Marriage is a big step in a relationship, so it makes sense to wonder if you and your partner are headed in the right direction. Unfortunately, there is no secret or exact timeline to getting engaged. Like most things surrounding your relationship, it’s entirely up to you and your partner. While some people might feel like total strangers after a few months, others might be ready to take it to the next level. That being stated, there are certain milestones that can help you learn a lot about your relationship before tying the knot. Read on to see which markers to look for when thinking about getting engaged.
1. Spending a major holiday together
The holidays are a time of joy, excitement and…quite a bit of stress. Sharing old traditions with one another as well as creating new ones can be an exciting step in your relationship. Plus, if you’re thinking about starting a family together, you’ll get a glimpse into what that might look like during these special moments.
2. Getting sick
Tissues and coughing and mucus, oh my! While catching a cold is certainly not a fun time for anyone, being around your partner when you’re ill (and vice versa) can help you to learn a lot about that whole “in sickness and health” part of your vows. Is your honey a complainer? Do they love to take care of you when you’re feeling under the weather or prefer to keep their distance? It’s good to recognize how you both act when you’re not at your best – it tells you a lot about how you’ll be throughout your potential marriage.
3. The first big fight
If you and your love are still in the honeymoon phase of your relationship, the idea of having a fight might seem like something you don’t need to worry about. But even the best of couples end up knocking heads on occasion, and how you deal with conflict has a huge impact on how your relationship will fare in the future.
4. Going on a trip
Nothing says “committed relationship” like traveling with your partner. Learning how your loved one deals with the stress of traveling, plane rides, packing and exploring new places can tell you a lot about how you will get along in the future. And while taking a vacation together can be fun, it’s important to also travel for less-fun reasons, like visiting family or checking out a potential new hometown.
5. Meeting each other’s families
Whether you come from a close-knit bunch or don’t see your family much, it can be helpful for you and your partner to meet each other’s ilk, at least to get an idea of where you both came from. There’s baggage that can come attached to family and it’s good to experience what it might be like when your two families become one (before they actually do, that is).
6. Having “the talk”
If there’s one piece of advice we can impart, it’s know where you both stand on marriage and future goals before you decide to get engaged. Does one person want a quick wedding and a big family, while the other would prefer a big affair and a nomadic lifestyle? Is one of you super thrifty while the other more of a spender? These are all important questions to ask yourselves – and, more importantly, to talk about with your partner, before making any big life decisions.