When you’re in love, it’s an indescribable gut feeling. And while you may have marriage on your mind, you may be wondering if it’s “too soon” by society’s standards. I think you should do what you want to do, but there are six questions that I think you should ask yourself and reflect on before getting engaged to be married.
1. Have you suffered a hardship together, or separately?
Have you lived through an economic recession or maybe like, a worldwide virus flu pandemic together? Whether you’ve been shacked up together and sheltering in place, or you’ve experienced another hardship, such as the loss of a job or family member, you want to know how you and your partner react in hard situations and overcome them with adversity. Ask yourself:
- Did you come out of the situation stronger?
- Did you support your partner and feel supported?
- When you fight, do you resolve the issue and compromise? It’s important to voice your concerns in a relationship, so they don’t simmer and become a more significant issue down the road. (Hint: if you NEVER fight, this is also an issue)
- Did you communicate everything thoroughly?
If both of you grow closer together and healthier as a result of a hardship, it’s a definite sign that you are more than compatible, you’re able to handle whatever life throws at you.
2. How good is your communication with each other?
And speaking of communication, how effectively do you voice your concerns to your partner? How does he/she react? Do you feel safe and comfortable expressing anything and everything, even in the “heat of the moment,” when you can say things you later regret?
A relationship simply is not stable without excellent communication. You both should be able to communicate with each other without fear of your partner’s reaction or rejection.
And more importantly, when you communicate, did they listen and reciprocate? If you have an agreed-upon action, did they hold to their promise? These are all critical questions to ask yourself about your communication skills together.
3. Are you past your honeymoon phase?
Ah, the beloved honeymoon or puppy love phase. Many people see this differently; it could be growing out of lust into love, or maybe moving past the stage of putting each other on a pedestal. Whatever this means to you, the intense emotions associated with passionate love have physical manifestations, such as butterflies in the stomach or heart palpitations.
In reality, what this means is, can you go through the day-to-day together? Sitting in traffic, waiting for the other person to finish on the toilet, and other not so glamorous, yet necessary parts of being in a relationship and living together.
4. Do you already happily live together?
It hasn’t been taboo for decades now to live together before you wed. It’s practical; you can learn how you go about the mundane tasks of life and see how well you cohabitate. This one is a no-brainer; if you are always sick of being around your partner in your home, they may not be the right fit. Many couples argue about household chores and tidiness/cleanliness. A few ways to mitigate this are to:
- Designate days to share chores
- Hire a housekeeper and split the cost
- Create separate spaces where you can decompress and not worry about the other person’s clutter
And if you’re cohabitating and things are great, then it’s inevitable, you’ll continue to be BFF roommates when you get engaged and marry.
5. Do you have similar goals for the future?
It may not be so apparent at times because we can be blinded by love, but do you both have similar interests in life, including your future and goals? Love is all about compromise, so we always make compromises for each other to be able to be with each other, but if your future goals are so far off, it may not be worth getting engaged to this person.
That’s not to say that they aren’t an essential person in your life. Still, not all loves end in “together forever.” It’s vital to be conscious of it. It’s much better to go your separate ways on excellent terms than to loathe each other over time because of unwanted compromises you made or following your partner’s path.
6. Does it feel right in your heart (and your gut)?
If you know yourself thoroughly, then you can trust your gut and your instinct. Don’t wait until your family, friends, or society deems it appropriate to get engaged. Do what makes your heart sing! If your family and friends care for you, they will support your decision unless there are visible signs that you should not go further with your partner.