If you're anything like the women I know, you've had your wedding planned out since the age of ten: the food, the flowers, not to mention, the dress. So when the moment arrives and your boyfriend bends down on one knee, your first impulse may be to jump in the air and yell 'hell yes' at him without a second thought. But, are you really ready to be betrothed? Below are 5 questions to ask yourself before taking the next step.
1. Is your relationship stable?
Do you and your man plan vacations a year in advance because you assume you will still be together? If long-term planning isn't something you routinely do already or if you have fights where the relationship is constantly threatened, consider it sign that you're not ready to walk down the aisle just yet. Although there isn't a right length of time to date before becoming engaged, your relationship should exist within a comfortable level of stability before moving forward.
2. Are your lifestyles compatible?
News flash: Marriage is not one long, exciting date. And in order for it to work, you have to be okay with compromising and even doing things you might not otherwise want to do just to make your partner happy. For instance, if you love to go out clubbing, but your partner is more of a stay-at-home kind of guy, you should be okay with enjoying the quieter moments too.
3. How's the temperature below the sheets?
After a honeymoon period, the average couple's sex life tends to go through a cooling off period, as the demands of children and work take precedence. So if your sex life isn't sizzling now pre-marriage, it doesn't bode well for the future.
4. How well do you get along with each other's families?
Have both of your families given the green light on your romance? Once you are married, it's crucial that you get along with each other's families to minimize strife. His mother's opinion might not seem important to you now, but down the line, if your relationship turns sour, it could have disastrous consequences for your marriage.
5. Have you talked about life ATW (after the wedding)?
While you may have your wedding planned out, what about the life issues you will encounter post-honeymoon? Have you and your partner discussed your views on kids? Religion? Money? Where you both are in your careers and education? Do you see yourself moving to another city at one point? While the wedding might seem like the most pressing issue you're facing right now, these are the issues that will shape how successful and happy your union will be. Hopefully, if you can come to an agreement on the biggies, you will be ready to start planning the wedding!