Wanting to take your relationship a step further is natural. But how soon is too soon to propose?
This question boggles the minds of millions of people worldwide, whether they’ve dated for weeks, months, or years.
Is six months too soon to get engaged? How long to date before getting engaged in your 30s? Unfortunately, no one can give you a clear answer.
Love can’t be measured. There’s no rule regarding how long to wait to propose, but certain factors can help you determine the time has come.
Following your heart is undoubtedly important, but you should also make sure the brain is in gear before engaging.
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Are You Past the “Romantic Love” Phase?
From the beginning, most relationships seem perfect. We tend to ignore negative personality traits or differences in views while in the lovey-dovey phase. Some say that love is blind, and it certainly is at the early stages.
You likely know the feeling of being madly in love when you’ve just met a new person and idealize them. You’re walking around with a grin on your face every time they text you and talk only about them when you meet with friends.
There’s nothing wrong with the romantic love phase – every couple goes through it. However, it isn’t the right time to propose because marriage shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, you’re planning to spend your entire life with that person.
The romantic love phase can last anywhere between two days and multiple years, typically followed by the realization of the partner’s flaws. This stage can be challenging for many couples, often leading to a breakup.
So, how to understand that you’re still in the romantic love phase? What if your partner truly is perfect? Most likely not. Everyone has flaws, but you won’t notice them if you only focus on the good traits and your similarities.
Furthermore, people in the romantic love phase tend to avoid conflict. You may think that conflicts will never happen in your relationship, but this is a very optimistic take.
Wait until you start seeing your partner as a real human being rather than a flawless angelic creature. Make sure that your wish to propose isn’t forced by endorphin high but is a well-weighted decision.
Are You Getting Caught in The Wedding Season Rush?
When all your friends are getting married, you may feel that it’s the right time for you to propose, too. That’s a common mistake among young people.
Someone else’s relationships have nothing to do with your relationship. Perhaps, some of your friends have dated their partners since high school. Some went through more challenges together in a year than other couples in five years.
Your decision to propose should be based solely on your relationship. Every couple is unique, and you shouldn’t feel left out if your friends are on a different relationship stage than you.
Get to Know Your Partner Through The Good Times & The Bad
Every relationship has ups and downs, and if you’ve never been in a fight, it may be too soon to propose. Reality check and disappointment are essential relationship stages necessary to get to know your partner.
“The bad times” refer not solely to fighting between each other but also to the challenges you go through together.
Whether you’ve lost a job, a loved one, failed college exams, or got sick; every challenge is an opportunity to check your relationship.
External problems often affect the relationship, leading to arguments caused by general nervousness and anxiety.
You want to find a person who won’t leave you when things go wrong. Instead, find someone who will support you in any situation.
The right time to propose isn’t about how long you’ve been together but about the experiences you’ve shared. Some couples get their reality check on the first month of dating; others spend years together without any challenges.
Is Your Partner Ready?
Suppose you’re through the romantic love phase and are sure you want to spend your life with that person. What about them? Making sure you’re on the same page about your relationship is essential before proposing.
Of course, your partner isn’t obliged to accept your proposal. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to wait. However, an early proposal can ruin even a strong relationship. A refusal will inevitably cause tension between you.
No one likes heartbreak, so consider discussing marriage with your partner beforehand. You may give subtle hints or talk about it theoretically – there’s no need to ask whether they would like to marry you directly.
Consider Your Age & Life Plans
There’s no best age for a proposal. Some get married at 19 and spend their whole lives together. Others only find their person at 60. However, it isn’t common for very young people to create strong families, although not impossible.
If you’ve just finished high school, you still have to go through so many challenges and make difficult decisions. Consider your and your partner’s life plans and make sure they align.
For instance, if you plan to go to college in Europe and your partner wants to start working in your hometown right after school, perhaps, it’s best to wait until you finish studying.
Long-distance relationships are challenging, let alone long-distance marriages.
The life plans also relate to your attitude towards family, kids, and property. Life is long. Even if you aren’t yet at the age to think about kids, you would want to be sure your opinions align.
Middle-aged people also tend to rush things, worrying they will remain alone forever. The odds of getting married after 50 may not be high, but it isn’t a reason to create a family after a week of dating.
Consider Your Living Arrangements
Traditionally, married people live together. Make sure you’re financially stable and can afford to be independent of your parents. This doesn’t mean that you should only propose when you have your own house.
However, you don’t want to live on a college campus or at your parent’s house either. Living together before proposing is a great idea unless it goes against your religion or personal values.
You’d be amazed by how many families are ruined every year because of seemingly insignificant habits like leaving socks on the floor or poor cooking skills. Well, these aren’t typically the primary reasons, but they undoubtedly play a role.
Furthermore, you should be comfortable around the person at all times. You don’t have to be shy when you’re sick, unshaved, or have just woken up.
Your & Their Family’s Attitude
Your family doesn’t get to decide whom you should marry. However, your family likely wants the best for you, and listening to their opinion may be helpful.
Firstly, your parents and grandparents likely have more relationship experience and can give valuable advice. Secondly, they can see the flaws of your partner you don’t yet see because of rose-colored glasses.
Get your partner acquainted with your family before you propose. If they get along well, it’s likely your person.
However, don’t follow your family’s advice blindly. You don’t have to break up with your partner if your parents don’t like them because of political view discrepancy, colorful hair, profession, or other points that you personally don’t mind.
Pay attention to your partner’s attitude towards your family. They don’t have to love your parents like their own, but they should at least show respect.
You should also be sure your partner’s family doesn’t mind your relationship. Although this may seem old-fashioned, asking for your partners’ parents’ blessing may be a good idea.
Are You Through Past Relationships?
Every relationship teaches us a lesson. However, we don’t always take the lesson wisely and move on. Some experiences can be traumatic and affect our future relationships.
If you’re still dealing with issues from your past relationship, wait until you work through it and leave it in the past. Discussing the matter with your partner can be helpful.
By no means should you make a proposal if you’ve recently broken up and started dating a new person.
Overall, focus on building a healthy relationship first. Marriage won’t help you solve problems but may only make matters worse.
When is The Best Time To Propose?
Alright, so when is the right time to propose then? There’s no universal answer – some people pop the question after a couple of months of dating; others spend 20 years together without ever discussing marriage.
Most importantly, you should be comfortable around your partner. If they’ve seen you drunk, sick, in a bad mood, and never changed their attitude, it’s your person.
It may be too early to propose if you’re still concerned about being flawless around your partner.
You should be real friends, not only romantic partners. You should be able to share your thoughts on any topic without fearing being judged or misunderstood.
You should know each other’s families and have the same values. Ideally, you should also have lived together for a while and know each other’s habits.
If you often use “we” instead of “I,” if you can easily imagine growing old with the person, if you have received proposal hints, it may be the right time for engagement ring shopping.
Many people wait for a significant milestone in a relationship to pop the question, be it a year, five, or ten. It’s undoubtedly a romantic way to celebrate your anniversary.
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