Wondering whether you’re really ready to get married or not? From your bank account to your friends, here are a few points to consider before popping the question.
by Miles Stiverson and Ivy Jacobson
Some face the prospect of proposing with sheer terror (in the best way possible, of course!), while others feel compelled to pop the question on the second date. Regardless of where your personality falls, here are seven ways to be sure you’re ready for marriage.
1. You’re open about your finances.
Make no mistake about it: Despite your undying love and devotion, money does matter to some extent. Even if you and your partner aren’t Wall Street experts, you should at least be familiar with each other’s financial situations. If one or both of you are deeply in debt, money (or your lack thereof) could be an immediate source of conflict in your marriage. You don’t need to know each other’s salaries to the dime, but if you’re open about your savings, you’ll avoid any “You owe how much on your credit card?” moments.
2. You’ve hit a milestone.
If you’ve just made a big professional advance (like a raise or a promotion), it may be the perfect time to take the next big step in your personal life too. It’s not uncommon for people to set a career or financial goal and not want to get married until they’ve gotten a certain job title or saved enough money to buy a house or pay off debt. Your relationship is just like anything else you’ve worked hard toward, and the payoff is equally as rewarding.
3. You’ve discussed your future together.
Have you talked about your plans for your next vacation and your plans together 10 years from now? If you and your partner speak naturally and sincerely about your future together (even if you’re not sure where you’ll be or what you’ll be doing), that sort of confidence bodes well for your path together. Even if you don’t talk about marriage early on, you can gradually build up to it as your relationship grows.
4. Your partner is aware of your ambitions.
Everyone has ambitions, but make sure your aspirations don’t conflict with those of your partner. If you plan to spend all of your savings to start your own business in five years or, better yet, plan on spending a few months traveling and working abroad, your partner should know about that before you ask them to marry you.
5. Your friends are fans.
Chances are you’ve dated someone whom your friends didn’t like much. Regardless of the root of the issue, a relationship becomes tough when your friends don’t want anything to do with your significant other. Animosity between friends and your future spouse can be a definite red flag, but on the other hand, if your friends have given them a resounding thumbs-up, you can rest easy knowing you won’t have to spend your life choosing between them.
6. You know your partner will say yes—for the right reasons.
This may seem obvious, but if you feel the chance of your partner accepting your proposal is iffy, it’s probably not the right time to ask. If the ups and downs of your relationship are too many to count, don’t try to make things right by proposing. If you propose just because you want a quick fix, your partner might turn you down or—even worse—they might be blinded by the moment and accept your proposal only to doubt their decision later on. Propose when you know you’re both on the same page about spending your lives together, not when you’re trying to salvage your relationship.
7. Your partner is dropping hints, and that’s okay.
Maybe your significant other mentioned how they’re really into cushion-cut diamonds. Or they’d love to honeymoon in Thailand. The hints can also be a little less subtle when The Knot magazine mysteriously appears on your coffee table. If your instinct is to change the subject or shrug off the idea of an engagement entirely, you’re likely not in a position to propose. But if the idea of getting married makes you happy, the only thing left to do is to start brainstorming ways you want to pop the question with our wedding proposal checklist.