The steps to getting engaged are a little harder for women, (if she is not planning to do the asking). It is, however, extremely important to prepare yourself for a possible engagement and prepare your significant other.
These 4 simple steps in getting engaged will support you into a happy engagement and marriage.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT GUY - Before getting your hopes about engagement, wedding plans and marriage, it is crucial that you choose the right guy. Whatever man you want to marry has to be 100% committed to making a relationship and marriage work. He needs to be willing to read relationship books, go to therapy and take time to charm you throughout the years. If he does not take the time to do that now, he is probably not the right guy. Also consider any major issues or differences you have in how you envision your futures. Any thing that comes up now, there is a chance that it will get MUCH worse when you are married. You have to be ok with knowing that, and you MUST expect this.
Consider talking to close friends/family about what they think of him before deciding.
*While it can be heartbreaking to end a relationship with a person you are in love with. It is much easier to do so before getting married and will benefit both of you. You want to be married, but you want to be married HAPPILY!
If you feel he IS the right guy for you to marry, continue reading on.
HINT, HINT, HINT - Make your intentions clear from the beginning of the relationship that you want to be married someday. A man may NEED a hint. While it is completely unethical to push someone into marriage, it is not unethical in any way or form to hint that you feel ready to be married. Most likely if you are in a serious relationship, he will be wondering when is the right time to get engaged and a few hints from you will be very helpful to him.
When hinting ALWAYS be playful and aware of your words. Men will need to know information about what ring type you like, when you plan to settle down, etc. Do not be too forward, but probe. It is VITAL that your boyfriend feels like it is HIS idea. If he feels pushed or even suggested into it, you have not done your job correctly and try VERY hard so that doesn't happen.
Perfect times for hinting could be at a friend's wedding, after a friend's engagement, at the mall passing a ring store or when a wedding related commercial comes on.
Hints can be simple expressions of enthusiasm or wonder. Ex: "Peggy's boyfriend proposed to her at the beach, that is soooo romantic, but I think I would have liked it in a crowd like Samantha's, then at least I would get a picture." OR inversely, "Samantha's boyfriend proposed to her in front of ALL those people, she LOVED it and started crying, but I always imagined it more privately like how Peggy's boyfriend did it."
A hint could be "subtle," such as, "Oh that wedding dress is so beautiful, hmm" (look off in distance).
Watch for his reaction to gauge whether you should continue or stop. Often times, you only need one or two remarks.
*If you are in a serious relationship and want to get married soon, skip the hinting and talk about your future together, when you want to get married, etc. There is no reason to play games. If you think your boyfriend is already planning on asking you soon, hint away!
BUILD UP HIS SELF ESTEEM - This should be an ongoing part of your relationship. Both of you should be respectful and loving to each other. As a girlfriend and as a wife you will want to make your significant other feel like a success. Do this by trusting him with simple things like directions, how to make a food dish, etc. (do not constantly interject and tell him the "right" way to do something.) Build him up in front of other people and by himself. For every negative comment you make there should be 5 positives to weight it out.
If he feels confident and successful, he is much more likely to ask you to marry him sooner, rather than later.
PREPARE YOURSELF TO BE AN AMAZING WIFE - Now that you have your man thinking about engagement, it is time to prepare yourself to be the best wife you can be.
50% of marriages end in divorce and many more couples live unhappily. You want to be the success story! To do this you will want to take care of your social emotional health and train yourself to have better communication styles.
See the resource section for some amazing books to read BEFORE getting married and keep a reference through the marriage. Consider looking at my article, "How to know when is the right time to get married" for more insight.
Tips & Warnings
- Throughout the engagement process make sure you are planning not only for the wedding, but for the marriage. While as the wedding will last only for a day, the marriage will last (God willing) till death do you part.
- Photo Credit Flickr: KidMoxie, JavYliz, tm_lv, House of Sims
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