Ready For a Ring? Keep These 8 Don’ts in Mind!
When you’re ready to get married, you might be tempted to do one or more of these things to make it happen. Resist the urge.
Marriage is often seen as the holy grail of relationships. We might not be hearing wedding bells when we start dating someone exclusively, but there usually comes a day when we start thinking about wedding days and all that comes after. Once the idea hits us, it can quickly become an obsession with a ticking clock on it.
You might be tempted to try lots of little tricks to try to get him to propose, to let him know you’re ready, or to pretend it’s not important so he won’t feel pressured. The problem with all these tricks is that they can backfire. They can also undermine your relationship and move you away from marriage rather than toward it.
Check out these eight things you shouldn’t do if you’re ready to marry the love of your life.
Don’t try to be cool about it
For some women, getting married really isn’t important. They’re happy to get married, and happy to not get married. But some women will try to pretend this is how they feel when what they really want is to get married.
If you’re one of those women who really wants to get married, don’t pretend otherwise. Your partner is not a mind reader. They will take your words and behavior at face value. If you say you don’t care about getting married, they’ll assume you mean it.
Be honest with yourself, and with your partner, about how you feel about getting married.
Don’t compare your relationship to others
I don’t care if you and Jenny both met your partners at the exact same moment and every single step of your relationships since that moment has been in lockstep. Her engagement does not mean that you and your partner should be engaged, too. Every relationship has its own timeline and you should never compare your relationship to anyone else’s.
The comparison game will only ever make you unhappy with what you have, no matter how great it is. Wherever you are in your relationship is where you should be. Don’t rush the journey to marriage. Enjoy building your relationship into something strong and thriving so that when you do get married, you’ll be confident that your relationship will withstand anything.
Don’t avoid the conversation
I get it — you want him to come up with a surprise proposal, something beautiful and memorable. And you don’t want to spoil it by talking to him about it. But here’s the thing: talking to him about getting engaged and eventually married is not going to spoil the surprise.
What will spoil it, though, is him not knowing what you want. Avoiding a conversation about getting married can leave your partner in the dark about whether it’s what you want. You didn’t make him guess whether or not you wanted to date him exclusively, right? No, you were clear that you were interested, that you wanted a relationship, that you love him, and all those other things that go with being in a relationship.
So be clear about marriage too. If you feel you’re ready to get married, find a good time to sit down with your partner. Express that you’re thinking about marriage and you want to have a simple, no-pressure discussion about it. Let him know you want to get married, and find out what he wants. You may walk away from this discussion knowing that you’re both on the same page and you just need to be patient while he plans and preps to propose. Or you might walk away knowing that you want two different things and the relationship is destined to end.
Either way, the conversation will give you information you can work with about your relationship.
Don’t beat a dead horse, though
Having a conversation about marriage is important. In some relationships, you might have a couple of conversations as you navigate how each of you feel about it. But it’s important to know when to let it go.
Once you’ve made your desires known, stop bringing it up. I promise you, your partner doesn’t need to be reminded that you’re ready to get married. They won’t forget, no matter how long it’s been since you had the discussion. Continuing to bring it up will only look like nagging, irritate them to no end, and push the potential for marriage further away.
Make your wishes clear, be honest about what you want, and let it go. Trust that your partner loves you and wants that future with you as well. Trust that they’ll propose when the time is right.
Don’t focus on the ring
An engagement ring is a physical symbol of the promise to spend the rest of your lives together. To some, that symbol is very important — the size, stone, and style matter. But the ring shouldn’t be your main focus.
It’s fine to tell your partner what kind of ring you’d like, but discussions about getting married should be more about the future you envision together and less about the jewelry that comes with it.
It’s also a good idea to remember that the more elaborate and larger your desired ring is, the more expensive it is. If you want something big and beautiful, be prepared to wait a little longer while your partner saves up for it.
Don’t hint around
You know what I’m talking about here. Pointing at rings in the store and saying things like, “Oh, wouldn’t that be pretty on my hand?” while you wiggle your left hand suggestively. Talking about how your friend Amy and her partner finally got married after eight long years and gosh, you giggle, you thought it was never going to happen for them!
Hints are fun when someone’s trying to guess what you got them for their birthday or Christmas. But when it comes to getting married, hints are a game you shouldn’t be playing. You won’t be hinting at problems when you need to talk about them with your spouse in the future, so don’t hint around about marriage now.
Be honest and direct. If you see a ring that matches your style point it out with a clear, “I’d love that engagement ring, when we get to that point.” Have the conversation.
Don’t issue an ultimatum
“Either we get married or…” are words that shouldn’t come out of your mouth. Marriage should happen because it’s what you both want, because you love each other and want to be married. It shouldn’t be the result of feeling backed into a corner and forced to either propose or lose you forever.
This is especially true if you don’t intend to follow through on your ultimatum. If you won’t actually leave if they don’t propose, all your ultimatum does is show them that you don’t mean what you say. If they have no interest in marrying you, they’ll know they don’t have to because you won’t go anywhere.
If you truly love your partner and want to get married, be patient and allow it to happen in its own time. If it doesn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be — and an ultimatum wouldn’t change that.
Don’t put a deadline on them
Like an ultimatum, a deadline puts a ticking clock on proposing. It puts pressure on your partner to do something they may not be ready for — or risk losing you forever. This means you might get your proposal and marriage, but it could end up being filled with resentment and ending because your partner didn’t go into it with their whole heart willing. Is that what you want?
Don’t put a deadline on your partner. If you sincerely feel that you’ve been together long enough and that you need them to propose by a set time or you’ll need to move on, set a deadline in your own mind. If it passes and they haven’t proposed, end the relationship so you can find someone who is on the same page with you.
Of course, this internal deadline should only be set after you’ve been clear with your partner that you want to get married and they’ve agreed that they want the same thing. Until that discussion, you can’t assume they know what you want. Have the talk, set your internal deadline, then see what happens.
Everyone wants a happy, lasting marriage. No one wants to question whether their spouse felt forced into it, or feel like they tricked their spouse into marriage. By avoiding these don’ts, you ensure that you can go into your marriage confident that it’s what you and your new spouse both want. And that’s the first step toward a true happily ever after.