It's easy to get caught up in the romance of when your beau proposes – he’s down on one knee with a loving look in his eyes, the moonlight is shining in the park where you shared your first kiss (both swoon worthy factors to make you want to say YES in a heart beat) – but, there’s more to life than rose petals and candlelight dinners.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you take the plunge:
Are you in love with him, or in love with the idea of getting married?
Some women are so enthralled with the white dress, flowers and cake flavor that they forget the reason behind the big day: your new life with your husband. During the planning, its easy to get swept away in the details of your wedding, but if you’re marrying him for the right reasons then the wedding is just the beginning of the bigger picture.
Do you know who YOU are?
Before you can commit for the rest of their life, you need to be truly committed to yourself. Having a strong sense of self-confidence, a solid career path, and an overall vision of what you want out of life are crucial factors so that the two of you can be there for each other and if necessary make sacrifices in order to support one another. If you are ready, you’ve moved passed that time in your life where every single decision you make in your life is about YOU. You are comfortable with yourself and ready to make decisions with your partner in mind.
What does your future together hold?
Most likely if he’s popped the question, this isn’t the first time you’ve thought about walking down the aisle. Have you discussed life issues, such as where you’ll live, how you’ll split financial responsibilities, or if you both want kids? If not, now is the time to strike up that serious, but necessary conversation.
Have a conversation where the two of you visualize your life together. What does he see? How do you see your future? Do the visions match up? If not, first make sure the two of you are being realistic about your goals and lifestyle choices. Second, listen to each other. Yet if you want to live in the city in a condo and raise a dog, while he wants to live in a suburban home with your three children, then the two of you need to discuss plans further. In order to get married, the two of you need to be on the same page.
Is he your Prince Charming?
Does he make you feel like you’re the luckiest girl in the world even after you’ve known him for x number of years and you’ve shared days together when all you do is watch TV in your pajamas? In a marriage you’re in it together for the long haul, so it’s important that the two of you can make each other happy even when you’re simply living out your daily routine. Although no one is perfect, your man should be perfect for you and you should never feel like you’ve settled – in the end you’ll hurt him and yourself if you aren’t truly satisfied.
For better or for worse?
Does the idea of getting married lose appeal if you see yourself facing a few bumps in the road regarding your financial life or personal matters, such as your health or family life? Regardless of the struggles you may meet along the way, you should look forward to seeing him when you come home. If your relationship is what keeps the two of you grounded, the world will be less of a scarier place. The key to a healthy marriage is open communication, trusting one another, and an ability to support each other when life circumstances pose obstacles.