How Soon is Too Soon to Propose?
If you have clicked on this story, it’s a safe bet you are devoted, smitten, lovesick, or simply mad about someone in your life. That is precisely all I can safely say about you and your relationship. As I’m sure you know, every relationship is a unique thing. Therefore, it is impossible for me, or anyone else, to tell you when it’s the right time to propose marriage.
While there are no set rules regarding the progression of a romantic relationship, there are clearly some things you may want to consider before you pop the question. One such consideration is whether or not you and your significant others find yourselves at the same stage in your relationship. Although it is always important to pay attention to your intuition when it comes to matters of the heart, reflection can help you avoid issues both now and later on.
If you find yourself thinking about whether it is the appropriate time to make a commitment to your love interest, you may also want to consider how much you know about where your partner is on the love and commitment continuum. Have you and your love interest discussed marriage and all that it entails? If not, having that first conversation about your thoughts and feelings regarding love and marriage may be a good place to begin.
Clues that You May be Ready to Propose
1. Your love interest is your best friend: Although you may have other friends with whom you are close, it is important that your partner be someone you consider a very close personal friend. If there is someone else in your life that whom you would end this relationship for you should reconsider why you are thinking about marriage. If, however, your significant other is the first person you want to share news with, the person you most wish to spend time with, and the person you can rely upon to support and understand you, you are probably correct that this is the “one” for you.
2. You and your partner enjoy the ordinary moments of life together: It is easy to get caught up in the romance of a new relationship. However, if upon reflection you realize that you and your partner only really enjoy time together when you are on holiday or doing things that take you away from the stress and strain of everyday life, you may need to wait a bit before making a commitment. If, however, you and your partner find joy in making dinner, running everyday errands, and doing the tough work of day-to-day living, you may be ready to become engaged.
3. You and your significant other have similar expectations and beliefs about the future: It is always important that you and your partner understand what the other expects. If you and your partner share similar beliefs and are comfortable with one another’s expectations for your future together, this is a good sign that you may be ready to take this step together.
4. You are confident that your partner will say yes for healthy reasons: Of course, we have all heard about partners who are looking for a commitment out of a desire for security or some sense of ownership. However, if you feel confident that your partner will say yes to your proposal because they share a desire to make a commitment to a shared future, you are probably on the right track thinking about moving this relationship forward.
5. Those you hold dear support your desire to make a life commitment to your partner: Although no one matters more than yourself and your partner when you are facing this decision, it is always a good sign when those close to you also see the beauty in the person you are thinking of making a commitment to.
If you are confident that it is indeed the right time to ask your partner to marry you, you have several other choices to make and things to consider. Not the least of the decisions facing you will be the engagement ring. Just as your relationship is one of a kind, so too is your significant other.
1. What style of engagement ring is right for your partner?
a. Solitaire engagement rings:When you think of an engagement ring a traditional diamond solitaire is likely to come to mind. A solitaire engagement ring features a single gemstone, most usually a natural or lab-created diamond. The single gemstone in a solitaire engagement ring may feature a four or six-prong setting. While some people prefer a four-prong setting, a six-prong setting is more likely to keep your diamond secure. This may be the perfect ring style for a traditionalist.
b. Halo engagement rings:A halo engagement ring features a large central gemstone surrounded by a series of smaller gemstones. If your partner prefers a more glamorous style, the bold halo with its intense sparkle may be the perfect engagement ring for you.
c. Vintage engagement rings:When you look at vintage engagement rings, you may be surprised by the variety you find. You may find vintage engagement rings that feature a Celtic knot, a trinity knot, milgrain detailing, or a filigree pattern. These types of details may be preferable for a partner who values details and finds beauty in the subtle nuances of jewelry. Filigree detailing is a delicate embellishment in which fine threads of metal are curled and twisted before being soldered into the piece. Milgrain is a design technique where tiny beads of metal are used to create borders.
d. Three-stone engagement rings: A three-stone engagement ring is highly symbolic. this type of engagement ring has one gemstone to represent the past, one to stand for the present, and one to represent the future. This type of ring usually has a larger center stone thereby bringing the wearer’s focus to the present moment. This type of ring may be especially meaningful to a partner who values symbols.
