Been with your partner for a while and wondering if you should take the next steps? How will you know the time is right? Before you start planning your wedding or even thinking how to propose, take some time to evaluate your relationship status and consider how far you have come.
But how do you really know if your partner is “the one” or if your relationship is ready for that next level of commitment? Before you get down on one knee to present a round engagement ring or say “yes” to a proposal, make sure you are good and ready to share your lives together. Here are five signs your relationship is ready for rings.
#1. You Feel Comfortable with Each Other
If you’ve met someone who makes you feel 100-percent yourself and totally comfortable when you’re around them, you have reached some real relationship goals. But being comfortable doesn’t necessarily mean surface-level comfortable, bundled up beneath the blanket as you watch a TV series you both love. It’s more than cuddling and being able to agree on what to watch or even knowing your partner loves rose gold engagement rings. Being comfortable is so much more than that.
Being comfortable in a relationship is more about honesty. Being honest with each other about who you are as a person. It’s being able to show your goofy side and laugh at each others’ silliness. It’s also being able to have an honest conversation, wearing your heart on your sleeve, about things that are troubling you.
Having these deeper conversations, especially when you wish to voice your own opinion, can be challenging in a relationship. But the more you open up about yourself and your desires, the more you will each understand one another and feel at ease and comfortable. At the end of the day, you learn each others’ tics and funny bones.
Being comfortable also means taking care of your partner when they are sick or down. Once you marry, there will be many moments when one of you will feel under the weather or even possibly depressed. But being sick and feeling somewhat vulnerable now in your relationship only strengthens your bond and deepens your comfort level with one another.
Being married to someone and sharing your life together should start out on the right foot. Once you tie the knot, you’re in for the long haul. So you might as well make sure you start the journey relaxed and content.
#2 The Idea of Marriage Isn’t Scary
Feeling butterflies and being a tad nervous is one thing. But being scared to get married is another thing entirely. Being scared of marriage is more about being scared of commitment. If you are worried about tying the knot to someone for the rest of your life, it’s not a good sign. Getting engaged and eventually married shouldn’t scare you. Yes, the next year of planning a wedding can feel surreal and even stressful at times, but it should never be scary.
If the idea of getting engaged and taking that big step of marriage doesn’t make you balk one bit, it’s a positive sign that your relationship is ready for rings. Everyone will have some jitters, nerves and butterflies, especially on the big day. But as long as you are calm and collected about the overall decision and can’t wait to plan your future together, you shouldn’t even question it.
#3 You Know How to Communicate
The American Psychology Association states that communication and talking openly with one another is key to a healthy relationship. Being open with each other about your feelings and acknowledging each others’ feelings is a healthy sign your relationship is ready for rings.
When a couple learns to communicate their needs, wants, desires and dislikes, they can work out just about anything. Getting married brings a couple together in ways they had never considered. Managing finances to buy a house, debating how to raise a child, fighting with in-laws and even your decreasing sex life are all obstacles you will likely have to face. So being upfront and honest and working through life’s challenges together before you are engaged is imperative for a healthy relationship.
#4 You’ve Had a Lovers’ Quarrel or Two
Communication is the key to a happy relationship and marriage. And when it comes to arguments or “lovers’ quarrels,” communication is vital. Of course all couples bicker, but a real fight is a true test.
Couples who say they never fight might have something else going on beneath the surface. “Never fighting” could mean that the couple or one partner is actually not voicing their opinion on how they genuinely feel — there’s that comfortability and honesty sign again. However, it could also mean that the relationship is simply too brand new. If you haven’t had a true fight with your significant other, you won’t know how to deal with stress and communicate, which is key.
Relationship therapists agree that arguments are healthy, plain and simple. Going through a squabble or a quarrel with your loved one can force you to learn about each other and know you can make it to the other side. As long as your fights are respectful toward each other — sans physical or emotional abuse, retaliation or revenge — you’ll know you can get through anything.
#5 Friends and Family Are Asking
Sometimes a couple can get so caught up in love that they can’t see the forest through the trees. In other words, if you are getting questions from family and friends about your relationship status, it might be a clear sign your relationship is ready for rings. If you act so in love that you seem engaged already, that’s a big clue.
That being said, only trust those who are closest to you. While your aunt might ask “When’s the Big Day?” each time you see her, keep in mind that some people just love attending weddings. Listen to those who know you best instead of taking “signs” from random people or long-lost relatives. If they sense real happiness from you, it is more of an indication you might be ready to get hitched.
Each relationship is unique. You will need to face some challenges in any relationship and be able to come through the other side still happy and comfortable. But, ultimately, you need to trust your gut and have an honest conversation with your partner. Only then will your relationship be ready for rings.