Getting engaged…it’s one of the most important, life-changing decisions you can make; one that requires a great deal of thought and consideration.
You’re in love and you think you’re ready to propose. Everyone has an opinion on when and how to propose, and whether you should even propose in the first place. But, how do you know for sure you’ve found ‘the one’? How do you know it’s the right time? Here are some clues.
What The Research Says
- Experts such as Ian Kerner, a licensed Psychotherapist and couple's therapist, suggests you should date at least one to two years before getting engaged, allowing time to experience life and adversity together. Kerner told The Knot, “…generally, that can happen in a year... You want to have some problems emerge and see how you deal with problems together.”
- You want to first make sure you have developed solid communication skills. Conflict is inevitable; and, for a relationship to be successful, it’s crucial to be able to effectively communicate and resolve any problems that manifest. Sex and relationship expert, Tammy Nelson, Ph.D., believes rather than focusing on a time frame, ensure you have a solid communication foundation, especially when resolving conflicts. Nelson states, "Whether you are engaged, living together or married, work on healing your conflicts, create healthy communication and your relationship will last for the rest of your life together."
- You want to make sure your expectations and core values match. Millennial Love Expert, Samantha Burns believes "You shouldn’t get engaged unless your core values align, since compromising on what’s most important to you always leads to resentment."
Things To Consider
How will you raise your children? Do you want children?
Have you discussed religious beliefs? Political beliefs?
Do you have the same relationship and lifestyle goals?
What are your expectations about finances?
Have you mastered the art of compromise?
Do you have sexual chemistry?
The Bottom Line
There are no rules. The amount of time it takes to truly get to know someone is unique to each couple and the quality of your relationship should essentially guide your decision. Even in arranged marriages, where the couple may not be in love initially and don't know each other well, over 90 percent last a lifetime.
However, finding the love of your life is not about finding your mirror image in someone or finding the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. It’s quite the contrary… it’s about finding the one that you can’t live without! The one you want to come home to every day. The one that you want to lie next to every night and wake up to every morning. It’s about finding your equal, your best friend, your “ride or die.” The one you want to begin planning things that last a lifetime with a strong foundation.
And while love may sometimes seem complicated, falling in love and finding the one you want to make a lifelong commitment to has no boundaries and knows no time. So, if you know you've found the one you can’t live this crazy life without, don’t let time stand in your way. Just follow your heart and commit to always #LoveDeeply.