How to Talk About Marriage
Est Reading Time: 20 Mins
There are times when couples have to discuss important matters that concern their relationship and future. This particularly becomes essential if you're in a serious or long-term relationship. Most of the time, one or both parties would seek to take things to the next level to "seal the deal". After all, that's where they are bound to be in the future.
This makes discussions about marriage important for every couple looking at the possibility of spending the rest of their lives together. If you're exactly in the same boat, you have to analyze this decision carefully and weigh its pros and cons in the current status of your relationship. Such a life-changing move also requires maturity and certainty before opening it up with your partner.
Are you thinking of ways on how to talk about marriage with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Do you find yourself in a state of confusion about how you're going to initiate the topic? Don't be overwhelmed by the series of questions that would cross your mind. We can give you a handful of helpful advice to put things in the right perspective and achieve positive outcomes in the process.
If you're thinking about making that brave move to discuss marriage with your partner anytime soon, here's how to prepare for that moment;
1. Timing is the key.
It sounds cliché, but finding the right timing to talk about marriage is the key to a productive discussion. Not all people are open about the idea of "tying not knot" and entering into a serious commitment.
For some individuals with a modern mindset, getting married is the endgame that marks the finish line or the end of the road. This is also the reason why some couples feel stressed and anxious about discussing matters that concern getting married.
Questions such as; "what's the rush when we're already living together?", "why get married if what we have right now is already special?", or "why stress ourselves with marriage when we're already content with our relationship?"
Be sensitive and fully aware of this perspective. Regardless of how intent you are to get married, your partner might not be ready for it. Therefore, it's important to find the right timing to open up this issue to avoid having to deal with misunderstandings, pressure, and tension.
The last thing that you'd want to happen is to scare off your partner and make them think that you're demanding or that you're asking for more than what they can offer at the moment.
2. Find out how your partner feels about marriage.
When it comes to discussions that involve marriage, it's important to know (or at least have an idea) how your partner feels about the subject. Try to figure out their thoughts and impressions about marriage; and how receptive they are about going through the finish line with you. This may require you to think of clever ways to get her insights.
Here are some ideas that might help you read her thoughts;
- Watch marriage-themed movies like My Best Friend's Wedding, Runaway Bride, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and The Wedding Plan, among others. After watching the movie discuss the details and events that took place as you sort out her reaction.
- Joke about it. Jokes are always half meant, as they say. So it doesn't hurt to candidly put your marriage intentions in a random joke to see how she responds. Examples are; "I'm bored, how about let's get married?" or "your cooking skills are getting close to pro-level that it looks like you're ready to become my wife".
- Talk about your married friends. Having a good discussion that's based on real-life and people you know may help you figure out her thoughts and opinions about marriage.
3. Don't push the topic of marriage.
Avoid adding pressure to the situation by not pushing on the topic. Keep it casual and free-flowing. Don't make it sound too extreme and taxing, as if it's your partner's obligation to give you the answers that you'd want to hear right there and then.
Remember that as you talk about marriage, your objective is to come up with a mutual decision that's beneficial to both of you and your relationship. Trying to convince your partner and pressing on the topic cannot offer you favorable outcomes.
Keep in mind that talking about marriage is not similar to making a business proposal, wherein you have to focus on "selling" and making it all look good. Marriage is a major life-changing decision and an important milestone in life that goes hand-in-hand with loads of responsibilities.
Aside from commitment, you're practically investing your whole life in it. Avoid pushing the topic because if you and your partner are ready for it, things would naturally and effortlessly fall into place.
4. Start by talking about each other's values and beliefs.
Conversations that concern individual values and beliefs could happen anytime within a serious relationship. For example, your family values may differ from your partner's, and your religious beliefs might not be aligned with each other. Things like these would enable you to assess how you're going to open up the subject of marriage.
You can weigh down the issues that tend to cause your misunderstandings versus those you can work on with proper compromise.
From here, you'll get a better picture of how you're going to talk about marriage or if it's reasonable even to start talking about it.
If you have conflicting values and beliefs with your partner, it might not be good to talk about marriage. Otherwise, you'll only end up having a series of arguments. However, if you see and feel that your values and beliefs do not come in the way of your relationship, then that's a positive indication that you can enter a new chapter in your life.
5. Be selective with your choice of words.
Talking about marriage doesn't require you to make lengthy explanations as to why you have to enter the next stage in your relationship. To get your message across, you have to carefully pick your words and be concise with how you communicate your thoughts.
