As the owner of Amazingly Creative Events, I love love. I enjoy encountering couples that are in love and their relationship radiates joy and happiness. So Yay, Congratulations you’re engaged! What does that really mean?
But what does this truly mean? For starters, you are ready to be absolutely exclusive with your fiancé. You all recognized each other as potential marriage partners through dating. During this time, you have discovered big issues such as faith, family obligations, personal challenges, and struggles. You both know enough about each other to have made the informed decision that you are compatible as a couple. And most importantly you need if you haven’t already to take time to ask God if you are right for each other.
Engagement is a very important time. It means you all have either resolved or agreed to accept the big issues in each other’s lives. You have made the commitment to work toward marriage. It’s a time to spend time preparing to build a living space together. Your emphasis shouldn’t be on the ceremony, which will only last for few minutes, but on practical and relational matters that will ensure the marriage is strong. I recommend a good premarital counselor that covers finances, housing, expectations of roles, and especially how childhood families create paradigms that can be completely foreign to your fiancé. Also, men need to learn how to love sacrificially and women need to learn to respect their man. I recommend that you and your fiancé read the book, Communication, Sex, and Money by Edwin Louis Cole.
eHarmony did an amazing job providing a checklist that gives you an idea of if you are truly ready for engagement.
12 Signs You Are Ready to Get Engaged (from eHarmony.com)
1) You’ve Got it Goin’ On
It takes two whole people to make a whole relationship. This means you enjoy a full life with friends, family, a career and social life that fulfill you. You’re confident, and you don’t expect marriage to instantly fix your problems.
2) You Enjoy the Mundane Moments
Marriage is not one long date. Being ready to get engaged means that you truly enjoy each other’s company. You’re okay with just being together sometimes, even while running errands or doing chores.
3) You’re Ready to Burn your Little Black Book
Marriage means being exclusive with one person for the rest of your life. In many cases, it also means forsaking contact with exes and anyone else who may threaten your union. If the idea of monogamy makes you feel secure and confident in your relationship, then engagement will be a comfortable next step for you.
4) You Bring out the Best in Each Other
Cheesy, we know. But ask yourself if this person makes you a better person. Are you kinder, more patient and more pleasant to be around when your snookums is near?
5) You’re a Team Player
Compromise isn’t always 50/50. Sometimes it’s 100/0. If you want to vacation at Disney World but your mate would rather go to the Bahamas, then a 50/50 compromise leaves you both adrift in the Atlantic Ocean. You’re ready to get engaged if you can handle not getting your way sometimes. It’s not about winners and losers. It’s about using “we” statements and serving someone besides yourself.
6) You Cheerlead for Each Other
Before you swap rings you should already be each other’s biggest fans. When your sweetie masters a level of Guitar Hero, you’re there with a high five. When you complete that 5K run for charity, your honey surprises you at the finish line with a gift certificate for a massage.
7) You’re an Open Book
There are no off-limits topics with your main squeeze. You can get real about your worries, dreams, frustrations, and mess-ups without fear of being judged. You can cry when you feel like crying. In marriage, living as a 24/7 partnership, there’s no way you can keep your guard up all the time. If you and your significant other enjoy a “you can tell me anything” relationship, then that’s a great start.
8) You Fight Fair
Every couple has conflicts. It’s how you handle them that makes the difference. If you can disagree respectfully, then your relationship is headed in the right direction.
9) You have Similar Values
You both want kids. Or you both don’t want kids. You’re both savers. Or you’re both spenders. You two don’t have to share a brain – after all, part of the beauty of marriage is that you’ll complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses – but it helps to be headed in the same direction. If you already agree on the big stuff, then smaller issues, like who does the laundry, will be easier to tackle.
10) Your Friends and Family Accept your Choice
Your main squeeze shares car care tips with your dad and sends birthday cards to your grandma. If the people who know you best give your sweetheart two thumbs up, then that’s a green flag to pop the question.
11) You’re Thinking Long Term
You start brown bagging your lunch and put the savings into a “rainy day” bank account. When picking out new furniture, you opt for the king-size bed so there’s room for two. You make long-term plans together, like booking a ski trip for next Valentine’s Day, because you assume you’ll still be a couple.
12) You’d Elope
Do you want a wedding or do you want to be married? The event is fun, but it lasts only one day. Would you still want to spend the rest of your life together even if there were no dress, cake, and Cha Cha Slide? If so, then your desire to get hitched is probably coming from a pure place.
Photo Credit: Rising Lotus Photography