Bringing up marriage with your significant other can require so much more forethought than any conversation the two of you typically have.
Here’s this person that you can sit in comfortable silence with; talk about nothing for hours with; share that weird dream you had last night with, talk about your scary birthmark with. This person has seen you in all states and they’re still the one person you feel the most comfortable around, the most like your real self, no façade.
And yet all of a sudden here you are consulting the internet for how to have a conversation with them, like this is some type of test to study up and prepare for.
As part of our #SparkaHint campaign, we’re sharing real, actionable steps you can take to have some control in the sometimes turbulent period of pre-engagement. From dropping subtle hints about getting engaged, to having straightforward discussions and even figuring out what kind of ring you want and sharing it with your partner, this series is about real world solutions.
This week, I’m giving you realistic ways to bring up getting engaged. This is not about how long should I wait to get engaged? or am I ready to get engaged? or how to get him to propose in 30 days (but those articles are certainly out there and you can easily find them). This is about you telling your partner you want to get married, because you deserve to receive the type of commitment you want. It doesn’t mean you two will be on the same page with timing (that’s actually kind of rare), but it does mean that you’ve spoken your truth and instead of just passively waiting for something that might not happen.
Marriage Convo Prompts
Say: “I’ve been thinking about marriage lately.” Because you have. See where the conversation goes.
An open-ended statement like this opens the door for you two to just be real with each other: no judgement, no ultimatums, just sharing what’s on your mind and seeing what their thoughts are. You can add in, if you feel you need to, that this doesn’t mean you want to get married immediately (unless you do). You don’t need to come prepared with any answers.
Say: “I think I’m ready to get engaged, and I’m hoping you’ll get to that point with me, when you’re ready.”
People move at different paces, and it’s good to acknowledge that.
Say: “I’m not sure if this is on your mind at all but,I am regularly reminded of proposals/weddings by my friends/family/social media/television/suspiciously targeted ads on the internet. Here’s where I’m at with it.” And share your thoughts.
Depending on who you are, you might never consume wedding-related media and not feel any pressure from your social circle. Or, you might be constantly targeted with wedding-related media and advertisements, your feed full of friends and acquaintances taking this step, and participating in a recurring conversation with your mom about when you’ll get engaged. Your partner could literally have no idea. Why it’s important to talk about is because what you perceive as your partner stalling could be their relative naïveté that this is something you want.
Say: “I’m going to tag you in some posts of rings I like on Instagram, so you have an idea when the time comes.” And then do it.
This could be the missing piece they’ve been waiting for. The one consistent piece of feedback we hear from clients designing engagement rings for their partner is that they just want to get the ring right and for their significant other to be happy. And it’s a lot of pressure to figure out what that looks like, especially when society makes them question if it’s okay to ask or involve you in the ring shopping process at all.
Say: ”When we get engaged, I don’t want you to think that you have to pay for my engagement ring on your own. We’re a team.” If this is truly the way you feel.
It’s easy to forget that being ready to get engaged can also come with some intense financial anxiety if one partner is expected to shoulder the entire cost. Your partner could be just as ready to get married as you, but they’re trying to figure out the financial impact: how much to spend, how to budget for it, and quite possible they’re waiting to save a certain amount, get a bonus at work, or qualify for financing.
Say: ”What are your thoughts on marriage, in general.”
Depending on your significant other’s unique background, culture, experiences, and family dynamic, they might have some negative feelings around marriage or fear that divorce is inevitable. Or maybe, they feel beholden to certain traditions like, they have to pay for the ring on their own, or you two need to own a house before getting married, or either of you have to wait until a certain age or a certain anniversary. Or, perhaps, your partner doesn’t believe in marriage as an institution at all. The funny thing about people is that no two are alike, and you can know a person intimately for years and still be surprised by them. Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and feelings.
No matter what path you take, having meaningful conversations, or sparking a hint, can be a great way to make sure that you’re working towards what you want in your relationship.
Have questions? Send us a message or give us a call.
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