Every serious couple is bound to have “the timeline” discussion at some point. It shouldn’t be painful, especially if you know how to communicate with your partner, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not scary. If the two of you have completely different views on a topic, it may not bode well for your relationship. Marriage is a big one. It’s a step that’ll emotionally and financially bond the two of you, hopefully for the rest of your lives. So how do you tell your boyfriend you’re ready? Here are eight good methods.
Give him hints during a friend’s wedding.
Don’t make the wedding about you, or risk a huge fight — your friends didn’t spend thousands of dollars to watch you get into an argument on their big day. However, you can test the waters. Ask him what he thinks of the wedding and what he’d do differently. If he has ideas, then you know it’s on his mind. If he tells you that weddings are stupid and a big waste of money, that may be a conversation you pick up again when you get home.
Talk more about the marriage than the wedding.
Too many people get so tied up with wedding planning that they forget it’s just one day. The marriage is what really matters. So when talking about the future, avoid “wedding” so much as “marriage.” Show him you’re serious about your relationship, and not just the day of. Guys may feel intimidated if they think you’re prone to turn into a Bridezilla.
Ask him his thoughts on marriage.
This is the biggest one. If marriage is your goal but he’s in no rush, you need to know sooner rather than later. Neither of you are wrong, you just want different things out of life. If you think you’re ready to take that step, tell him and see what his thoughts are. If you’re truly compatible, you shouldn’t be afraid to bring it up. If it’s a topic that you know will make him angry, think about whether or not this is the partner for you.
Adults pay their bills on time — or at least, set up a minimum autopay. They also know how to clean. If your parents are still helping you with laundry, or you’re extremely disorganized, maybe you need to work on that before considering a partnership because those bad habits won’t miraculously change the second you say “I do.” Show your partner that you’re ready to work together and cohabitate peacefully.
Understand the real commitment of marriage.
People do get divorced all the time, and it shouldn’t be a reflection on who they are. Simply put, individuals change sometimes. Often, one partner grows in a different direction from the other, but that’s not the goal here. The goal is to try and be with someone you envision growing old with. If you still like the idea of guys crushing on you, or feel the need to spend literally every weekend just with your girlfriends, you may not be emotionally ready to take the plunge. Growing out of these habits is also a great way to show your boyfriend that you’re ready for the next stage.
Prove you can do things independently.
Marriage is the ultimate partnership. When you get married, you turn into a team. However, it’s also important for your boyfriend to know that you’re capable of making it on your own if need be. This will show him that you’re smart, mature, and able to be your own person throughout the marriage. If you need to bring your boyfriend with you on every grocery trip, he may feel a little worried that marriage to you might isolate him from his own individual interests and friends.
Cut out the petty fights.
Yes, couples fight. Even the best couples have healthy disagreements. It doesn’t mean your relationship is broken. However, when you get married, it’s important to pick your battles and fight about the things that matter. For example, if you get into an argument every weekend about how to spend your time, that won’t improve with marriage. Instead, work on solutions. Remind yourself that when you get married, it’s not as much about being “right.” You shouldn’t be competing with your husband as much as working with him to find a compromise or a solution that fits you both. When you’ve mastered this skill, you’ll enter married life with a complete advantage.
Ask him to visualize his next five years.
Are you in it? Are your children involved? By asking him an open-ended question like this, you can see where he’s at and figure out if his vision aligns well with yours. It’s okay if it doesn’t completely match with yours, as long as the key components are similar. If he mentions marriage, that’s the perfect time to let him know you’re on the same page. Don’t hide what you’re looking for, or tailor a response to fit with what you assume he’ll want to hear. Remember, there are no wrong answers here. This is just a good exercise to speed things along and guarantee that you won’t be suffering from any extra hardships you shouldn’t.
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