Conversations To Have with Your GF Before You Propose
By: Jon Jaehnig
Updated June 25, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn
If you're thinking about proposing to your girlfriend, the two of you have probably had many conversations. However, you probably haven't talked about everything that you should understand about each other before you get married.
The purpose of this article isn't to scare you out of marriage or question how well you know each other. However, it will talk about some things that you should know about each other before taking that next step.
It's Something Everyone Should Do
You can't plan for every possible future outcome. This means that many people think that it's best to make all decisions off the cuff.
While there are some things that you can - and will - need to face without any preparation, you'll have a better chance at a successful marriage if you start on common ground in several areas. Experts have identified some common reasons for divorce, which can be seen before the proposal. We won't just talk about the conversations - we'll also direct you to resources to use if your relationship could use a little help.
Bringing Up the Big Questions
Before we get into some of the conversations with your GF before proposing, it's worth talking about a few approaches to having these conversations. Some of them can be a little awkward, and some are daunting because they are so big. That's probably why you haven't had them already.
- Just Ask
The quickest way to start any conversation is to say what's on your mind. After all, if you're thinking about getting married, you should be able to talk about anything.
So, why isn't this the only suggestion? Honestly, sometimes it feels weird to ask, particularly if you want your proposal to be a surprise. If you realize that you haven't had any of the major conversations discussed in this article before and you start asking deep questions, it might raise some flags for her.
As mentioned above, some of these topics can be sensitive. If you start talking about things like your job and finances out of the blue, she might start to suspect that something is wrong.
While it may be a good idea to take a slightly less direct route, if you cannot talk about some of the conversations in this article, it might be a sign that you aren't ready to get married just yet.
- The Classic Segue
There have probably been times when a discussion of one thing made you think about another. You didn't change the subject, but maybe you should have.
The longer you wait, the more likely it is to become important. Remember, this is the future of the relationship we're talking about. You don't have to be engaged or married for some of these things to come up. So, while it might be a proposal that you have in mind, don't be afraid to talk about other things when the conversation moves in that direction.
- Answer Other People's Questions
You should have many of the conversations before you propose to revolve around topics that you've probably been asked about before. People ask if you want kids, how they'll be raised, and it's natural - and valid - to say, "we're not talking about kids yet."
That's a valid response but, the next time someone asks you one of those questions, sit down with your girlfriend and try to come up with an answer.
The Need-to-Have Conversations
Now that we understand why these conversations are important and introduce them, let's talk about the conversations themselves. Some may be important to you now, while others may be years down the road. However, most drivers agree; it's best to know where you're going before leaving the driveway.
- What Kind Of Wedding Do You Want to Have?
The wedding and marriage are very different things. After all, the wedding only lasts a day. However, a wedding can be seen as a marriage in a microcosm. Many questions that come up in the planning process can be translated into the future marriage. Will it be a big wedding or a small wedding? Will it be based on religion? How involved should the parents and in-laws be? All of these questions reflect your attitudes about marriage in general.
You don't need to have your wedding planned out entirely. Keep in mind that it is a one-time special event, but knowing how you feel about it can help you understand how both of you think.
- What Do You Want From The Marriage?
What kind of wedding you want to have is important, but it's also very immediate. Marriages are long-term partnerships, but some people think that working on the marriage ends at the wedding.
Understanding what you both want from the marriage can help keep the relationship strong. It can also prevent you from rushing into a relationship when you both want different things.
- You Can't Talk Enough About Sex.
It's true - you can't talk enough about sex. This is particularly true if you and your girlfriend are not currently sexually active - maybe you're even waiting until marriage.
Sex might seem like a small part of what a marriage is - or it might seem like a big one. That's exactly why you need to talk about it. Different people think about sex differently and attach different values to it. If you and your partner aren't on the same wavelength, it can cause trouble down the road.
- Do You Want Kids?
Whether you want kids or not is something that you can change your mind about. However, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't talk about it before you propose. You can also revisit this topic throughout your relationship, just in case.
Of course, this conversation is a bit of a gateway discussion. If you decide that you do want kids, it opens up discussions about raising them, supporting them, etc. It's good to let yourself have these discussions if they come up, but if things get too hot for you, remind yourselves that this is all hypothetical right now.
- How Will You Manage Your Finances?
Will you have joint accounts, separate accounts, or both? Will you split all of the bills, divvy them up, or will one of you be responsible for all of them? These are important clerical questions, but they can also be very sensitive.
How you want to organize money might say something about how much you trust or don't trust one another. Taking responsibility for more bills can also mean trying to have more power in the relationship. You may have already encountered some of these issues, particularly if you're already living together. Some of them are probably going to be new to you. These questions are only going to become more pressing once you're married.
- What Do You Both Want Professionally?
You have probably already talked about what your goals for your careers are, but have you talked about how these goals might impact one another?
Thinking long-term about careers is important to marriage because careers and marriage should both be long-term things. For example, what kind of schedule might both of you need to keep to pursue these careers? Would you both be able to live in the same area while both pursuing your career? What if one of the careers is potentially dangerous? All of these are things that you should think about before you get engaged.
- How Do You Deal With Conflict And - Potentially - Separation?
Even if your relationship hasn't had many serious problems yet, marriage can put a lot of strain on the relationship that you might not have experienced. You may have some degree of conflict in your marriage. That's fine, provided you can handle conflict healthily and constructively.
You might also want to talk about what happens if you can't resolve your problems. What happens if you decide to get a divorce? A lot of things about a divorce can't be planned for, but some of them can. Some things, like prenuptial agreements, need to be decided before you're married.
Some of these conversations can be hard to have. They may lead to emotions that you didn't expect. One resource for situations like this is a relationship counselor.
It's a common misconception that relationship counselors are only there when the relationship is in trouble. The truth is, you can use a relationship counselor to strengthen your relationship and to keep it strong, even if your relationship is doing fine.
Finding A Relationship Counselor
Depending on where you live, you might have access to a selection of great relationship counselors in your area. However, this isn't the case for everyone. You may also not want to talk to a relationship counselor that lives in your area, or you might not be able to afford a traditional relationship counseling arrangement.
Fortunately, all of these problems can be solved by seeing a relationship counselor over the Internet. You and your partner can be matched with thousands of qualified and professional relationship counselors that you can voice or web call and even chat or text with. This is more affordable and more convenient for many people.
For more information about how online relationship counseling can help you, visit https://www.regain.us/start/.
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