The question "am I ready to get engaged" isn't an easy one to answer. There are many considerations a couple must make before deciding if this is the right time to make this type of commitment, and ultimately it is a very individual decision that each person in the couple must make before putting on that symbolic diamond ring.
A new relationship and a new love feels fresh, exciting, and momentous, but that does not mean it is right for an engagement. A couple should take some time to learn more about one another, to see one another in different circumstances, and to experience the little ups and downs of life together before they decide to get engaged.
Getting engaged is an expensive event. Not only could the ring cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, but the couple should be ready for the other financial obligations of their committed relationship, including paying for a wedding, buying a house, or starting a family. The couple should also take the time to learn about one another's debts and spending habits to determine if they are financially ready to get engaged.
While your age shouldn't be one of the most important factors when deciding about an engagement, it should be considered. It is easy for younger couples to rush into getting engaged when they haven't experienced much of life on their own, and it is equally easy for older couples to rush into an engagement because they may feel that time is running out. Instead of considering a chronological age, consider the 'age' of your relationship and experiences together to determine if you are ready.
When deciding if you are ready to get engaged, take a good, close look at your partner. Do you share the same hobbies, passions, and interests? Can you develop new things to enjoy together in the years to come? Are you willing to learn about your significant other's passions and are they willing to learn about yours?
Many couples wait until after their college graduation to get engaged so they do not have to worry about planning a wedding or balancing a new marriage at the same time they are studying for finals or declaring a major. Whether you choose to wait or not depends on your commitment both to one another and to your education, as well as how you both will support one another with future career and schooling goals.
For many people, getting married is a very spiritual occasion. Before you get engaged it is important to understand and respect one another's religious beliefs and values. Many couples successfully integrate two different types of beliefs into their relationship, but for others it may be important to coordinate those beliefs more rigidly.
Starting a Family
If you hope one day to have children, you should discuss those hopes with your significant other before you get engaged. Some people want just one child, some want many children, and some want none at all. Understanding those desires before getting engaged will help you plan a family you will both love.
It may seem silly to a couple deeply in love, but politics can be a very divisive issue that splits up many couples. What political party is your significant other? Are they active in political causes or organizations? Can both of you reconcile when you have different viewpoints? Answering these questions before you get engaged can help you minimize tension in your relationship.
If either individual in a couple has problems with drugs, anger, violence, or dependency, it is vital to resolve those issues before you get engaged. It may be hard to discuss them, but remember that this person should be there to love and support you, helping you through tough times, and working together toward a better future can make your engagement even more meaningful.
Getting engaged may only take a few moments to pop the question and say yes, but being engaged is the start of a lifelong commitment. You are ready to get engaged if you can honestly say you look forward to staying with the same person for decades, growing old together and experiencing all that life has to bring you, for better or worse.
Once you have considered these types of important issues, you can honestly answer the question "am I ready to get engaged". If you answer yes, congratulations! If you answer no, realize that you will be ready when the time is right for you.
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