2. What metal appeals to you and your partner? Just as you consider your partner’s personal style when choosing an engagement ring, you should also consider what metal appeals to you and your partner. Although you can find all of the aforementioned styles in a variety of metals, the three golds (yellow, white, and rose) are only a few of the metal choices you have to consider. Some people find that their complexion is best flattered by yellow gold. However, some people are more interested in enhancing the value of a diamond engagement ring by setting their gemstone within a more valuable metal. Likewise, some people find using a less expensive metal meaningful in the symbology of their choice.
3. Consider budget as well as personal taste: Clearly, an engagement ring is an investment. However, you will want to consider your personal budget when you make this choice. Just as with all of the choices we have discussed here, the amount of money you and your partner feel comfortable spending on an engagement ring is a reflection of your values and beliefs. In fact, a discussion on how to budget for an engagement ring can be a good way to clarify how you and your partner feel about money. Establishing a clear understanding of how the two of you approach this initial decision can help you begin your journey together with clarity as well as commitment. Keep in mind that the quality of gemstone you choose, the choice of a natural or lab-created diamond, and the choice of metal all impact the cost of your engagement ring.
Clearly, becoming engaged should be a special occasion. As such, you may want to give special consideration to how and when you go about becoming engaged.
- Make the moment meaningful: Choose a day, a time, and/or a place that has significance for you and your partner.
- Consider saving the moment: Certainly, not everyone needs a physical reminder of the moment they became engaged, but you may want to consider finding a way to record this moment.
- Share the love: If there are people significant to you and your partner’s lives, you may want to consider sharing this moment with them as well. Certainly, if either of you has children who will become part of your shared life, it is a great idea to include them in this significant moment.
- Protect your investment: As your engagement ring is likely to be a significant purchase, it is important that you protect this purchase. Just as you wouldn’t buy your first home without careful consideration, you shouldn’t buy an engagement ring from a jeweler you don’t trust. When you buy your engagement ring from a trustworthy brand that offers a lifetime warranty and offers easy returns, you can shop (and propose) with confidence.
- Do you have to kneel to propose?
Just as with picking out the perfect engagement ring for you and your love, how you propose should be special for the two of you. If you are a traditionalist, becoming engaged may include kneeling to propose or even asking your significant other’s family for their permission to become engaged. However, this is your engagement, so do what feels most special to you.
- Should the ring be in the box when you propose?
Again, your engagement is a special moment meant to be shared and remembered by the two people becoming engaged. If it is important to you that things follow a traditional flow, you may well want to present your ring in a box. However, some of the most memorable engagements reflect the joy of the individuals becoming engaged. Make this special moment unique to the two of you. Although you will want to make sure you keep the ring safe, it is not necessary to present it in a box.
- Is it ok to propose at home?
As with all of the other FAQs here, the answer to this one is fairly simple. If proposing to your partner at home inspires love and affection within you, then this is a perfectly acceptable way to begin this journey together. If however, you wish to be the epitome of romance, by all means, book that table on the Eiffel Tower for Valentine’s night.
- Should a proposal be private?
I do hate to sound like a broken record, but the single thing that is important about how you propose is that it fits the needs of you and your partner. If you two are a pair of extroverts, then, by all means, share your moment with the world. If however, either or both of you prefer something that reflects the individual bond you are entering into alone, by all means, make this an exclusive moment.
- Should you ask the parents before proposing?
Assuming that both you and your significant other are of legal age, this question is simply one of preference. If you and your significant other come from a traditional background, asking their parents for permission may be appropriate. However, the bond the two of you are forging here is between the two of you, and it is certainly not essential that you seek the support of your partner’s family to make this a meaningful event.