is important for a lifelong relationship. While you’re unlikely to agree on every subject matter, sharing fundamental values about life and relationships can set you up for success. According to Dr. Gary Brown, a couples’ therapist, having shared values is all about having similar core beliefs. This includes things like marriage, family values, religious or political beliefs, and societal views.
Before you consider asking your partner the big question, think deeply about your shared values and beliefs. While that’s not to say some couples with very different values can’t make it work, it’s important to at least acknowledge where you’re at and acknowledge the differences. In turn, you and your partner can set a plan to compromise on certain issues.
2. Does my partner bring out the best in me?
Have your friends and family noticed you’re a better version of yourself with your partner’s influence? If so, this can be a sign that your partner is the right person for you. A good partner helps enhance you, not change you. Some signs that might tell you if your partner brings out the best in you might include:
- Your path in life is becoming clearer
- You’re beginning to care less about what others think
- You find yourself feeling happier and more satisfied with your life
- Your partner is supportive and encourages you to achieve your goals
- You feel appreciated and cherished
Knowing if someone brings out the best in you is generally an intuitive feeling. Relationships that feel “toxic” bring you stress, anxiety, and feelings of sadness. You’ll know you’re asking the right person to marry you when you realize you’re the best version of yourself around them.
3. Do we have similar financial goals?
Finances are a tricky thing in some relationships. No matter what your situation is, it’s important to be open and honest with your partner. Even if you have entirely different financial situations, the shared financial goals matter most. As long as you’re on the same page, you can navigate a variety of complex financial situations. Unfortunately, many financial arguments lead to divorce in the end. Thus, asking yourself to acknowledge your partner’s financial goals before popping the question may be helpful.
Having a financially successful relationship is possible, no matter what your situation is. With a little time and effort, financial arguments don’t need to come in the way of spending forever with your person. Before you pop the question, sit down and give some thought to how you might integrate finances with your partner after getting engaged. In any event, consider getting that extra piece of marriage insurance – a prenup! When creating your prenup, it’s required to do a full financial disclosure and outline what happens financially if you end up getting divorced.
4. Am I willing to take the bad with the good?
No marriage is perfect. There will always be highs and lows, ups and downs, and good and bad. When you stand up there and say “I do”, you’re agreeing for better or for worse. Therefore, before you pop the question, you should ask yourself if you are really willing to do this. Entering a marriage means sacrificing, compromising, and giving of yourself for your chosen partner. Through the rollercoaster ride that is marriage, many couples find themselves expecting an easy ride.
Even if you have not faced adversities up to this point in your relationship, that doesn’t mean your marriage will not endure them. As you both age, life can pose many challenges and you’ll have to adapt to every new stage of life. When you’re with the right partner, taking the bad with the good doesn’t seem like a hassle. If you’re feeling like there is more bad than good, it may be a sign that it’s not the right time or person to pop the question to.
5. Do I have family support on both sides?
Tons of couples have successful marriages, even when family issues come into play. However, the ideal situation is always to have family acceptance and support. While couples can certainly work through family issues, some divorces are often caused by issues with each other’s families. While there are several reasons divorces occur, deep-rooted family issues can sometimes cause problems. Before you pop the big question, consider asking for approval and support from both your family and your partner’s family. If your not close with your family, this also holds true for your selected family – your close group of friends around you.
A study by Shelby Scott and the University of Denver explored the most common causes of divorce. Amongst the top eleven, lack of family support was one of them. This study found that around 17% of participants divorced due to a lack of family support. What’s even more interesting is that research also suggests that when a husband has a close relationship with the wife’s family, the risk of divorce actually was reduced by 20%. Indirectly, family issues can lead to other issues such as lack of trust and arguments.
While popping the big question is a big deal, don’t get ahead of yourself too fast. Take one step at a time. After you’re engaged, you and your partner can tackle the next set of “big questions” to answer, like where to get married and where to live! Then, you can move on to these things to discuss once you’re engaged. Taking everything one step at a time can help you to manage your stress and anxiety, and remember: you have your whole live in front of you, so don’t feel like you need to rush!
If you’ve answered yes to these five questions and are happy with your thoughts after reflection, chances are you’re asking the right person to marry you! Not only is who you ask to marry a big deal, but timing is everything. Your feelings on these five questions can indicate that you’re also at the right place and mindset in your life to get engaged. Now, it’s time to get back to the fun stuff, whether that be ring shopping our making reservations for the big reveal.
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].