How Will You Know When You’re Ready to Get Engaged?

If you’re around 25-35 years old, that means your social media timeline is filled with wedding photos and engagement announcements of your high school batch mates. Some of the people I’ve known back in my school days got married to their college sweethearts, while others found forever in partners they’ve been dating for only less than a year.

While there are people who would argue that dating for at least one year, or three, before getting engaged is the “sweet spot” or the “right amount of time,” others will say that the number of years don’t matter. You just know.

I do think both those points are valid. After witnessing my own friends get married to the loves of their lives (and after quickly interviewing some of them for this article), I’ve come to conclude that there are a few universal lessons that are worthy of guiding you and your relationship. If you need some wisdom or clarity about the right time to get engaged, and knowing when you’re ready, keep reading.

How Will You Know When You're Ready to Get Engaged?

<strong>When Intentions Are Clear from the Start</strong>
“We dated with the intention of wanting to get married,” says Cai, Bride and Breakfast Social Media Manager. Cai and her now-husband dated for exactly two years before getting engaged. Over those two years they got to know each other’s values and callings in life. But what mattered most was having a clear and direct intention that marriage was in the picture for both of them at the very beginning of their relationship.

Bride-To-Be Abby agrees it’s important that intentions and future plans are made known even at the courting stage. “He pursued me while having the future in mind. And he was consistent with his actions. He built a relationship with my big family, takes care of them, and now they love him back,” she shares.

<strong>When Your Values Align Effortlessly</strong>
“As cliché as it sounds, you just know. Everything aligns. Everything is effortless,” says Pia, Bride and Breakfast Head of Content.

While dating, you will see if you have a shared values system. Some significant things to know about each other are your religious beliefs, financial goals and habits, goals for the future, and your family values. Those common values and principles will be key to a fruitful marriage. You don’t need to have everything in common, but having similarities, and a good understanding of each other’s worldview and lifestyle is very important in your relationship.

<strong>When You Can Commit to Another Person Selflessly</strong>
A good friend of mine, who is a Catholic Priest, shared a definition of love that he wants us to always remember: “Love is willing the good of the other for the sake of the other.” It means being selfless. It means being prepared to honor another’s happiness above your own.

A while back I also asked my friend’s husband what made him so sure he was ready to get married. And he said for as long as he was ready to sacrifice himself for her sake. It’s the exact same thing as the definition of Love I mentioned above. While you’re still single, you just pay attention to your own wants and needs. So, you’re probably ready to get engaged when you can wholeheartedly strip away all the selfishness and commit your life to another person.

<strong>When You Know How to Manage and Resolve Conflicts with One Another</strong>
Every couple fights and argues. It’s normal. A lot of other couples will probably find it stranger if you don’t argue at all. When you have arguments, you can then find solutions on how to manage conflicts with one another. Maybe one is more passive-aggressive, and maybe the other is more confrontational. Knowing your conflict resolution styles is a key tool in your future marriage. It will help you overcome challenges you might have to face as a married couple.

<strong>When You Can Just Clearly Picture Your Future Together</strong>
Marriage and all the unexpected things the future may hold won’t seem scary at all. It’s exciting even! The prospect of spending forever together brings you nothing but pure joy. When you just can’t imagine your life with anyone else, and when you’re certain that your partner is someone you don’t want to lose, then you know you’re ready for the next big step.

Whether you’ve been together for 10 years, one year, or three months, you’ll just know in your heart when you’re ready to say I do. Maybe you already know by now, right?

What do you think? How would you know for sure that you’re ready to get engaged? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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