You also have to admit to yourself that opening up the idea of getting married has its own risks, no matter how confident and certain you are that it is what you want. Therefore, it's best to communicate it in the simplest way you can.
You can start with the following statements;
- "We've been together for quite a long time now. I think that we should start taking a new path in our relationship."
- "We've seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows together. I believe that we're bound to get stuck together for the rest of our lives."
- "I live for moments like these that I'm wondering if we can make it official."
- "I think that it's time for us to plan for our future. Our relationship may be the best right now, but we can make it even better."
Expressing your desire to enter a new phase in your relationship has to start from somewhere. You can start by making subtle remarks that communicate your intention and then watching closely how your partner responds to them.
If you sense a positive reaction, you may start immersing in-depth into the subject to determine if you and your partner see things eye to eye.
6. Stay calm and be realistic.
Don't get overly excited and overwhelmed over the subject of marriage. Keep in mind that the "wedding" is one thing, but "marriage" is an entirely different story.
It's often the idea of planning a wedding that brings all the excitement and not the marriage itself. So if you want to find the most definitive signs that you're ready for marriage, try your best to stay calm and realistic as you deal with the subject.
Seeing your partner get all giddy and whimsical as you imagine your wedding day can make your heart flutter. However, don't overlook the fact that marriage can change your relationship entirely.
Therefore, if you want to have a mature and rational discussion about taking your relationship to the next level, calm your emotions and collect your thoughts so you can focus on the important matters that are closely linked to marriage.
7. Talk about your emotional preparedness and financial stability.
Talking about marriage with your partner means that you are looking at the possibility of spending the rest of your lives together. Assuming that your partner becomes receptive to the idea, start by carefully evaluating your emotional preparedness and financial stability. These are both important aspects that contribute to a happy and healthy marriage.
Even if you are not planning to "tie the knot" anytime soon, it helps make a brave attempt to picture out how your life would be once you enter a new phase.
Are you emotionally ready to handle commitment? Are you financially stable enough to sustain a married life? How are you going to work as a team once you start your new life together? These are just some of the questions that require definitive answers if you want to talk about marriage like mature individuals.
Having clear and sensible answers to these adult questions signifies your readiness to plan for your future. Otherwise, you can always adjust your plans accordingly to ensure that you can handle the changes that go concomitantly with marriage.
8. Take the subject seriously.
You need to understand if you want to talk about marriage with your partner because it shouldn't happen on the spur of the moment. Take the matter seriously, but don't give the impression that you are in a rush.
Make it clear that you are willing to give your partner as much time as he/she needs to sort out her thoughts and become completely ready. Taking marriage seriously is an indication that you want the decision to become mutual.
Discussing matters that pertain to marriage involve certain changes in your lifestyle and routine. Factors such as where to live, how to manage your finances, when to start a family, and "who's responsible with what" require thorough discussion and fair agreement. So if you want to talk about marriage from a positive perspective, take it seriously by all means.
9. Know when to drop the subject.
If you feel that your partner is becoming uncomfortable about the subject, or you're starting to have disagreements during your conversation, just let it slide. You can casually say that," maybe we're not yet ready to discuss these things, so let's take our time for now."
Knowing when to push back the subject can save you from having misunderstandings and miscommunications later on. It can also spare you and your partner from having to deal with the pressure that comes with marriage.
Just keep in mind that as long as you're happy with your relationship and you feel secure with each other, there is nothing wrong about waiting for the right time.
10. Give each other time and space.
Introducing the subject of marriage to your partner can be overwhelming to some extent. If you need time to process things and to figure out what you want in your relationship, give each other time to think. Give your partner space and time they need to process their thoughts on marriage.
This is particularly important if you feel that you need to start a new chapter in your life. In some relationships, delaying marriage can significantly affect the individual lives of a couple. This especially applies among women since factors such as age and reproductive health, familial culture, and security require reasonable consideration.
It is quite common for couples to think of ways on how to talk about marriage. In most relationships, marriage is the ultimate goal, and it serves as the pinnacle of a couple's commitment to each other. The key to a successful discussion are timing, respect, and maturity because marriage should always be a mutual decision.
So if you're contemplating how to talk about marriage to your partner, make a careful evaluation of your relationship. Pay attention to how your partner feels about taking a huge leap. As long as you're on the same page about the subject of marriage and you're both looking forward to spending the rest of your lives together, everything would fall into place.
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