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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does the word ‘propose’ mean?
The word ‘propose’ can mean many different things depending on how it’s used. For example, you can say that someone proposed a new theory about computer technology or science. In fact, this is the official “propose” definition:
“To put forward an idea, plan, or concept for serious consideration and discussion.”
That’s why people generally use the word to describe a business meeting, scientific discovery, or marriage proposal – a sweet situation wherein someone asks another person for their hand in marriage. One partner requests an engagement period that allows everyone to get prepared for a wedding to propose marriage.
A marriage proposal is different than when you propose a toast or theory, although the perfect marriage proposal sometimes involves wine or champagne toasts with friends and family. If you toast to propose, be sure to have a speech ready because everyone will be listening.
Is it OK for a girl to propose?
Although men traditionally propose marriage, it’s perfectly acceptable for a woman to do it as well. In fact, nearly 5% of the female population proposed marriage in 2010. Those numbers kept rising as more women felt urged to pop the question each year.
Today, around 16% of weddings result from a woman asking her partner to get hitched. So, while 82% of marital bliss still begins with a man on his knees, women no longer have to wait because they can ask too. It’s so prevalent, in fact, that there’s an entire industry for female-led wedding proposals.
Regardless of your gender, proposing is a big deal. So, if you feel like you want to propose, propose when the time is right. It might also help to get some creative proposal ideas since you’re initiating a marriage in a non-traditional way. For example, call a toast, propose in a romantic setting, and have exciting plans afterward.
What’s a synonym for proposing?
Whether you’re developing your plan to propose marriage, writing your wedding vows, or working on a breakthrough, it helps to know some synonyms for the official propose definition. That’s because words carry a lot of weight, and you don’t want the wrong meaning to come through.
For example, you could be trying to express how you proposed a new theory, or you could be speaking about how you want to propose marriage. To avoid saying that word too often, here are some alternatives:
If you’re going to use the word propose, propose must have the right meaning in its context. Thus, it’s important to understand the subtle differences between these words before using them in a sentence, especially if you plan to propose a toast or propose marriage.
What does proposing to my girlfriend mean?
Proposing to someone with whom you’re in a romantic relationship means something entirely different than proposing theories at work or school. It’s also not the same as when you propose a toast, which is just an opportunity to speak in front of a group. No, when you propose to your partner, it means you’re asking them if they would consider getting married. Many times, couples toast propose in front of friends and family to make it more romantic.
The best way to propose marriage is by requesting an engagement period to plan the wedding. This gives everyone time to consider and reconsider their decisions. Plus, it allows the wedding party to assemble and organize before the main event. So, when it’s time to propose, propose like you mean it and have a plan because it’s a pretty big deal. If you need help coping with the changes in your relationship, or if you’re looking for creative proposal ideas, talk to a marriage therapist for guidance.
Which word is the best synonym for ‘propose?’
The English language is filled with words that have more than one meaning. But it’s also filled with words that can be expressed in more than one way; for example, the word “propose.” There are several dozen synonyms, and each one can be interchanged depending on context. Here’s a list for your convenience:
Keep in mind that even with a close synonym for propose, propose is usually the most accurate option because it encapsulates the concept best. This is especially true when you’re talking about wanting to propose a toast or propose marriage. The term can also be used to describe a situation when someone proposed a new theory or idea. However, when you hear the word propose, propose is generally used to describe a plan for nuptials.
Why do men kneel proposing?
To properly propose, propose on one knee. It’s called kneeling, and it’s an ancient custom that originated with knights, lords, and ladies. Back in the day, knights would get down on one knee to show active and enthusiastic submission to their lords, ladies, and comrades. The gesture was then considered a sign of respect and loyalty, becoming synonymous with a romantic submission over time.
Basically, the man pledges his allegiance and declares his undying devotion by dropping into a kneeling position. Unlike when you toast to propose in front of friends and family, getting down on one knee is seen as more romantic and spiritually binding. That’s why many people combine the two for a more significant impact. They get people’s attention by offering up a toast, propose, and then have something exciting planned afterward.
Interestingly, there’s a specific way you’re supposed to ask for your partner’s hand in marriage while down on bended knee. Here’s what you need to know:
So, whether you give a toast, propose on one knee, or try something completely different, make sure you’re demonstrating submission and allegiance by doing it. If you need more ideas or feel nervous about asking someone to marry you, talk to a relationship counselor for support.
When should you propose to a girl?
In general, you should propose to your partner when you feel like the time is right. That could be at any point, depending on the direction of your relationship. So, look for signs that your partner is ready to take the next step into marriage. Keep in mind that being in love is not the only factor that plays a long, happy union. Thus, you should only propose to someone after you’ve gotten to know them.
There are also several ways to pop the question, so determining the proper time may also require planning and organization beforehand. If you’re trying to be subtle or surprising, try to ask your partner’s family for their blessing without the secret getting out. Then, perhaps try to give a toast, propose on one knee, and have something exciting planned for afterward.
Since you just proposed a new path for the relationship, be ready for serious questions about the future. Don’t propose marriage until you’re ready to have that conversation. Be sure that you and your beloved are on the same page about important life issues, values, and goals to avoid conflicts down the road. If you’re unsure whether or not it’s time to pop the question, reach out to a relationship coach for help.