Marriage is one of the biggest steps you’ll ever take in your life. So just how do you know when you’re ready to plop down on one knee and ask your girlfriend the magical “Will you marry me” question? Well, it’s hard to put a time stamp on everything, least of all relationships.
The following 5 signs should alert you to the fact that you’re ready to make an honest woman out of the lady in your life:
1. You have similar values
Marriage isn’t going to succeed on love alone, so if the two of you complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses and both of you are actually headed in the same direction on issues such as work, money, raising children, religion and values, you’re in line to get hitched.
2. You’ve made plans for the future with her
If you’ve initiated or willingly participated in discussions with your girlfriend about things like which house to buy, which investment is better, having children and retirement plans, you’re ready to propose.
3. You’ve discovered your desire to be a father
You’re ready for marriage when you actually embrace the idea of being a father, begin suggesting to your girlfriend how great of a dad you will be, and begin thinking of your children’s names.
4. You’ve completely grown out of your bachelor ways
The idea of meeting new women and participating in the singles’ scene no longer appeals to a man who is ready to marry. Ask yourself the following question: Are you ready to burn your little black book and forsake contact with exes and anyone else who may threaten your relationship? If you answered yes you are squarely on the path to proposing.
5. You simply can’t wait to get home to her
Whenever you go out of town on business, you frequently wish she could be there with you. Conversely, when she’s away, you can’t wait for her to get back. You feel comfortable talking with her about any and everything. You not only call her daily, but you can’t wait to see her and tell her the details of your day and have a strong desire to hear about hers. Don’t fight it any longer, you’re ready.
6. You’re Open About Your Finances
Make no mistake about it: Despite your undying love and devotion, money matters. Even if you and your girlfriend aren’t swimming through pools of gold Scrooge McDuck-style, you should at least be familiar with your financial situations (and okay with the fact that your big splurges are video games and sneakers). If one or both of you are deeply in debt, money (or your lack thereof) could be an immediate source of conflict in your marriage. You don’t need to know each other’s salaries to the dime, but if you’re open about your savings, you’ll avoid any “You owe a bookie how much?” moments.
7. She’s Aware of Your Ambitions
Everyone has ambitions (your goal to eat your weight in Buffalo wings? Sure, that counts too), but make sure your aspirations don’t conflict with those of your girlfriend. If you plan to spend all your savings to start your own business in five years or, better yet, plan on spending a few months roaming with nomads in the Sahara, your girlfriend should know about that before you ask her to marry you