When it comes to engagements it is not like the movies, or the Bachelor, where a man just asks a woman to marry him and it is a complete and utter surprise to the woman. Granted you may not know when a man will propose or how he will propose, but you should have an indication that a proposal is where you relationship is headed.
So here are 5 conversations you should have before you get engaged.
It is crazy to me how many people date for an extended period of time and do not even know if their relationship will lead to an engagement. I do not suggest talking about getting engaged on the first date because that is just crazy. But after you are in a committed relationship and you feel that you can spend the rest of your life with this person, it is a good idea to check in with them to make sure they are on the same page. The last thing you want to do is be in a relationship with someone for 5 plus years and find out that they never want to get married or that they do not want to get married to you. It is better to know upfront.
How will my life change
It is important to know how your life will change once you get married before you even get into the engagement. For example if one person sees themselves moving to another state or another country once you are married, it is a good idea to know that before you even commit yourself to being engaged if that is not something you are willing to do. The same can be said if either person has a child by someone else, you want to know what role you are to play in that child’s life. Of if you both have children from previous relationships you want to know how your family will come together as a whole once you are married.
I shocks me that many people I know or counsel that are already married and do not agree on children. One may want children and the other does not. It is important to know this before even getting engaged, because the ability to have or not have children can be a deal breaker for many people. You should not find yourself engaged or even in a marriage without knowing if the person wants kids or not, and you should determine if their decision aligns with what you want.
Religion is very important to me. I am a Christian and would also like a husband to be Christian because that is how much it plays apart in my life. For me, my spouse not having a relationship with God is a deal breaker. No matter where you are on the spectrum you still want to have this conversation. Does your fiancé expect you to convert to their religion? Do they expect for your children to be raised in a certain religion? Do they even have a religion? And most of all, is their religious decisions something you can live with.
If you have been dating for a while and you are having the conversation about marriage, before even getting engaged you want to address any and ALL concerns that you may have observed. It could be the way they handle their money, the fact that they have an overbearing mother who butts into your relationship, or the fact that they work too much and you fear that it will not change once you get married. Not only do you need to express the concerns BUT you need to also determine if they are willing to change or not. And if they aren’t, then you have to determine if you still want to go forward with the relationship. Some things you may be able to compromise on or live with. But if they have a nasty drug habit or something crazy and they do not want to change; then you may have to reflect on if you want to get engaged to that person.
Being intentional about your engagement is necessary. The point of all of this is so that you do not waste your time AND so that you do not find yourself in a marriage that you hate. So many women want to get married that they are just happy with the engagement, only to find out years later they made a mistake. Don’t be that person. And do not be afraid to discuss these things beforehand. If they are going to be your spouse, it is better to have everything laid on the table sooner rather than later.