Its true: If you get engaged, your life will never be the same. Knowing the changes youll be making, and knowing youre ready and willing to handle them, is crucial to knowing the time is right to propose.
First comes the stress of planning a wedding a major, though temporary, change all its own.
Wait a minute, you say. Isnt planning a wedding the girls job?
Um, no. Well pretend you didnt say that.
Make no mistake, though: Planning a wedding will take a lot out of you, no matter your level of involvement. For instance, youre going to need to book a band or a DJ. Easy enough, right? How could it be any more difficult than buying a boom box? Well, dont forget about finding a catering hall, or possibly a caterer, as well as a florist, a photographer, and so on. Oh, and youll have to make a guest list. And it wont be easy. And youll get into fights over it. And a few months later, youll get into more. All for a four or five hour event!
Which isnt to say that you wont have fun. You will. And, ultimately, this stress will be worth it. But rest assured, there will be stress. Soon youll find your to-do list has the regenerative powers of a worm or a starfish. Just when you think youre done… ha! You wish! So it helps to know this ahead of time. Why? Because what if you literally cant handle this stuff right now? Like, what if you just cant figure it into your schedule? Perhaps youre a student. Or maybe youre working two jobs. You may be able to plan a wedding around your other obligations, but, then, you may not. Can you handle this sort of commitment? Do you have time for it? And, furthermore, do you think your girlfriend has time for it, too? Or look at it this way: Some weddings are more elaborate than others. Your girlfriends probably been dreaming about hers her entire life. Will you guys have the spare time you need to plan a wedding that lives up to her dreams as well as your own expectations?
This brings us to our second major change.
You and your girlfriend are probably pretty close. You may even live together. But marriage is a whole other ballgame when it comes to thinking for two because, legally, youre kinda, sorta one. Maybe the best way to look at it is to think of marriage like double vision. From now on, youll be seeing two of everything. Two plates on the table. Two embroidered robes for Christmas. And, of course, two wonderful, loving families to visit when Christmastime comes. (About the only thing that wont be doubled is enough time to visit both.)
Planning a wedding is a major commitment. It goes without saying that marriage, itself, is a major commitment, too thats the whole point. So when you choose to propose, youre choosing to make some major life changes. And theyre nice changes, really. But its still good to know what youre in for.
Heres a litmus test: Can you see yourself calling your girlfriend your fiancיe for the next six, twelve, or however many months it takes to plan your wedding? Or can you at least see yourself admitting you goofed up every time she complains that you called her your girlfriend… yet again? This is the sort of thing youll want to know you can handle. Its a small change, you know, but you do want to call her your wife.
Ready to say I do?
Maybe this all sounds daunting. In the end, though, only one person will know if you know your girlfriend well enough to get married. Only one person will know if you know shes The One. And only one person will know if the time is right for you to make the major life changes that marriage calls for. That one person is someone you know quite well. Its you.
So what do you say, then? You wanna get married? Not to us, silly to the girl. You do? Well, let us be the second to say: Congratulations! Weve got some great information including proposal and ring-buying tips in store for you.